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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Lump continues to grow on dog's leg
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Forum Posts: 26
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29 April 2020 - 4:44 pm
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Hello, 

I am new here and basically coming out of desperation. My dog Beesly has had this lump since February. It was small at first, and when she started limping we took her in to our local vet. He did x-rays and sent them to a radiologist. The radiologist said it was a fracture and muscle strain.

With rest, the lump continued to grow, so we were sent to a specialist. They did a pressure x-ray and the vet told us it is most likely a bone tumor. She also did a biopsy, but days later the results came back with no cancerous cells! She said it is probably a  bone infection because they found staph in the biopsy results. 

So she has been on antibiotics for two weeks and there has been no improvement, in fact, it has gotten bigger. Not by much, but we have been measuring it and it increased by 1 cm. 

The specialist said we should come back in and she will do more x-rays and a physical exam and possibly another bone biopsy! However, we are very frustrated that we are basically back at square one. I also do not want to put her through another biopsy because those are painful. 

Has this ever happened to anyone? Has a biopsy come back without cancer cells, but it was actually a tumor? I thought biopsies were pretty accurate (90% which is high!) What should we do next? Go to another vet? GO back to this specialist that doesn’t know what is going on?

This has been going on since February and I am just tired of seeing her in pain and hopping around. I just need some answers.

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 April 2020 - 6:10 pm
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Oh my gosh I’m so sorry for you guys, I can hear the frustration in your voice and I would feel the same way. It’s difficult when we don’t get answers, we always assume with the many diagnostics available at our disposal that we can get conclusive results. Unfortunately, sometimes, not always, but sometimes, things do work out like the way they have for poor Beesly. 

Is she on any pain medications right now? Because if she is limping, she is hurting and should get some kind of relief. 

Under perfect circumstances a biopsy does deliver good information. But science can be messy and unfortunately, sometimes we don’t get the answers we want. I don’t blame you for not wanting to put her through another biopsy. Yep, they are terribly painful.

One of the ways you can avoid that, is by asking the vet: is the bone so far beyond saving that amputation is inevitable? Because if it is, there’s no need to do the biopsy before amputation. 

What kind of specialist did you see? An oncologist? And when can she go back? I wouldn’t switch practitioners just yet, because you have a team set up to try to figure this out. If they can’t reach any conclusions soon (a week, two at most I feel), then I would consider alternatives. But in the meantime, do make sure she gets some pain meds to keep her as comfy as possible.

Hang in there. Hopefully this isn’t going to cause her to lose a leg (we’ve seen that happen before!). 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




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29 April 2020 - 6:27 pm
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So bummed you are dealing with all these frustrating  setbacks.  

Yes, biopsies  are often very painful and, unfortunately,  inconclusive  sometimes.  I certainly  understand yoir reluctance to do it again.  Sometimes amputation  is the “treatment” even if the biopsy is inconclusive  because in large part, it takes the dog’s pain away.

So something  that stood out was that the Radiologist  first identified  a fracture in the leg.  Any disc about what caused the fracture?  Was it the tumor eating the bone and causing it to break?  

I really don’t have much to offer other than, yes. I would definitely  get Beesley’s records, xrays, etc and go for another opinion.

Curious how the Vet thinks she would have gotten a staph infection.

Is Beesley  on some good pain meds for now?

Hopefully others can chime i with more help.  Hang in  there. o’kay?  This will get figured out and a treatment  plan will get your pup back to feeling like herself again.  Btw, sweet avatar picture ❤

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Virginia




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29 April 2020 - 6:29 pm
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Whole time I was typoing, Jerry was typing good advice….so ditto!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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29 April 2020 - 6:51 pm
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Thanks for those quick replies. Yes, she does have a pain medication but it’s only once a day. She just looks uncomfortable though. Maybe she needs more?

That is a really good question to ask, thank you. If amputation will get her out of this phase then we’re all for it but we want to make sure there’s nothing else that can be done.

We/they don’t know what caused the fracture. She is very active and runs quick so we assumed that the fracture happened during play. She was limping before the lump appeared. 

I will definitely keep you posted on what we decide to do and where we decide to go. 

Thanks again for the support! 

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 April 2020 - 10:56 am
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You are so welcome. What kind of pain medication? Some are better than others and once a day is probably not enough. A bone tumor pain (even a suspected one) or a fracture is awful. Once a dog shows they are limping, they are already hurting pretty good. They try so hard to hide it.

Let us know what you decide to do next, we are here for you.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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30 April 2020 - 11:42 am
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She’s on 100mg of Rimadyl.

she was on Gabapentin for a while but It didn’t seem like that one was very effective either. 

