Desperately Seeking advice for my Alaskan husky named Bear (8yrs) - is it cancer?
Hello, I’ve spent the last few days desperate searching on the internet about nailbed infections and melanoma /scc cancer in dogs.. while waiting for the biopsy results for my 8 year old baby Bear (shepard husky lab mix from alaska). the X-rays show clear bone deterioration in the lower phalange (his nail is broken but still in tact). But the biopsy came back negative- with diagnosis as skin tag? It makes no sense, my vet is skeptical and recommends surgery to amputate and mentioned that maybe she didn't get a sample of the tissue deep enough or close enough to the nail? He was sedated and a pretty big ordeal to do the biopsy- , I'm trying to get 2nd opinion on what to do from here since I've seen this same vet starting over a year ago when Bear first injured his nail and i noticed it was bothering him. And she's only just now (after several vet visits) appearing to be concerned...??
Although Bears toe problem has been ongoing (for over a yr) about 3 weeks ago was the first time the vet ever mentioned doing a culture on it to see what bacteria were present and to make a recommendation for antibiotics to treat it. ..THe culture showed 3 bacterias and 2 antibiotics were prescribed (which he is still taking). We resorted to the biopsy last week because i did not see any improvement on his toe infection (or maybe its cancer?:-/)
He's still taking Clavamox & Baytril to try treat (Antibiotics that were prescribed almost 3 weeks ago for the below bacteria)
But I'm wondering if he needs to be cured of the infection before going into surgery ? Also,
Also, is there someone in the bay area that you would recommend to me? I'm concerned that one of the alternate vets that shared the biopsy results with me over phone while my primary vet was OOO- recommends against surgery but my primary vet followed up today and strongly urges to amputate toe. :( I’m fine amputating— but it seems worrisome that she is so certain its cancer (even tho the X-rays showed bone deterioration but the biopsy was negative).. if it IS cancer— its an even bigger concern to me that its gone on this long with no action- is it already spread and is it too late?? :(
I’ve treid to make same day appointments with an oncologist - it seems i should prob do lung X-ray, limp node needle biopsy and a bunch of other things asap - but no one is available until next week— I called around to find a surgeon, but I don’t know who is the best person to do it? There was someone available to do the surgery (amputation on middle digit toe) this saturday but was also told her specialty was not feet— that it was in removal of lumps. So do i wait to find someone more qualified later in the week? how risky are these surgeries?
Thank you so much for any advice you may have for me. I'm desperate here.. :-/ so sorry for the long email as well..
Also: here were the conclusions from the Pathologist & Radiologist.. (which seem very inconsistent?:-/ Do i go in for surgery asap? so anxious about this all and want to do the right thing, but i also know removing his weight bearing toe (middle toe) might be a tough thing at his age (8 yrs)..
- There is mild remodeling of the distal phalanx of the right there is degenerative with mild bone lysis evident distally or the cortex is indistinct. Moderate overlying soft tissue swelling is noted. No additional abnormalities in the right front foot are seen. The left foot and both carpi are within normal limits.
1. Mild lysis and remodeling of the distal phalanx of the right front third digit with moderate overlying soft tissue swelling; differentials include pododermatitis or neoplasia such as melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma or mass cell tumor.
2. No additional abnormalities are seen.
There is a small pedunculated mass with a central core of fibromatous stroma covered by a hyperplastic squamous epithelium. There is a marked infiltrate of neutrophils, lymphocytes and plasma cells with fewer macrophages. The surface of the mass is ulcerated and hemorrhagic.
MICROSCOPIC FINDINGS: Fibromatous polyp (skin tag) with marked chronic active inflammation and ulceration
COMMENTS: The histologic findings reveal an inflamed skin tag. Skin tags are common benign incidental findings with little pathologic significance. There is no evidence of neoplasia. No infectious agents are found. I do not see any evidence of onychodystrophy.:
Even if you don't have time to respond to this lengthy email,-perhaps you can point me to a website or blog or somewhere online where i can get some opinions from others dealing with this same sort of toe problems in their pets.. or perhaps get me in touch with someone who can help me- at this point, i don’t care about the cost, I’m scared to death that my baby bear has melanoma or something very aggressive, and i would do anything to just get a diagnose so we can try to treat whatever it is.
PS. Bear is healthy, happy, normal- his toe does bother him (especially now) from time to time— its been chronically infected (for a while) he’s very active outdoors.. has an appetite for 10, (perhaps could lose a few pounds) alert and has showed NO symptoms that seem cancer like.. Im praying if it is cancer, maybe it hasn’t spread, but i can’t just sit around nemore and wait for answers from my vets..
I have an appt and am just scanning this very quickly.
I am in the Central Valley. Why don't you give UC Davis Vet School a call?
I have taken animals up,there myself. Maybe you can run this info by someone over the phone.
In the mean time, see what test results show. If you do go somewhere else, get all your records from this Vet, including x-Rays. They are your records.
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