In case you didn't know....this is our pup Spencer. He is a toy rat terrier and is 7 years old. Alex and I are little bit infatuated with our dog and you might go so far as to call him a little bit spoiled.
The picture above was taken at our third vet visit in a week and a half span. Spencer might look calm here, but he is not. He HATES the vet and shakes histerically until you leave or tell him you are leaving. In January we noticed that Spencers inside back left toe was a little swollen and red, so we went in to Banfield for our 6 month check up, we asked the vet about it and she replied that it was most likely a viral infection and just to keep an eye on and that it should die down.
Well it didn't really get any worse that we noticed....until about a month ago we went to clip his toenails and noticed that his actual nail on that particular toe was about 4 times thicker than the other toenails and the toe was swollen again and red.
I decided we better take him in to the vet to have the toe looked at and hopefully get an antibiotic or something to cure it. Well we went to the vet and the vet took a fungal culture, as well as some xrays. The Xrays showed signs that the bone on that toe was being eaten away, suggesting that this is possibly a tumor and not an infection. The fungal culture came back clean, and the vet wanted to send the xrays off to a radiologist to review.
Side note -- I am NOT a fan of our vet at Banfield - Sheperd location...she is very arrogant and rude and doesn't leave you feeling like she loves your pet as much as you do.
FYI - This is what the toe looks like today....
Poor punkin...So the radiologist came back saying that he believes this is indeed a tumor, either Melanoma or Squamos Cell Carcinoma, both skin cancers. The only way to get rid of the tumor is to remove the digit (i.e. the TOE). The vet at Banfield said she would just amputate the whole foot to be on the safe side. Again...not a fan. If you can determine that the tumor is not affecting the surrounding areas, why would you remove the WHOLE foot, causing the dog to have 3 usable legs versus 4 usable legs shy of one toe!?!?!? That is like saying you have a stomach bug, so you better remove the stomach just to make sure you dont get another one.
Well, I have been planning on switching vets once our year contract is up with Banfield, so I decided this was a good time to switch and get a second opinion on Spence's toe.
We went to Erika and Mikey's vet - Dr. Wiltshire at Lakeside Animal Clinic and i was immediate impressed and MUCH more comfortable than with Dr. Okofor. Dr. Wiltshire agreed with Dr. Okofor in that Spence either had a tumor or an infection, but his approach was much more humane. He said that since amputation and sugery is pretty severe, it was worth testing for a bacterial infection just in case.
So as of right now, Spencer is on an antibiotic and we will be going back to the vet in two weeks to see if his tumor has improved at all. If not, we will be discussing amputation. The one nice thing is that unlike Dr. Okofor at Banfield, Dr. Wiltshire can perform the surgery himself. With Banfield we would have had to be sent to a specialist and go through all of this again.
Anyways...that is the update. A couple of people had asked what was going on. Pray that his toe heals up and that if we have to amputate it is just the toe and not the whole foot.