At times he would hold his leg up and not put any weight on it, and other times he would touch his toe down as he walked. After giving him a little rest, he was not improving so they decided to bring him in.Upon examination of the leg, he was found to be painful when Dr. Prince touched around his knee and tibia on his left leg. A very common injury that dogs can get is a cruciate ligament/meniscus injury, so that was a consideration. Due to the pain, swelling, and consistent limp, Dr. Prince recommended that Maverick have a further examination and x-rays completed under sedation.
Once sedated, further examination of his knee was normal. The radiographs revealed a spot on his left tibia on the bone that appeared to be very abnormal. Dr. Prince’s first concern was that it could be a type of bone cancer. Maverick’s owners soon took him to Dr. Boswell, a board certified orthopedic surgeon at Southwest MI Referral Center, for a bone biopsy. The bone biopsy revealed what was suspected, osteosarcoma.
Osteosarcoma can be found in any dog, but typically affects large to giant breed dogs. The cause of the tumor is largely unknown. The best treatment for osteosarcoma, in order to remove the source of pain and preserve quality of life, is amputation to remove the primary bone affected combined with chemotherapy to treat the metastatic disease that we cannot see. The prognosis of Osteosacroma is typically a life expectancy of 6 months – 2 years IF the dog has the amputation and chemotherapy administration.
After an oncology consult at MSU, Maverick’s owners decided to have his left rear leg amputated in order to remove his source of pain. He learned over the next few weeks how to be a 3-legged dog and it has yet to slow him down. He has been receiving Chemotherapy treatments at Friendship Animal Hospital, every 3 weeks for a total of 6 treatments. He does enjoy the soft dog bed, endless attention, and the constant stream of peanut butter during his treatments!
Maverick is an exceptional dog and his family is enjoying every minute with him and helping him live his life to the fullest! Their goal is to help him remain pain free and acting like the silly, happy Maverick they have grown to love.