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New Owner - Limping, Then Vet Visit, Then Talk Of Bone Cancer


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Hi,

 

We are new first time adopters of a beautiful female grey (6 yrs old). We've had her just six weeks and she is wonderful. She started limping 3-4 days ago. She's very energetic and loves doing zoomies and sprints in the back yard, and after one of these sessions the limping started. Today, we took her to the vet for the first time and he identified the pain in her back left hip. We have her on anti-inflamatories, but he said if it doesn't improve in 3-4 days we need to do x-rays to look for bone cancer. We are obviously very worried and a bit freaked out having only had her six weeks. Does anyone have insight or advice for brand new owners on this topic?

 

Thanks so much...

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It's not at all impossible but it would be somewhat unusual for a dog that young to have osteosarcoma. But because it is something we greyhound owners all fear, it's never a bad idea to get x-rays done for a limp that doesn't resolve within a few days or with anti-inflammatories. I will tell you we went through the same thing with Sweep at the same age, and her problem turned out to be an old, undocumented injury that gradually started bothering her as she aged, especially after zoomie sessions. It took several months of tests, x-rays, treatments, and a fair bit of panic and money to arrive at that diagnosis, but she's doing great 3 years later despite having some arthritis at the site. Hopefully your girl's issue is a simple soft tissue injury that will respond well to meds and a couple of weeks of restricted activity. Try not to worry too much (and don't get too far into the weeds researching osteo here!), and please keep us posted. :goodluck

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Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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The X-Ray is to look for injuries or anything else that may show up on an x-ray. Rocket had a limp off and on for years and we did everything from multiple x-rays to consultations with Dr. Cuoto with nothing remarkable noted on any of the x-rays other than an old, healed racing injury. Don't get too upset. Bone cancer (usually osteosarcoma) is the worst case scenario. I'm not sure why your vet started with that as the possibility.

 

If you end up needing a second opinion on the x-rays, Dr Cuoto is very quick to respond and charges a minimal fee for the consult. It costs less if you join the Greyhound Health Initiative, and is worth the peace of mind for the accurate diagnosis that his consultations bring.

 

Edited to add - like Sweep's racing injury above, Rocket's was also undocumented prior to the limp appearing.

Edited by Time4ANap
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Always missing my boy Hi Noon Rocket and Kate Miss Kate. The home of Petunia, MW Neptunia

 

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Since you can identify a specific incident after which the limping began, I would hope it's just a soft tissue injury - strain or sprain - that will get better with rest and anti inflammatories.

 

It's a big leap from there to bone cancer, and I too wonder why your vet went there so quickly. Yes, it's a possibility - all large breed dogs are at risk - but she's young and you do have an event you can point to.

 

I won't say not to worry because of course you will! But try to think of it as a *little* worry and not a HUGE worry!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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have you thoroughly checked the paws for corns? do some research, both google pics and here. not all corns are big, some are small and sensitive dogs may react to them. also, check for foreign objects. let's hope for arthritis or corns. some vets are very reactive, i personally look for someone low keyed.

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I agree with all of the above. An old soft tissue injury can have a flare up from running or zooming around. In addition to looking for corns on the pad, you could check between the toes. Our Zeke would get small cysts or infections that caused him to limp. Antibiotics took care of the issues. A limp can have so many different causes that respond well to treatment. Good luck with your new girl. Please keep us posted on how she is doing.

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Hobbes - April 2, 1994 to April 9, 2008-----Tasha - May 23, 2000 to March 31, 2013

Fiona - Aug 29, 2001 to May 5, 2014-----Bailey - March 22, 2001 to Jan 20, 2015

Zeke - June 1, 2004 - Jan 26, 2016----Callie - July 14, 2006 to July 27, 2019

Forever in my heart: Chooch, Molly, Dylan & Lucy

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Its much, much more likely she just tweaked something. We all freak out every time they limp. Anti inflammatories and REST. So much rest that she makes you crazy. In the crate if you need to. X-rays are great for reassurance. If you dont already have it, doggie health insurance is your friend.

 

Wine for the humans helps a ton.

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You should consider other causes besides osteo...I know it is scary but consider this: our 9 year old girl, Cooper, just had an exam with blood tests and she has had a slight and periodic but not constant limp for a couple of weeks. Coop is a digger and a runner in the yard so I was not too concerned, even having had 2 other greys who we lost to osteo. I am determined to be optimistic. Coming out of left field though, was the lyme antigen reading..Last blood work was in 2017 and nothing disturbing popped up. We are in NJ which the vet told us is part of the "lyme trifecta.". We are starting doxycycline, 100mg, 1.5 tabs 2 x daily with instructions to use for a month (90 tabs total,) Will also be starting Rimadyl .I am not sure if this labwork means she has lyme or is in danger of developing it. Can someone clarify, please.

