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Our Lola Has A Lesion On Bone Of Her Toe

Guest burgerandfrey

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Guest burgerandfrey

After losing our two previous greys to cancer at ages eleven and seven, we hoped that Lola would be the one who would live to a ripe old age. She is only seven years old and suddenly started limping a few days ago. Our previous greys had less common forms of cancer than osteosarcoma, but I knew that a limp with no visible injury is never a good sign. We took her to the vet and they did a series of x-rays. Our vet noticed some arthritic creaking in the joints, but not a lot. When the leg x-rays did not show anything, she kept examining and probing to find the sore spot. She had of course already examined the paw and toes, but finally touched Lola's toe in such a way that made her shriek. She did another x-ray of the paw from a different angle, and unfortunately there it was... a lesion on the bone of her toe. She did chest x-rays to look for lesions in the lungs and found none. I know that does not mean the cancer hasn't already spread, but at least it means she is a good candidate for treatment.


My vet is recommending that we skip the biopsy and amputate the toe ASAP. She said that it will be difficult to biopsy, and that in her opinion it would likely just confirm the need to amputate. As aggressive as that seems, I know that Osteo is extremely aggressive and spreads quickly. A toe amputation doesn't seem nearly as difficult for the dog as a leg amputation would be, so I suppose I can find a sliver lining in that. She said that post-amputation the tumor would be sent to a lab for analysis... to find out if it is osteo, a different form of cancer, or something else. Then we would base any further treatment (like chemo) on that information.


Lola does not seem to be in much pain. She favors the other front leg, but she jumps onto and off of our sofa and bed. She runs around the yard. She goes for walks. I know with cancer a lot can change in just a matter of days. We started her on carprofen and a low dose of tramadol, but after two doses of each she actually seems worse... not wanting to finish her food and a little depressed. The carprofen might be making her sick, so I have a call in to my vet about suspending these meds until she needs them... or lowering the dosage even further.


We have been going to our vet for years, and we have had good experiences with other vets in her clinic as well. She tends to be cautious when it comes to pursuing aggressive treatments, but in this case she feels it's really the best way to go. I agree with her, but my wife is still not sure. I'm thinking that if we amputate the toe that will get rid of the pain once the toe heals. If it's not cancer, she will be fine without that toe. If it is cancer, we will know exactly what kind we are dealing with. Then we can pursue additional treatment, or at least know what we are dealing with if/when it comes back.


In the past we have spent thousands on diagnositcs and treatments (our first grey was diagnosed by MRI after all other tests failed to find a rare nerve sheath tumor), so for Lola we purchased pet insurance through HealthyPaws. I hoped we would never need it with Lola, but now I'm glad we have it. Out of the three sweet greyhounds we have had in our lives, she is the gentlest of them all. We have two young children as well (one and three). We had two greys when our three-year-old was born, and she was only one when we had to say goodbye to our boy Zeke. Our daughter has been very close to Lola, and losing Lola will be hard on her. I have my fingers crossed that the tumor is something else, or that we will get it early enough for Lola to have more years with us. I really hate the fact that this seems to be such a big problem for greyhounds. It's hard to see otherwise healthy dogs frequently taken out by something so fast and insidious. Seeing some of the positive stories reported here gives me hope, but going through this for the third time since 2009 is taking a toll on us.



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I agree with your vet. Why spend all that money on the diagnosis, when the treatment will be the same anyway. I wish you and Lola all the best for a full and speedy recovery. PS. Our son and DIL have a little doggie, named Lola, with their grey, Anita.

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
Zoom Doggies-Racing Coats for Racing Greyhounds

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I'm sorry to read of Lola's diagnosis and I agree with what has already been stated. Amputate immediately, send out for biopsy to confirm everything. Do you know yet if it's Osteo for sure? Toes are not common places for it but it does happen. When you're up to it, please join us in the Osteo thread if you have not already as there is a lot (too much) experience there and the various protocols.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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Guest burgerandfrey

Thank you all for the encouragement and for making me feel better about the amputation. My wife now agrees with me that it's the right thing to do. To answer Charlie's Dad's question: No, we do not know for sure that it is osteo. We don't even know 100% that it's cancer, but whatever it is looks bad and is causing discomfort. At least once it is analyzed in a lab, we will know what we are dealing with. Lola is feeling just fine at the moment. She even runs around the yard a bit.



