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Hello all, first post. Thanks for having me and thanks in advance for any help. Please take a look at the photos below. I posted this on another site as well, apologies if any of you frequent both sites.

My parents dog, Jeter, is 10 years old. In January, one day we woke up to find her (yes, Jeter is a she-dog) limping and keeping weight off of her right front paw. She was out during part of the night, so we thought she sprained her leg somehow, however the paw did not improve over the next two weeks. Now, the joint is inflamed. A couple photos:



The first visit to the vet, the dog was given some antibiotics, which did not help.

Next, the local vet took several x-rays, and determined that there are no broken bones. About this time Jeter's leg's upper joint started to swell. All you could see is in the x-rays was some infection / inflammation around the joint.

Then the vet took a biopsy, which came back negative for cancer. I asked the vet why they didn't test for other infections or problems, who said that there are $5,000 worth of different tests that can be done with different biopsys.

The vet said these joint problems can stem from doggy lung cancer, but it is rare. I asked what he advise we do at this point, and he was very vague. He said we could continue with the biopsys if we can afford it.

$5,000 is a lot of money that we don't necessarily have just to diagnose the problem, but if the problem can be diagonosed and fixed for somewhere $5k, that is doable. Otherwise, the dog is in pain and we might need to consider an (expensive) amputation anyway (?). The dog still puts no weight on her leg and seems depressed. I can't tell if it will continue to get worse.

The dog will be taken for a second opinion this week. We would like to continue with tests but we need advise regarding where to start. The dog is not yet 'old' and it is sad seeing her limp about with her incapacitated leg. If the leg is amputated, I doubt she can ever learn to walk as well as other 3-legged dogs who have been without a leg since they were puppies.

Any advise or diagnostics would be appreciated, even if it is only an amateur opinion. The vet is not helping and I basically have no idea what to do at this point. Please keep in mind that we can not realistically afford to spend $5k on diagnosis alone.

My parents live at the New Jersey shore, and I live in Brooklyn, NY, in case you have any specific vet recommendations.
 

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No advice, other than that 3 legged dogs do fine, even when they have an amputation late in life. They are usually getting around fine in about 2 weeks.
 

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Have they tried any anti-inflamatory and/or pain medications? Metacam comes to mind. I know that wouldn't be a cure, but could help her feel better in the mean time. How about trying an ultrasound to try and get a bit of a look at the soft tissue?
 

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Have you tried Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus NJ? They are pricey, but have a full compliment of testing facilities.

Paramus is about 4 miles over the GWB, down Rte4 West, to Rte17 North.
 

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I too was wondering if she'd gotten bitten by something. Hope it's nothing serious and she's back up to feeling normal soon. Keep us posted.
 
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