Chester had his front left leg amputated today, at Aurora Animal Clinic. Last Friday, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, aka bone cancer. He had been getting increasingly lame for a couple of weeks, and at first we thought it was a sprain. X-rays showed the characteristics of the cancer, though.
We got a very nice writeup of the disease, treatment options, and statistics. Because the cancer is very painful (which was quite evident in Chester, especially these past few days), choices are amputation or euthanasia. His cancer was on the scapula, or shoulder blade. In the pictures, you can see he now has a smooth area where his leg used to attach, and looks sort of like a seal. His scarring from an earlier encounter with a snare is evident (from before we got him), and the X-rays showed he had been shot with a shotgun. Seems like a rough life, before he found his foreverhome in stinky palace.
According to the prognosis, he should adapt well to his three-legged life, and unlike people should not suffer social stigmatism. We will go ahead with chemotherapy, which should limit the next phase of osteosarcoma, which is lung cancer. Statistically, he could live almost any amount of time, up to several years (he’s already 10, so “several years” is a full lifespan for a dog of his size).
Chester is a super friend, and we hope he has a fast recovery.