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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I have a 4 year old english bulldog, Uma, who is in great shape (42lbs). She has been battling a problem with her front left paw for months now. We have had her at the vet's multiple times and they keep giving us antibiotics. While Uma is on the antibiotics, she limp goes away and she is perfectly fine. As soon as we stop the pills, the limp returns. The vet has given us a cream to apply, we do daily soaks... everything! But it's not getting better and I feel aweful for Uma. Should I take her to an orthopedic vet? Is there one in Ontario or at least within 2 hours from Toronto? Has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks for any advice!
 

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Antibiotics and dips? Is there a wound or do they think she has osteomyelitis? What was the diagnosis?
There are some great ortho surgeons at the VEC in downtown Toronto AND at the University of Guelph. All you have to do is ask your vet for a referral but if you are doing dips and antibs this doesn't sound like it is an ortho issue necessarily.
What are the other symptoms? Did they do xrays?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much for your responses. There was not a wound, originally. However, the pad of her paw was quite swollen, so after a longer walk, she developed a sore, from the pads rubbing together. Also, because she is an english bulldog, most of her weight is supported by her front paws, which doesn't help.

The vet predicted that she had developed an infection through stepping on a foreign object, or something similar, and we are trying to draw it out with the soaks. As I said, when she is on antibiotics, the swelling goes away, as does the lameness. However, after the pills are finished for 2 or 3 days, it all comes back (we tried a month worth of pills and three months!). So I wonder if she still has something embedded in her foot (again, we could not find an original wound, but it could be very small). I have heard that the paw is an impossible place to keep 100% sterile, so cutting around down there makes me a bit nervous. However, if we are to have a vet do surgery on her paw, I'd rather it be one in this specific field. I do have a bootie for her, to keep it clean. But I just wanted to see if there was another alternative first.

No, they did not do xrays.

Thanks again!
 

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Has your dog been up north at all? It could be something fungal rather than bacterial...like blastomycosis (not to scare you, but blasto is serious and often missed).

If it were me Id talk to my vet about biopsy and xrays and then look at possible exploratory surgery.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks so much for your response.

No, she hasn't been up North. I will definitely contact my vet here downtown Toronto and make another appointment.

However, I did get this "orthopedic" vet recommended: http://www.caledonvet.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16&Itemid=28

Do you think a specialized vet is necessary at this point, or should I just stick with my vet who's been helping us battle this, and have her do a biopsy.

Thanks again for your suggestions. Much appreciated!
 

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I would call the specialists office and ask whether they prefer to do testing there or if there is some tests they would prefer be done by your vet before making an appt. It doesn't hurt to ask and this MAY save you having two sets done.

A lot depends on how much you trust your own vets diagnostic abilities. I trust mine.

But one of my client's vets assumed osteomyelitis in Cody the GR and treated him with pain meds and antibs when he actually had a non typical presentation of Osteosarcoma (not that I'm saying this would happen with you...) Diagnostics are a big thing and vets have to balance what they think is necessary to what is least invasive to what the clients are willing to attempt..it's a fine dance. Maybe just a second opinion from another local vet?
 
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