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Old 05-02-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default Toe Cancer?

About three-four weeks ago I noticed that Baxter occasionally started limping. The limping slowly increased and I noticed that the skin around his one toe nail looked red. He licked it frequently, so I tried to keep him from licking it and put antibiotic ointment on it a maybe once every few days. He is now reluctant to walk on our morning and evening walks. I have to carry him to his patch of grass to go potty. He will walk back to the house, but he will not walk away from the house. Anytime he walks in grass, he limps the whole time.

The layer of dark, tough skin that makes up the pad peeled off over the course of about two days. The affected area is still only on that one toe.

I took him to the vet on Monday, who was more worried about giving him his yearly vaccinations which were due on Tuesday, than he was about checking the paw. He barely looked at his paw and was dismissive immediately about my concerns.

He did trim the hair around the toe and clip the nails. I just don't feel like he looked at it closely. I feel like he assumed it was just an abrasion and moved on to trying to get me to consent to giving him a million vaccinations.

(I didn't want to do vaccinations because I didn't want to stress his immune system if there is an infection in his toe.)

I took pictures today and did some reading online. I read this article on Toe Cancer in dogs. I asked my father to look at the pictures and then read the article, and he suspects that this may be a potential diagnosis.

I'm going to take him again to another vet in town for a second opinion. I just moved here and I don't like this vet that we went to on Monday.

Does anyone have experience with skin/toe carcinomas in dogs? What do you guys think?

Note in the pictures that on the bottom of the pad there is a lot of discoloring. There is a dark circle surrounded by varying shades of white. There is no puss that I have seen. There does appear to be a circle of skin beside the toenail that looks as if it is a blister with no liquid in it.

There are no noticeable abrasions, he is in excellent health, and is his appropriate weight. He is fairly active and not particularly sedate.

I would appreciate any comments you guys have. I can't bare the thought of Baxter being in pain.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:24 PM   #2
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It could be a number of things.... he should be seen by a better vet asap... hard to believe this would be dismissed so easily.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:38 PM   #3
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poor guy... a different vet is definitely the first place to take him tomorrow morning. It could be a number of things and should be taken care of immediately. it looks painful.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:08 PM   #4
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Poor baby. I agree a new improved vet is in order right away. Hopefully it is nothing serious.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:52 PM   #5
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Don't jump the gun, don't do that to yourself, if you look further on the web you will find that everything you described and the picture of his toe could resemble everything from allergy to cancer of the toe...Honestly, my severely allergic Miss Mini has had toes that look just like this and worse. I've seen a number of toe conditions on my labs and rescues, some 100x worse then that. I just don't want you to surf yourself into panic.

Your pup is showing discomfort which is making you uncomfortable, call a derm or anothr vet and get him in asap. In the meantime until you get in to see them I would put a cone on him to ensure he is not licking it at all.
Often times when they come in contact with an irritant the pad of a toe or whole paw could be affected. They can lick the toe raw.

I'm sorry you and your pup are going through this, the sooner you get in the better you both will feel. Please keep us posted. I so hope everything works out quickly.

e.t.a. How about a pic of his little face?!! I'd love to see Baxter!
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Last edited by lynzy420; 05-02-2012 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:07 PM   #6
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I definitely think you need to get a second opinion... Your vet dismissed you too quickly. I hope that you can figure out what it is, but I wouldn't diagnose it yourself and freak out too much quite yet. Get another vet to take a look at it.
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:18 AM   #7
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aawww poor little baxter. i agree with others, the vet dismissed you too quickly. i would not have wanted to give vaccinations either, glad you didn't do that until you find out what's going on with his toe. i have never seen anything like this before, so i don't have any advice other than to try to find a different vet and get another opinion. especially if it is causing pain. maybe he got a sliver of something in there and it is infected?

i have personally had a couple bad experiences with vets i did not like when our regular vet was unavailable so i drive 40 miles each direction to take my babies to our regular dr. don't get too scared until you know what's going on, but do get baxter somewhere asap.

last week, i noticed my 11 year old zowi had a lump on her throat. when i googled, it came back saying thyroid cancer! she is hypothyroid and on medication for that. so i immediately freaked out, started crying and rushed her to the vet. turns out, and laugh if you want, it was an infected hair folicle! talk about relief!

and finally, welcome to yorkie talk. please keep us updated on baxter when you can we would love to hear more about him!!! praying this is nothing serious and he is all better soon!
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:46 PM   #8
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I took him to another vet this morning. The doctor immediately looked concerned and asked a ton of questions. He took my concerns seriously. They did two x-rays and a biopsy.

Baxter has cancer.

They're sending the tissue samples to a local university for a pathologist to diagnose the type of cancer cells. He said that it could be benign and they may amputate the single toe. Worst case scenario is that it is a malignant melanoma, which has a 50/50 chance of survival. The prognosis for a malignant melanoma would be around one year of life.

