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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33288
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Our ten year old collie cross had an x-ray after developing

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Our ten year old collie cross had an x-ray after developing a limp and to our total shock we have been told she has a tumour in the bone and must have the leg amputated right away. Afterwards they will send the infected bone for analysis to see if it has spread. Is there any alternative treatment, it seems a bit extreme? Roger and Mary
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Nellie. The standard of care isn't met if we rush into amputating Nellie's limb. The next diagnostic is a chest X-ray to see if obvious metastasis is present. Bone cancer often ends up in the lungfields and if that has already happened, amputation is pointless. If no metastasis is seen, bone biopsy should be performed to clarify what type of cancer is present or if cancer is present at all. The radiographic signs of bone cancer can be confused with those of osteomyelitis (bone infection) and bone cysts.

If an aggressive cancer is found upon biopsy, the decision to amputate must be tempered by the fact that following amputation, the med***** *****fe expectancy of most patients is ~6 months. To answer your question directly, alternative therapies include radiation, chemotherapy, and bone-sparing surgeries but these therapies would be predicated upon the findings in the biopsy.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for your comprehensive reply, you have given us hope! We will go back to the vet right away and see if he is willing to follow this course of action, if not, we will be looking for another vet.

It's my pleasure. I'm going to check back with you in a week for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'll speak to you soon.

Please disregard the info request.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Dr Salkin,


We have wonderful news - Nellie does not have cancer. We returned to the vet practice and saw another vet who agreed with you and carried out the chest x-ray and a blood test which were clear and suggested we took her for a scan to save her a painful bone biopsy. The scan shows that it is not cancer but an ancient injury and she should make a full recovery, in fact she is quite well already and has stopped limping. We cannot thank you enough for your advice, you saved her life and her leg!

God bless you.


Roger and Mary (Normandy,France)

What a terrific update! Thank you for taking the time to do so.

Please disregard the info request.