Virginia




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30 April 2020 - 1:32 pm
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Yeah, Rimadyl  is basically an anti-inflammatory.  A better heavy duty pain med needs to be figured out.for a fracture and tumor of some sort, plus the biopsy  probably  still hurts

Sometimes a combination of gabapentin and Tramadol complement each other and work very well together. You might also ask about Amanditine (waaay off on spelling) as a good pain relief. Of course,  trying to ease the pain is just a temporary fix until you find out  what’s going on.  Just so sorry you are having to go through all this and still not getting any good answers. But do ask about the amputation because, whatever it is causing this, it doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better.

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 April 2020 - 1:32 pm
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Ah. Rimadyl is an anti-inflammatory drug that works on reducing chronic inflammation because of arthritis. It does that by targeting different pain pathways than the pain that your dog is likely experiencing.

Gabapentin is for nerve pain reduction.

Bone pain is sharp and acute, and is delivered through the body using different pathways. To tame it, it often requires an opioid like Codeine, or even Fentanyl in severe situations. Using Gabapentin and Tramadol together can also be effective for treating bone pain.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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30 April 2020 - 5:42 pm
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Hello – don’t know if it helps – but my pup (Copper) also had an inconclusive bone biospy. Because my dog’s x-rays were very mild and she had some other “unusual” boney changes our doctor also chose to do a bone biospy first – and despite her core biopsies (guided by a CT scan prior to collection) going to a histopathologist who specializes in bone and doing additional stains to try and figure out exactly what was going on Cop’s results came back as “probable sacroma with rare mitosis.” So though it was cancer – they were unable to determine exacts and she was diagnosed with a “low grade sarcoma.”

Needless to say it was disappointing to have put my dog through a painful bone biospy to get inconclusive results. Her surgeon didn’t want to do a repeat biospy because it would further weaken the already questionable bone and instead advised waiting to see. It’s a bit of a long story – but Copper’s discomfort in her left hind eventually warranted amputation and her final diagnosis sadly came back as Osteosarcoma, which was a shock to both her doctor and me given the initial bone biopsy results. So yes, bone biopsy can be inaccurate in our experience! 

Anyways IMHO it never hurts to get a second opinion. However, in the meantime i’d definitely take Jerry and Sally‘s advice and ask Beesly’s current specialist for additional medications for her discomfort. Bone pain is suppose to be some of the worst pain. Copper was on both Rimadyl & Gabapentin prior to amputation and there was discussion of adding a drug called Amantadine when she developed breakthrough pain. Maybe you can ask about that? I’m hopeful for Beesly that you find answers as soon as possible (and of course – that is just an infection and you can save the leg :). 

Virginia




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30 April 2020 - 6:09 pm
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Thank you so much for sharing the background on Cooper. ❤  I think it will be valuable information for Beesley’s hoomans.  Of special note is WHY your Vet did NOT want to do a second  biopsy! 

Hugs

Sally  and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Virginia




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30 April 2020 - 6:12 pm
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PS how is the adorable Cooper doing?

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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30 April 2020 - 6:50 pm
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So we went to a new vet, for a third opinion tpday. 

This new vet said that as this point to know if it is truly cancer we would need another biopsy and take a bigger sample, but then we may as well remove it. So she is sending the xrays to an orthopedic surgeon to see if that is even a possibility. If they can just remove the lump, then that would be ideal and our first choice, but they may have to amputate. 

Since we already did the biopsy, I think the only logical thing to do is remove the lump or the leg to get an accurate picture and remove the pain from our girl.  Right?

This vet also noted the possibility of this lump being an “over -reactive” bone to the possible infection. She said, since we already did so many tests and a culture came back for a bacterial infection and the biopsy did not show cancer cells; it would most likely be a bone infection. But again, the only way we know for sure is taking out the whole lump and sending that in to get tested.

Whatever it is, we want it gone so we are waiting to hear from the orthopedic surgeon about what he can do. I would pay anything to get her better, but am wondering about cost… What do you think the range of price is?

Thanks for sharing your story about Copper! I appreciate it. How is Copper doing after all?

We did get more pain meds from this vet: Tramadol. She said we can combine that with the Rimadyl shes already taking. 

Thanks again everyone! This is super helpful to read through and also write. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 April 2020 - 7:36 pm
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I’m glad you talked to someone else and got a little more direction and soon, more input from the ortho vet. I think that’s a reasonable move. But it’s hard to comment on costs for any orthopedic procedures, because it really depends on what kind of surgery they recommend, the type of practice, and also where you live. Any idea when they might get back to you?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




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30 April 2020 - 8:03 pm
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Good for getting more input from another source.  All this has to be so hard to wrap your head around when there is so much uncertainty. 

My questions may not make any sense, but here we go.  So, if you know, did the Vet indictate a “treatment” for bone infection. or was amputation suggested as the way to “cure” the infection.

Again, if you know, the Vet suggesting a larger biopsy.was he saying that, he would start the procedure and if it would involve removing too much bone he would go ahead and amputate??.

Oh, somewhere in the site we have  a thread about costs of surgery in different areas.  Now, how to tell you how  to search on here for it I’m no help! 

We’re  here with you the whole way, okay?

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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