Anyone relate in anyway? Questions

Discussion in 'Border Collie' started by Sazzyox, Jun 24, 2024.

  1. Sazzyox

    Sazzyox New Member

    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Sarah

    Anyone relate in anyway?

    Hi guys,

    new to this forum, but I start by saying hi! We have 2 border collies, 11yr old sisters turning 12 in July, both rescue from when they were pups, they were dumped at the shelter with their siblings. (Nobody told us you should never get two sisters also , but they have loved each other). Originally we were only going to get one addition to the family but it meant leaving her sister, so we took her too!

    So one has had “epilepsy” since she was 4 years old. She’s been through the works. But still fights on. However, she is starting to lose her back legs which is awful because you know… .

    But on Friday, we had our other BC at the vets due to her constant licking of her foot the last couple of weeks, we thought it was just her soothing as she does lick a lot, anyways, she was at vets on Friday and they found a lump in her toe, however, they have said they “think” it’s cancer and judging by it, it looks to have spread. The vet also said she’s only ever seen a couple of cases like this. The same vet also wrote our other BC off ( who has epilepsy ) a few years back. But sorry for going off track, my question is, has anyone ever had this kind of thing happen with their BC? Like, had foot cancer or such like? We are going to try and get a second opinion tomorrow, she’s also still barking at nothing, walking about, eating, drinking, wagging tail, she’s not necessarily showing pain, but I’m assuming the licking is because of pain. But to the point, the vet said, it would be in her best interest to pts. Obviously we want a second opinion before we make that decision, the vet also said because of her weight (she’s a bit over weight, but from when we first got her, she was a little chubby) she wouldn’t survive anaesthetic through the operation. She said an X-ray would be around £500+. But she didn’t say she recommended it and basically wants us to just write her off. Again, sorry for off the point, but if anyone can advice, I’m not looking for medical advice, just if anyone has ever had to go through this or similar.
    Thank you in advance!
    Xox
  2. Registered users won't see this advert. Sign up for free!

  3. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

    Likes Received:
    1,296
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Toed
    Sazzyox likes this.
    Welcome.

    I've had several dogs with cancer over the years. My golden, at 13-1/2 years, had a large lump on her rump. The first vet wanted to do an aspirate, then a biopsy, and then remove it if it was cancerous - three separate procedures, two under anesthesia (and a LOT of money). The second vet said "it's got to come off regardless" and put her under and removed the lump. The stitches went from her spine to her knee joint. It was a bigger mass than the vet expected. The dog lived to 16 years old and she had a lot of great times in those couple years.

    My Moose-dog had a mole-like protusion on his lower eyelid. My current vet said it was likely cancer. She offered to refer us to a specialist, but we discussed it and decided that since it didn't seem to be bothering him and it wasn't growing much we would just leave it be for the time being. He was around 13 at the time. He died at 15 due to old age. The protusion got bigger but it wasn't bothering him as much as all the other age related issues were.

    In your case, I would definitely get a second opinion. It may be that another vet will look at it and say "I'll go in and remove what I can" and she might have a few more years. Or they might say that it is a fast growing cancer and doing the surgery won't give her enough time to be worth doing.

    Another vet may decide that her weight is not a death sentence as this vet thinks. There are some vets who think even a pound or two above ideal is a death sentence even without surgery.
  4. Tone

    Tone New Member

    Likes Received:
    47
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Toni
    Sazzyox and CaroleC like this.
    Hi,

    My son had a rotty cross he was 11 years old at time and he went through exactly the same problem but on his back foot, back and forth to the vets trying creams and whatever they offered him, it eventually erupted through licking it, so they decided to amputate the said toes , which went well. He wasn’t allowed any exercise for a few weeks and put on weight. All was looking good and then it got infected because he kept pulling the boot off and trying to get to it after the stitches came out so he had a course of antibiotics given to him yet again to help try clear it up, after a few weeks he took ill and that was it he was lying in the kitchen floor over night gone. We was all in absolute bits. I still now say the infection had travelled up his leg and through his body. But please please don’t think I’m saying that this will happen to yours ……. This is my own personal experience as the dog wouldn’t leave his boot alone. Like toedtoes says, get a second opinion as my son just took faith in what his vet told him.
  5. Chris B

    Chris B Member

    Likes Received:
    1,733
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Chris
    Sazzyox, Tone and CaroleC like this.
    Has the vet not recommended fine needle aspiration or biopsy? It always seems off to me when a vet writes a dog off without any testing

    Years ago now I had a dog with a small lump between his toes and the vet said either abcess or cancer. It turned out to be abcess which actually burst during first and second vet appointments so the planned tests never took place
  6. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

    Likes Received:
    5,141
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Carole
    Sazzyox and Tone like this.
    I would also favour a second opinion. My vet has always taken either a fine needle aspirate or, if the lump is too fibrous a biopsy, of any suspicious lumps.
  7. Sazzyox

    Sazzyox New Member

    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Sarah
    Tone, Toedtoes and CaroleC like this.