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I agree with others. One of our Greyhounds had a front (outside) toe amputation a couple of years ago. It was the best possible decision for our girl, and she has recovered beautifully. Many dogs (all breeds) have very successful toe amputations, so I'm relieved to learn that your wife has agreed with your veterinarian's suggestion.


Two important tips:


1. Depending on the lesion's location, it's important to amputate high enough up on the digit joint so a stub will not touch the ground when she's standing/walking.


2. If you're not familiar with aminocaproic acid, please discuss it with your veterinarian ASAP. If she agrees it would be beneficial, ask her to call a prescrition into a pharmacy for your pick-up before surgery day. If you're not aware: >25% of Greyhounds are considered excessive bleeders. Aminocaproic acid can help prevent excessive bleeding during and after surgeries (including minor dentals with extractions).


Many vets begin Greyhounds on aminocaproic acid the day of surgery (or a day before for known bleeders) for a 5-day duration. If time allows, it's best to have a prescription called to a pharmacy several business days before surgery since the pharmacy may need to order it for you. (We have many Greyhounds in our region so our pharmacies keep it stocked.)


- Cheapest aminocaproic acid is usually liquid form from a compounding pharmacy.

(This is my preference for a one time surgery since liquid (beef flavored) tastes like yummy treat to dogs, and it's fast-acting.)


- Costco pharmacy can order tablet form (may be a little more expensive, but has a longer shelf life if needed (about one year).


If your vet has questions about aminocaproic acid for bleeding in Greyhounds, here are a couple of informative articles from OSU:


- Greyhound Bleeders: (Caution: pictures of post-operative internal bleeding in this article.) https://greyhound.osu.edu/resources/freeresources/greyhoundbleeders/index.cfm


- Aminocaproic Acid is mentioned in this article under "Treatment and Prognosis" section: https://greyhound.osu.edu/resources/freeresources/bonecancer/index.cfm


Our Greyhound's digit amputation surgery and recovery went very smoothly. She happens to be one (of three) of our excessive bleeders.


Fantastic news that your girl's lungs are clear. She sounds strong and healthy which should help her recover quickly. Positive thoughts for clean surgical margins, and for her to feel better post-op. Please let us know how it goes.


I'm very sorry for your losses of your previous two Greyhounds.







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Guest lynne893

Just wanted to extend my empathy and support for what you've been through and what you're going through now.


We are all here for you!


Good luck.

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I'm so sorry you've gotten this horrible news. It must be devastating, especially since she is so young. I know how you feel. I lost 2 to osteo, and our sweet Patsy was only 6 when we lost her to lymphoma. I agree with what the others have said. I don't think there is a need to wait for a biopsy. In retrospect, I think we waited too long before Winnie's amputation by doing the biopsy and then waiting for the results we knew were coming (even though we got lucky and she had 3 1/2 years after the amp). But she was in pain, and her leg could have broken while we waited. And since the toe amp will be less traumatic than a leg, your vet's plan seems sensible. My Nick had his middle 2 toes amputated because a bad injury that had been allowed to heal in a crippled form. It was up and down after the surgery (losing those 2 toes took away the cushioning from the other pads), but he healed and was fine. You'll get the biopsy, and proceed.


As Charlies Dad said, the osteo thread is such a great source of info and support---I hope you introduce yourself there. They can help a lot.


Please let us know how your sweet girl is doing, and what you decide. Lola and your family will be in lots of thoughts and prayers.

Nancy, Mom to Evangelina and Kiva
Missing Lacey, Patsy, Buster, my heart dog Nick, Winnie, Pollyanna, Tess, my precious Lydia, Calvin Lee, my angel butterfly Laila, and kitties Lily, Sam and Simon
My Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Catsburgandhoundtown

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I believe Maggie-Mae, Susie Collins AKA SuzieQ, had a tumor on a toe. Ohio State did a full leg amputation and Maggie-Mae beat the cancer. Just a thought, will just the toe be high enough? Would you want to consult with Dr Couto about this?


So sorry you are dealing with this.


Hugs to all


Then God sent the Greyhound to live among man and remember. And when the Day comes,

God will call the Greyhound to give Testament, and God will pass judgment on man.