The x-rays revealed that the cancer has not made it's way into the bone, indicating that I caught it in its early stages.

Needless to say, I'm a basket case. Baxter is my life. I've taken every precaution to keep him as healthy as possible. We go hiking and biking together, he eats a wide variety of the absolute best foods on the market (all grain free too!). I take him to Doggie Day Camp when I have to work long hours. I've had him for I guess about six years now and I'm 26 years old.

Baxter had pretty much been left in a cage for the first year of his life. The woman who had him said they're not sure if he'd ever even walked on grass. I spent the first few years socializing him and exposing him to positive experiences. He was very afraid of and reactive to other dogs. It took him a long time to trust even me.Every weekend we went to PetSmart and worked on pairing other dogs/people with warm bites of hot dogs. Six years later he is pretty much a normal dog and he likes playing with other dogs. He is my life.

Please keep us both in your thoughts.

These are a mix of old/new pictures. Don't worry, he has a car seat.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:31 PM   #9
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I am so very sad to read this news on Baxter. Prayers being said that the Biopsy will say it is malignant. Please keep us updated on Baxter.

He sure is sweet looking boy.
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpp33 View Post
I took him to another vet this morning. The doctor immediately looked concerned and asked a ton of questions. He took my concerns seriously. They did two x-rays and a biopsy.

Baxter has cancer.

They're sending the tissue samples to a local university for a pathologist to diagnose the type of cancer cells. He said that it could be benign and they may amputate the single toe. Worst case scenario is that it is a malignant melanoma, which has a 50/50 chance of survival. The prognosis for a malignant melanoma would be around one year of life.

The x-rays revealed that the cancer has not made it's way into the bone, indicating that I caught it in its early stages.




Needless to say, I'm a basket case. Baxter is my life. I've taken every precaution to keep him as healthy as possible. We go hiking and biking together, he eats a wide variety of the absolute best foods on the market (all grain free too!). I take him to Doggie Day Camp when I have to work long hours. I've had him for I guess about six years now and I'm 26 years old.

Baxter had pretty much been left in a cage for the first year of his life. The woman who had him said they're not sure if he'd ever even walked on grass. I spent the first few years socializing him and exposing him to positive experiences. He was very afraid of and reactive to other dogs. It took him a long time to trust even me.Every weekend we went to PetSmart and worked on pairing other dogs/people with warm bites of hot dogs. Six years later he is pretty much a normal dog and he likes playing with other dogs. He is my life.

Please keep us both in your thoughts.

These are a mix of old/new pictures. Don't worry, he has a car seat.
Wow, I was so hoping it wasn't....I'm sorry. I know right now your overwhelmed with emotions that few others outside YT understand, it will take a few days to adjust to this new news. Buuuuutttttt remember, it is because you have been such a good owner that you were able to notice and take quick action. For your age thats commendable. Thanks to you your Baxter was diagnosed very early and will probably be 100% cured! I am proud of you and grateful that you are such a wonderful Yorkie owner!

Keep us posted as you go along, we are here for you. Take some time and go play some games in the arcade area, join people in the Off Topic thread, there are good reasons to be here too! Welcome to the family You (whats your name?) and Baxter!

He is a cutie!
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:34 PM   #11
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I am saddened to hear this news about Baxter..hopefully it is benign and he gets betteer soon. sending huggz and prayers for you and Baxter.

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Old 05-03-2012, 04:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynzy420 View Post
Wow, I was so hoping it wasn't....I'm sorry. I know right now your overwhelmed with emotions that few others outside YT understand, it will take a few days to adjust to this new news. Buuuuutttttt remember, it is because you have been such a good owner that you were able to notice and take quick action. For your age thats commendable. Thanks to you your Baxter was diagnosed very early and will probably be 100% cured! I am proud of you and grateful that you are such a wonderful Yorkie owner!

Keep us posted as you go along, we are here for you. Take some time and go play some games in the arcade area, join people in the Off Topic thread, there are good reasons to be here too! Welcome to the family You (whats your name?) and Baxter!

He is a cutie!

My name is Michael. Thank you so much for your comment. I know you guys understand and that understanding is exactly what I need right now.

Thank you.
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:37 PM   #13
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I'm so sorry your Baxter is faced with this disease but hopefully your persistence got him dx'd. early & he can be treated successfully. Good job, mom!!!
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:43 PM   #14
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I'm praying for this to be benign... a toe amputation shouldn't slow him down one bit. He's such a cute little guy... and looks very happy in those pics... you've done a wonderful job with him... Hugs,
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:46 PM   #15
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Sending prayers for your handsome Baxter that the biopsy will be benign. You are such a good mom for being persistent and making sure your little guy gets proper care.
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