 

This, after faithful use of the Seresto collar for the last 3 years. Does it not prevent lyme???

Edited by charbess
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It's not at all impossible but it would be somewhat unusual for a dog that young to have osteosarcoma. But because it is something we greyhound owners all fear, it's never a bad idea to get x-rays done for a limp that doesn't resolve within a few days or with anti-inflammatories. I will tell you we went through the same thing with Sweep at the same age, and her problem turned out to be an old, undocumented injury that gradually started bothering her as she aged, especially after zoomie sessions. It took several months of tests, x-rays, treatments, and a fair bit of panic and money to arrive at that diagnosis, but she's doing great 3 years later despite having some arthritis at the site. Hopefully your girl's issue is a simple soft tissue injury that will respond well to meds and a couple of weeks of restricted activity. Try not to worry too much (and don't get too far into the weeds researching osteo here!), and please keep us posted. :goodluck

if the injury was "undocumented" how did you find out about it?

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if the injury was "undocumented" how did you find out about it?

 

I guess we can't say with 100% certainty that it was an old racing injury, but the toes on her left foot have always been noticeably twisted, so *something* happened before we adopted her. The board-certified ortho specialist and the physical therapist both thought her symptoms were consistent with tenosynovitis although nothing showed up on x-ray at that point and we opted not to do an MRI. There's also a monthlong gap in her racing career that Dick felt could be indicative of an injury and rest period. X-rays from the past month do show arthritis at the site now.

 

Best wishes with Cooper! I hope there's nothing sinister going on.

Edited by ramonaghan

17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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Update on Arrow: She is doing great! Responded to the anti-inflammatories. Now she is off them, the limp is totally gone and she seems very healthy. Very relieved! Probably just a sprain.

 

Back to a normal walk schedule - which brings me to a perhaps slightly off-topic subject. The freezing/statue-ing is back with a vengeance! We've now had her for almost two months. We were hoping for the freezing to be improving by now, but it almost seems to be getting worse. We are feeling a bit disheartened at the moment. We love her so much and everything else is so great, but the walks have become very tedious and frustrating. We've spent probably too much time theorizing as to why it's happening. One thing we do know is that she is very social and always wants to be around new people and other dogs. Any time we see a new dog or person across or down the street she is either stuck staring at them or desperate to change directions and get to them. Once she meets them she loses interest in a minute or two. We are so hoping to enjoy normal walks. We do know that it's much better with both of us (with just one walker it's almost impossible). Any words of insight or encouragement?

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So glad she is all better! :yay

 

As far as the freezing on walks, have you tried carrying treats with you? (Assuming she's food motivated.) Sweep is terrible about stopping to sniff on our walks, so I always carry a baggie of treats with me and make a little game of it. I throw a treat several feet up the sidewalk and that generally gets her moving again, or I hold it between my fingers where she can see it and she's usually completely fixated on me instead of anything else (to the point that she'll ignore where she's walking and trip on curbs :lol). These are steak treats she only gets on walks, so they're very high-value to her.

 

Another idea: Do you have a dog-owning friend or neighbor who could join you for a few walks? Or even a fellow greyhound owner from your adoption group? Maybe another dog to "show her how it's done" would do the trick.

17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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  • 1 month later...

Update to Cooper's issue...unfortunately, Coop's issue was osteo and not lyme. She is with the angels now. Multiple vet visits from Jan. 10 with a diagnosis Feb. 8 and immediate euthanasia. One of the worst days of our lives.

 

I'm so sorry, especially after you've already lost two to that awful disease. Nine is far too young. :brokenheart Rest well, Cooper.

17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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I'm so sorry, especially after you've already lost two to that awful disease. Nine is far too young. :brokenheart Rest well, Cooper.

 

Thank you...indeed, 9 is far too young for this monster and my guard was down, I really thought it was soft tissue because she was her normal happy self who was happy to go for long walks and didn't appear "off" in any way.

f_yellow I am so sorry, it is one of the worst things you will ever have to do.

Thank you.

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Update to Cooper's issue...unfortunately, Coop's issue was osteo and not lyme. She is with the angels now. Multiple vet visits from Jan. 10 with a diagnosis Feb. 8 and immediate euthanasia. One of the worst days of our lives.

I'm so very sorry.

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Xavi the galgo and Allen the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09.

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I'm so sorry for your loss of Cooper. Rest well, good girl.

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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I am so very sorry.

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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Very sad to hear of your loss of Cooper. Rest easy sweetie.

Mom to Ranger (PB's Long Ranger), Esso (Kiowa Stay Over) and Cookie the rattie mix

Missing Kahn (Gil's Khan) 10-29-03 - 11-7-16  Belle (Regall Belooow) 8-9-07 - 3-12-17  Star (Greyt Star) 1-19-07 - 3-13-2020  Pitch (Emerald Pitch) 4-1-08 - 6-3-2020

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