The amazing story of the stoic American bulldog Mastiff named Kashus Woodside started 10 years ago. I saw his picture online with his littermates needing a furever home; however he was, tragically, already spoken for – he was going to be a service dog. The other pups that were still left had already been claimed and were awaiting pick up. As fate would have it, later that same day they called back and said that he was not a good fit as he was afraid of the wheelchair. So, I rushed back and took my baby home! During the next few weeks, that turned into months, and then years, I never fathomed he would save me as much as I saved him, and couldn’t imagine a better protector and friend through good times and bad.
The day we got the diagnoses of Osteosarcoma was the day the clock on our time together truly started. Kashus was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (OS) when he was 10, on top of other ailments. OS is a fast and very aggressive form of bone cancer. By the time you notice any symptoms it has usually metastasized to the lungs or other organs giving most animals a very poor prognosis even with aggressive treatment. I wrestled the idea of treating holistically and heavy pain management versus amputation. Amputation is not a cure, but a better option for pain control. There is no right or wrong decision with this disease, but one thing is certain, time is not on your side.
During this time of contemplating amputation and whether or not I could afford it, a mutual friend ran into KarmaSue volunteer in her store. KarmaSue specializes in education, counseling, and financial support of Coloradan families enduring companion animal cancer. Desperately, I reached out to KarmaSue the day I got the referral. They have been amazing! They were so easy to work with, their communication is outstanding, and if you ever find yourself needing someone who won’t leave you hanging during your time of need, you can count on KarmaSue.
We ended up going the amputation route. Our decision to amputate was due to uncontrollable pain. He would wake up and scream, he could hardly walk, his appetite had decreased, and his energy was as if he was already dead. Kashus, being such a large dog, came into a few postoperative problems, which resulted in blood loss as well as three different types of infection that required multiple hospital visits and additional surgeries.
As of today (7/19/2018), Kashus is three months post amputation and is still free from metastasis in his lungs! Thank you KarmaSue for helping during this rocky part of our life. You will always be considered family to us!
Written by Ally Woodside