Hi! Would you help shed some light on bone cancer in dogs? We have a thirteen-year-old Rottweiler who was just diagnosed with bone cancer in her two left legs.

She is having a challenge getting up and around but still has an appetite. How do I tell if she is in too much pain? She is on Tramadol for pain, but it doesn’t appear from my end that it is helping much.

Any suggestions on how to help her with her pain? We don’t want her to suffer. She appears bright-eyed and not grumpy, just not very happy. Her nub doesn’t seem to doing too much wagging these days.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Many Blessings to you and Cesar Millan!!!

Debbie Moore Johnston

Dear Debbie,

I understand your dilemma. With cancer in two limbs, pain control is the only real help that you can give, but you want to make the right decisions about quality of life for your friend. As long as your dog seems to be enjoying her life, these are the medications I use to control long-term pain in my patients.

Neurontin is great for control of long-term pain. It is very safe even at higher doses and can be used with multiple other medications. As long as blood work allows, she should be on a NSAID such as Rimadyl or Deramax. Tramadol is great in combination with the other two drugs for short-term control of immediate pain. Morphine and butorphanol are sometimes used, but they are not my choices. I do not like the combination drugs such as Percocet, because they do not allow any flexibility of dosing.

I would also recommend that you pursue the alternative pain control modalities such as acupuncture. I hope that you can control her pain for a long time.

-Dr. Weaver

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