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We first noticed a problem with Merlin’s front right leg back in June, when he had an occasional limp so we took him to the vets. They thought he could have damaged the joint so they put him on anti inflammatory medicine  and advised us to keep his walks very short to help it heal.

When the course of medicine stopped we hoped that would be the end of it but he started limping again and we noticed a lump that became increasingly painful for him. Off he went to the vets again where he was x-rayed. This showed an abnormal shadow on the bone and we were warned it could be a growth of some sort and he was referred to an orthopaedic specialist for a second opinion. Merlin had a biopsy and this is when it was confirmed as osteosarcoma. After xrays of his chest,  an ultrasound of his tummy (which involved it being shaved 🙁 ) and blood tests, we were told it hadn’t yet identifiably spread, although they warned that xrays can only pick up masses over a certain diameter.

We didn’t know what to do at first, he’s a young dog and it seemed so cruel to put him to sleep, but at the same time we didn’t know if it was fair to put him through an operation and chemo. Until we started researching we didn’t really know what would be involved. Merlin visited the orthopaedic specialists and oncologists at the veterinary hospital nearby and we eventually decided to go for it and  take the leg off with chemo starting shortly afterwards.

We were told Merlin should adjust quite quickly to amputation as apparently his muscles had wasted in his poorly leg because he hadn’t been using it as much recently, therefore his other leg had already taken over some of the work.Bone Tumour Bone Tumour & biopsy site


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Hi all,

We have a 2 year old black lab called Merlin who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in August 2009, he’s since had his leg amputated and started chemo.

More posts on magical Merlin to follow once we get the hang of this!

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