Kalacreek you are correct. You base your decision on the staging and grading of the tumour ie how far it has gone and other factors such as general health of the dog. Age really is irrelevant if the dog is otherwise in good health. I share plenty of stories on FB that highlight that age is not a factor.
Dogman the reason prognosis is not often good is this...........The dog gets a limp and owner promplty takes to the vet and the normal course of action would be anti inflamatory. Dog comes good for a bit then the limp is back so off to the vet again to be given more anti inflam. If it is osteosarcoma to start with this cancer can be spreading to the lungs. This is the killer of dogs with osteosarcoma not the amputation. By the time the dog is diagnosed in 90% of cases it is already in the lungs but it cant be detected on scans. This is the killer. Chemo is normally the follow up course of treatment following amputation.
In Australia we are trialing a drug Auranofin to potentially stop the spread to the lungs. Given that it is being trialed at the same time in Brisbane human hospitals there must be something in its potential. Mouse models looked good. Australian
As for oncologists knowing how long a dog has you are also incorrect in this assertion. Once staging and grading has been done the best and most honest an oncologist can be is to say at this stage of the disease some dogs have survived this long and some have survived this long. My dog had a 30% chance with his cancer and I gave him that chance and I got 4.5yrs and he was one of the happiest dogs you would ever come across. Loved other dogs and had no ill effect whatsoever whilst on chemo. Make your own conculsions if you think this is a happy dog. The play ones were taken mostly while on chemo Vinca
It seems breaking this down you have two medical issues with osteosarcoma. One is the amputation itself. You only have to go to the tripawds forums to see hundreds of happy dogs loving life after amputations. Not all of them as a result of osteosarcoma. Dogs adapt and dogs can be happy on 3 legs. Once you have amputation for cancer that stops the pain once recovreed from the surgery. Amputation takes care of the pain. Ask most people on the tripawds forums if they would amputate if faced with that decision with another dog and most would absolutely do it again.
The second medical issue appears to be the chemo. Again so much misinformation out there on chemo. We have all heard countless disaster stories of chemo. I will stack money on the fact that almost every disaster you have ever heard about was not under the treatment of an oncologist. We rely and expect our local vets to have expert knowledge in this field as well. It is a specialised field with changes happening on a weekly basis and that is what we pay an oncologist for to be up to date on the latest info. If I had cancer I surely woud not want my GP to treat me. I would want and oncologist wouldnt you? Also as a point of information and learning the next time you hear a disaster story on chemo as these questions. 1. Did you have pathology done 2. Did you have radiology done 3 Did you use an oncologist. 4. Did you do all the tests that the vet recommended prior to treatment. If they cant answer yes to those questions that is precisely what has gone wrong. If people have horror stories and these points have not been done it is not the fault of the chemotherapy causiing the disaster. It is a series of differet drugs used in many combinations for the different cancers and stages and grades they are at. Would I do the chemo thing again if I was in that situation...Absolutely without blinking
I quoted my own dog Frodo as living 4.5 yrs after treatment and there are loads of stories of similar that I share on my FB. One just the other night 7yrs and treated at BVSC
As for it being free.....Well I wont go to work and not be paid. Not sure about anyone else. If it was all about money how is it I have got oncologists on my forum answering questions as volunteers for dog owners? How is it I have got them giving me their time to put the website together, check material, provide material, mentor me? I sure as hell dont pay them. Like anything if you want to get the best it costs money. Pets cost money especially vet fees. If you dont have pet insurance or cant afford a pet you dont have one. We are all our pets have and they rely on us to look after them. Part of that "looking after them" is being able to make health decisions on their behalf based on facts not stuff you read that was not done properly to start with. The other part of "looking after them" is being able to pay all costs associated with that whether it be vet fees, food, bedding and other necessary needs.