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Has anyone had experience with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in Irish Setters?

I have recently been questioned about inheritance of osteosarcoma in Irish Setters. Fortunately this is not something I have personal experience of. I do know some medium to large breeds are more prone to this form of cancer. The view generally seems to be that cancer is on the increase, but I do not know if there is scientific evidence to support this.
I was surprised by the opininon that osteosarcoma was linked with being female. This does not make sense to me - but I'm no expert.

I'd be pleased to hear your views.

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Yes, I know the dutch club does this - maybe we could get them to cover ALL Irish Setters??? :-)) or at least all european irish? (and I count GB to Europe;-))
On the topic of removing the leg. Early on we couldn't get a read on whether the mass in Chelsea's leg was cancer or not. I hated the thought of removing her front leg if it was not. Once we determined that it was cancer, we did end up removing it. Considering her age, it really didn't slow her down much at all. If I am in the situation again, I won't hesitate removing a leg because going from 4 to 3 is a lot easier than going from 2 to 1 (a people paradigm).
Gene, thanks for sharing this information about Chelsea.  I have to say that I was most worried about amputation for Killian, had he proved to have a tumour, because it was a front leg and it seemed that it would be more difficult to cope with than a rear leg.  As he is still "at risk" I will keep the thought tucked away and of course hope that I never have to come back to it.  Overall it appeared through my research that there was no specific hereditary link with osteosarcoma more a prediliction with certain breeds,specifically large breeds, the inference although nothing definitive suggesting the weight and wear and tear of big dogs.  There are also two types one that specifically attacks limbs and one that goes for "flat" bones skull, jaw etc.  My vet who is very good at alternative remedies suggests addition of olive oil and turmeric to the diet.  Studies suggest that turmeric is as good as chondroitin and glucosamine for protecting joints against damage, Killian seems to enjoy the extra spice in his dinner! A final thought, vets often look at studies of cancer in children to make comparisons because of the similarity of length of exposure to environmental factors.  In Toulouse a study has shown an increase of childhood cancers, one of the links is that many are children of wine producers or live close by vineyards - makes you wonder what they spray on the vines!
I remember that Greyhound coming galoping over the fields, and only when she came to a stop did you realize she was actually running with three legs only. So dogs DO manage well - but I still hope I never have to make that kind of decision.
Dear Susan,
As here were not too many replies, I will add my very limited experiences regarding this subject. I have seen Irish setter with osteosarcoma only once.
Ca 4 years in Tallinn dogs shelter was Irish red setter , male, ca 8-10 years old , nevertheless that we have been searching for his owners for long time and advertising a lot we haven’t found them . So I found for him new and very good home, were he lived only 6 months.
External y he was very healthy and funny boy, enjoying living with his new owners, but very suddenly his health condition got worse and visit to the vet took horrible news that he is having osteosarcoma. Health condition went worthier and worthier and after one month as he had terrible pain, took up weight dramatically was decided that the optimal solution would be to get him to sleep. First vets also gave as one option an amputation but developments were very fast, condition got only worthier, it was not possible even to consider, he would not survive this kind of operation.
As I we do not know the background of this poor boy, the pedigree or the previous conditions of his life it is impossible to make conclusion what could cause this horrible form of cancer but perhaps this short comment will also give you some additional information.

wiht the best greetings

I am far from being an expert on the subject--THANKS GOD-but in the last 3 years we -the community of irish-setters in israel-lost 2 bitches-both around the age of 5 yrs-different blood lines-to this horrible illness.
unfortunatly,one can not win against the bone cancer.even if discovered at an early stage,it has the ability to spread so quickly!!!!
with one of the bitches-the doctors said it was found at a very early stage-so they amputated the leg,she recovered well enough-which gave high hopes to her owner wholoved her more than words can say-6 month late she died.
Thanks, Natalja and Beronica, for adding your experience.

I know that once osteosarcoma is diagnosed there is little chance of cure and even amputation often gives only a short releief and a few extra months. A very tragic condition.

From the response here I would assume that thankfully this form of cancer is not a breed specific problem. Certainly not a breed problem in the way bloat is.

Thank you all for joining in on the discussion.
I got the horrific news last week " max" my 6 yr old irish setter who was dignosed with osteosarcoma and i'm absolutely devastated he does not deserve this death sentence....the type of bone cancer he has is the MOST AGGRESIVE cancer a dog can possibly get.

Our plan , my fiancee and i , is to have his right distal radius / leg amputated , chemo is NOT an option as it destroys a dogs insides and all the side effects are heart wrenching and we refuse to put him through it.

He's sceduled to undergo surgery on september 2nd however we have decided that blood work will be needed to rule out the cancer in his chest and if thats' the case( i hope to god he'll be negative for spreading of bone cancer )

I can't talk about this anymore i am to emotional.

It rips my heart out to see "max" this way......he is however his ole chippa self ....playing.eating.peeing/ pooping and running......sense of humor is rock solid and he smiles all the time.......i dont want to even think about what it will be like for him, not to mention us, when this all changes......

Take care ...

Hi Rich,

What terrible news. I am so sorry for you and your best pal Max and can imagine the distress you are going through.
I hope all goes well with surgery - dogs manage very well on three legs, but of course as you say you first need to know the outcome of the other test results.
The one good thing is that Max is not worried and can still enjoy life.

Thinking of you.

Hi Rich - So sorry to hear about Max. Brings up many painful memories of two that I have lost to cancer. On Max's quality of life on 3 legs, I was amazed how well my Chelsea got around after the amputation. Hopefully, the cancer is isolated and this will eradicate it, making Max a 'survivor'.

Thoughts and Prayers from Texas.

Hi Gene - I am so frazzled to even think i am actually dealing with "max" and his issue he didn't ask for nor did he deserve , of course how could i be expected to think any differently afterall he's our dog.

I hope deep within my core that for no other reason( not including myself or lisa ) that max has a quality of life that offers him many years to come, although i have heard it does not look good and his life will be cut short sooner then i want it to....

I really hate how i have to sit back and essentially do nothing although i know otherwise,and unable to help or free him from the pain and discomfort i know he's in.

I'd love nothing more,aside from my own selfish wishes and not want to deal with the unbearable loss it will be when i'm told he might not make it , then to be told it's isolated and not spread to his lungs / chest because if the cancer has already matastisized into other parts of his body it will ruin me and lisa and i dont know how to deal with it.

I have never loved anyone / anything the way i love max he is an amazing dog who is so young therefore why



why does it have to be this way.

Sometimes life blind sides you and you're almost never prepared for it until it's to late......i hope it's not to late.....god willing he's going to be ok....i can't even begin to fathom "max" not being in my / our lives anymore my world would be so lonely......

God bless you.....

Hi Rich - First you need to know that a lot of people on this site are praying for/pulling for Max. Most of us have been in your shoes before so we can definitely feel your pain. I have lost 6 since 2002 and it doesn't get any easier. But I just keep getting more because they bring such joy in my life.

It sounds like Lisa and you are doing all the right things for him. The important thing is to make sure that you keep Max's quality of life as high as possible. We are all pulling for him to come through this.

I think a lesson for all of us here is to cherish the time we have with not only our dogs but friends and family as well because no one knows when anyone's time is over.





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