Usually the first sign of trouble is that the Greyhound begins to suddenly limp (in Katie's case she couldn't settle down in bed after waking up one night; her limp began a few hours later). By this time the osteo is well-advanced and has likely started spreading to other areas in the body, particularly the lungs. Depending on how early one finds it (and we thought we had detected Katie's OSA early because her humerus had quite a bit bone left that had not yet been eaten away by the tumor) an owner can be advised to amputate the limb and start chemo. Unfortunately for other owners, the way they found out their Greyhound had OSA was when the leg broke because it had been so weakened by the cancer. In these sad cases the only choice is to put the Greyhound to sleep quickly. Depending on how early the cancer is found and what treatment is rendered to the dog, one can expect the Greyhound to live for a few months to possibly a year or more.
There are exceptions to the rule, though: there are Greyhounds that have survived far, far beyond expectations. One of them is Maggie. She's survived six years post-amputation.
I had the pleasure to meet her and her owners at Dewey Beach. On a windy Thursday evening they all came by our rental and spent some time with us. I had to try and get a few photos in of her. She's a blue Greyhound (an unusual and rare color), and spent most of the time curled up in her bed that was placed in the middle of the kitchen floor. She even roached while she slept:
It is heartening to see that it is possible for a Greyhound to survive years after a limb amputation due to OSA. Seeing hounds like her, and reading of some of the discoveries that researchers have made this year, gives us owners hope that a cure for this disease will be found in the not-too-distant future.
(Top picture shot with the Nikon D600 using the 105mm VR macro; aperture-priority mode with aperture at f/4; shutter speed 1/50 second at ISO 6400; bottom picture shot using the iPhone 5.)