    Thank you for your reply. We have her booked in next week to a different vet. The vet pretty much wrote her off and that's what is irritating me but we're back up there tomorrow with our other collie so I will be bringing up why she never mentioned anything about taking tests etc but I think what makes it worse is when she said "she thinks" it's cancer without even offering any of the tests. But thank you. Shes absolutely fine at the minute. It's not bothering her. She still gets all excited when her Mam and dad come home (my parents). Shes still getting excited when she gets a dental stix which it just makes no sense why the vet thinks that it's best to pts now. She is however overweight by quite a bit even though she's always been fed the same as her sister. But when the vet put them on hills diet, it seems she got bigger. It's been a whirlwind with these two. But 11 years. If it is cancer and the other vet can tell us a bit more, then of course we would do the right thing by her. But at the minute, she's still doing everything normal if that makes sense.
  8. Sazzyox

    Sazzyox New Member

    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Sarah
    Tone, Toedtoes and CaroleC like this.
    Hi! Thank you for your reply, I understand what you're saying and do not worry at all, I know what you mean and don't mean it would happen to ours. But it's just we've never had a dog that's had something like this so getting others people's experiences is something that can help us get an idea on what we could face potentially, but not if that makes sense. So I appreciate your help. Shes booked in another vet next week so we will see what they say. They did mention amputation but they said for a dog her age and weight, it isn't worth it. I'm sorry about your loss. I'm dreading the day for our two. We've had two previous dogs before but they were 11 years ago and about 15 before that. But we know, if the second vet says, then of course, we will have to put something in motion so she doesn't suffer. But she's still acting like a big puppy at the minute. And the tail wagging. No sad eyes. So she makes it hard to know whether she's hurting. Thank you again.
  9. Sazzyox

    Sazzyox New Member

    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Sarah
    CaroleC likes this.
    Hi, see they never offered any of them. They said they could do an X-ray but she may not come out of anesthesia if they did? Shes going to see another vet so we will see what happens. Thank you for the reply!
  10. Sazzyox

    Sazzyox New Member

    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Sarah
    Chris B, Tone and CaroleC like this.
    Hi, They never mentioned any of them. They mentioned an X-ray? And that it would cost about £500+ on her foot however they don't think she'd come out of anesthesia. Thank you for your reply. We're up that vets tomorrow with our our collie so we will mention to her and see what she says but hopefully the other vet will be able to give us a bit more help. Thank you again!
  11. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

    Likes Received:
    1,296
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Toed
    Sazzyox, CaroleC and Tone like this.
    Let's see what the new vet thinks.

    I'm not really sold on doing aspirates - when they wanted to do one on my golden they said "but 90% of the time we can't tell from that so we'll need to do a biopsy". If they know they have to do a biopsy to get an answer, charging you for an aspirate too seems to me a money grab.

    HOWEVER, in your situation, where any procedure involving anethesia is a major risk, an aspirate could give you enough info to make decisions.

    Has anyone every tested her for thyroid issues? If she's eating the same as your other dog and very overweight, then it could easily be something other than "she needs to go on a diet". You might mention that with the new vet. If they can find a reason for her weight, then you could potentially resolve that and have her lose weight so she could get through a surgery.
  12. Tone

    Tone New Member

    Likes Received:
    47
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Toni
    Sazzyox and CaroleC like this.
    Well like I’ve said in a previous post on here, my old springer was 12 when he had testicular cancer and was overweight but had them removed and I was always told to ask for IV fluids through the op to help them get over the op faster and that gave me extra time with him and even when he had some of his teeth out after that due to age I ask for it then and at 13/14 years old he came round absolutely fine. It’s was an ex vet nurse that told me to go for the extra fluids to help him and she was right. He was going into 15 by the time I lost him. So I was happy to have that little extra time to look after him.
  13. Malka

    Malka Member

    Likes Received:
    7,889
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Juli
    Is the £500+ just for an X-ray on her foot? I am not sure I understand what anaesthesia has to do with an X-ray though, as a dog does not require an anaesthetic for a foot X-ray.
  14. Sazzyox

    Sazzyox New Member

    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Sarah
    Hi, we asked about thyroid tests years ago but they didn't seem too concerned. Which obviously now it's a concern to them. We were back at the same vets yesterday with our other collie and it wasn't the same vet as we had the week before with Millie. So I asked her what her thoughts were and mentioned a thin needle aspirate and because she hadn't physically seen it, she couldn't say however she did say that if the vet that seen Millie thought it would be worth it, she would have suggested it. So I showed her the photo I took and mentioned she hadn't licked the foot all week, and she said that would be a sign that it isn't causing her pain and the infections not irritating her but if she starts again, this vet would be more than happy to have her booked in and looked over. And be more than happy to prescribe more pain killers. But of course it doesn't really give us much to go off. But this vet also said that given Millie's age more than her weight, it wouldn't be worth risking. So it's kind of like one said one thing and the other said the other. She did say that the previous vet did say she personally would put her to sleep however she didn't mean that we had to do it there but why would you say the best thing is to put her to sleep without knowing for certain what it is. I mean I'm not a vet and of course they could be right but she never said 100% she thinks it's cancer, but they're making it harder by not giving us much option. I mean we could put her through the surgery and the toe removal, but if something went wrong and she wouldn't wake up, then we probably would feel worse than what we would if we pts? But she's still going mad for things, still running for the door, still barking at nothing, and wagging her tail. And I know animals are so good at hiding pain. But surely if it was irritating her, she wouldn't want to walk on it? And she'd be constantly licking or even just licking it a lot? We're going to wait a few days then take her to the other surgery but keeping a close eye on her movements. They make things so hard to decide. But again. They are both still so happy so what are we supposed to do. !!