(Persian Proverb)

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Sending my sympathies to you and Lola. I think it's great that her lungs are clear. This might just end with the toe and not go further. Also osteo is not very common in toes so hopefully this is something far less sinister. As far as toe amputations go, my Henry had his back, middle toe amputated when he was 11. He had surgeries for corns, (this was long before we knew about less invasive ways to treat corns). The toe subsequently developed arthritis and a chronic staff infection. It was causing Henry allot of pain and my vet said to remove it would be best. Henry recovered in a week or so, his lameness was gone and he was walking normally again. He lived to be almost 15. My only regret was that I did not listen to my vet and did the amputation sooner! I was reluctant because it seemed drastic but after seeing how much better my boy was doing after the amp. I was angry at myself for not doing it sooner.

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So sorry to hear about your Lola :( Our Maggie-Mae had osteo in her toe. It is very rare. We opted to bone biopsy the toe and then decided which route to take after the biopsy. If it came back as osteo, Dr. Couto suggested full leg amputation, if only bone infection, then toe amp. Even though the bone biopsy is painful....it was the necessary evil to decide appropriate treatment after diagnosis. It would determine the difference between toe amp and full leg amputation. I know it sounds so extreme to do full leg amp, but in the long run, it means a better chance of survival! Osteo can spread further up the leg from the toe that the tumor was on, even after toe amputation.


I know that every case is different from the next, but if we had to do it all over, we wouldn't change a thing! After leg amputation and 6 rounds of chemo, Maggie-Mae survived 5 years and 2 months!! Dr. Couto had given her a 6 month to 1 year prognosis, but he only had 2 other cases of know osteo in the toe to compare to and both were still alive at the time of Maggie's diagnosis.


Maggie-Mae lived a full and happy life after losing that leg. Unfortunately, on January 11, 2014 we had to let her go. She started developing hind end weakness in 2013 and we did everything possible to help her continue to live a good quality of life, but in the end, her body failed her. It was her spine that was the problem. She was 11 years old. We couldn't have asked for more. We were blessed with the amount of time we had with her after diagnosis. She was our miracle girl.


Whatever you choose for Lola is not wrong...you choose what you think is best for her. I can only hope and pray that if it is indeed osteo, that Lola can follow in Maggie's footsteps.


Best wishes for you and Lola.

Suzie Collins

Owner/Artist Skinny Hound Designs

Greyhound decals, magnets and signs.

Fur kids: Isabelle and Petey

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We had to have Cosmo's toe amputated due to off and on limping which could not be resolved fully through use of antibiotics and pain medication. Long story short, we sent the toe out for biopsy which ruled out osteo. Cosmo had a smooth recover and even though it was a weight bearing toe, does not appear to miss it one bit. He walked so much better two days post amputation than he had in weeks. There is a Facebook group called three toed greyhounds in case you are interested in joining a supportive page. Best of luck with your decision.

Cosmo (Fuzz Face Cosmos), Holmes (He's a Dream), Boomer (USS Baby Boomer), Ella and missing our angels Clay (Red Clay), Train (Nite Train), Trip (Bock's Teddy Bear),Larry (Bohemian Frigid) and Jimmy (Bohemian Raw)
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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest burgerandfrey

Thank you all again for the support and recommendations. Fortunately I have cautiously optimistic news to report. We had Lola's toe amputated one week ago, sent the toe to a lab for analysis, and so far the are unable to find any cancer! They still want to try a couple more samples using different stains to make sure they haven't missed anything, but the pathologist said he hasn't found anything so far. Nothing bacterial or fungal either. I'm wondering if this is something that has been there for a long time, and has slowly grown worse. Lola never has liked walking on gravel, and if this started years ago that would explain why.


As for Lola's recovery, she has been doing brilliantly! Her recovery from surgery has been smoother and more comfortable for her than I ever would have imagined. They took her bandage off today, and she will get her stitches out on Friday. Her pain has been easily managed with metacam and tramadol. In fact I have to walk her in our yard on a leash to keep her from running around and tearing out her stitches. I don't think she will miss the toe much. We have our fingers crossed that this is the end of it, but it would be nice to know the cause.


- Sean

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Glad to hear she is doing well and that nothing ugly has been found!

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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:clap Very good news!

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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