    Attached Files:

  15. Sazzyox

    Sazzyox New Member

    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Sarah
    Yeah it was £540, we asked yesterday when we had her sister in. They said she would have to be under anaesthetic because they can't actually go in with them and that's why she would have to be sedated. So she wouldn't move about. The vet we seen yesterday with her sister said that they wouldn't recommend the biopsy. It was an option, but given the circumstances, she would have to still be sedated. We will see what the other surgery says. Thank you for your help.
  16. Sazzyox

    Sazzyox New Member

    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Sarah
    Tone likes this.
    Missy (our b&w who has epilepsy, she also outlived the one of the vets predictions. She said she would only possibly live until 8/9 with epilepsy) and Millie (our red), which is the one causing all the drama at the minute with her poorly little foot. !! But we love them so much and will do everything possible to help them. They really do have our lives ❤️
    PXL_20240628_124705158.jpg
  17. Malka

    Malka Member

    Likes Received:
    7,889
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Juli
    Tone and Toedtoes like this.
    On the two occasions I had to have a dog X-rayed [I do not remember why as it was a few years back] there was no question about her having to have a general anaesthetic. I put on a lead apron and stayed with her to hold her still while the X-ray was taken. And it did not cost anywhere near the amount you have been quoted, but then my vet, who owns the practice and is not part of a large group, does not over-charge for anything.

    Just out of curiosity, what medication is your Missy on? My previous girl had severe Idiopathic Epilepsy and was on Phenobarbitol, 65mg TID.
  18. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

    Likes Received:
    5,141
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Carole
    Tone, Toedtoes and Malka like this.
    I don't like to query what someone else's vet has done. I can only give my own experience.
    My Tweed was around 12 when she had her tail amputated. She had been diagnosed with a Grade 4 heart murmur, but under drug treatment this did fall to a Grade 2 - 3. There were no issues with her anaesthesia. She had to 'go under' again a few days later due to chewing her stump!
    I have had several elderly dogs x-rayed. To the best of my knowledge these were done under sedation rather than full anaesthesia. I feel that £500 must include more than just an x-ray - maybe sampling and lab fees too?
  19. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

    Likes Received:
    1,296
    Gender:
    Female
    Name:
    Toed
    CaroleC and Malka like this.
    First, this new vet at the same practice was probably subbing for a holiday or such. In that case, they will be very careful about what they say in regards to the other vet's diagnosis. I honestly wouldn't put too much into what they say in regards to "what do you think about our Millie's diagnosis/treatment" during a visit for Missy. It's like asking an employee if their boss screwed up - the answer will have more to do with their relationship than the facts.

    Your best bet there is to see a vet at a different practice for that second opinion.

    If the second opinion agrees with the basic points from your regular vet: it's most likely cancer, surgery isn't an option, tests are unnecessary costs at this point, and euthanasia when quality of life is gone; then I would suggest going back to your regular vet and just having a discussion. Let them know that you felt blown off by their attitude. My Mom's vet had a lousy bedside manner (but he was an amazing vet) - she would tell him "Millie didn't like your answer. She says she's not ready to die and wants you to do something.". That was enough for him to remember his bedside manner and explain things better. It didn't necessarily change his recommendation, but he put more effort into explaining WHY that was his recommendation.

    The second opinion may suggest doing some tests but agree with the overall opinion of your regular vet. In that case, you'll want to consider if doing the tests is in the best interests of Millie or simply to appease your need to "do something". An aspirate does not require anesthesia, a biopsy does. If you are going to do a biopsy, then it is often easier to just remove the lump in full at that time rather than do two surgeries. But this cancer may not be a mass but in the bone and then an aspirate isn't possible and the only treatment is amputation and that may not be worth the risk or cost at her age. An xray usually only requires a sedative, but the vet may believe that even a sedative is too risky due to age/weight.

    When my vet offers me testing options, I always stop and say "OK. So if we do this test and it comes back positive, what can be done? Is there a treatment for this?" Sometimes, her answer is "No. There really isn't anything that can be done beyond what we are already doing." If the test is simple like a blood test, then it is usually worth doing anyway so we know what to expect. If it will be an expensive and/or invasive test, then we often agree to continue with what we are doing and let it run its course without adding to the cost and/or stress of the animal.
  20. cooperdog

    cooperdog New Member

    Likes Received:
    1
    Name:
    Jez
    that's rough, definitely get a second opinion. vets can be wrong sometimes.

Share This Page