About 2 years ago, during our daily walk, she slipped on the ice (we live in Canada). She walked home with a a bit of a limp but nothing too severe. We rested her and the limp got better but never went away completely. Within a couple of weeks we took her to our vet and had x rays done. There was no evidence of any serious problems and we were told that it was likely a soft tissue injury. With rest and Metacam it almost resolved but would flare up occasionally.
In May of 2009 we went to the park and kicked around a soccer ball with Solo for about 15 minutes. Later that evening she could barely walk. Again we took her to the vet and x rays were done. No conclusive information about the joint showed up so we continued with the rest and Metacam and things improved. Then in August of 2009 we noticed a small lump on the lateral side of her right rear leg. It was about the size of a chicken egg cut in half lengthwise. We had more x rays done and some blood work drawn. The x rays were also sent to the University of Saskatoon for further consultation. At that point we were told that it could be a form of cancer but may not be as the bone is not painful and there is no confirmation on x ray. There was a slight shadow of something on x ray but nothing conclusive. We were given the option of biopsy but were told that if it is arthritis from an injury then it could make the arthritis worse. Solo is extremely afraid of the vet’s office so given the history of injury we decided to wait and monitor the joint. We honestly did not believe that cancer was even a possiblity. We began doing leg and knee measurements twice a week and things remained relatively unchanged for a long period of time. We were able to go for 3 – 4 km walks every day and she walked with a slight limp but nothing too terrible. She remained happy and energetic. Then at the end of September/beginning of October the lump began to grow rapidly and Solo began limping more and more, within a few days she could not bear weight on her leg. We contacted our vet and she told us that it is highly suspicious for a form of cancer called synovial cell sarcoma. We had her in for examination immediately and x rays confirmed that it was a tumor. We were devastated as we did not want to lose our dog. The good news was that her lungs and lymph nodes looked clear. The only treatment option was amputation.
With the help and support of this website, friends and family; we quickly made the decision to amputate her leg. On Friday, October 9 Solo had her surgery and she is now 5 days post op and doing great! She is very quiet and extremely cuddly (more than usual). We have had so many people call and drop off all kinds of toys and treats for her. She is known as “the neighborhood dog” because she loves everyone she meets. She generally greets people by resting her head on their knees, looks up and waits for a rub of her head or tummy. All the kids love her and stop what ever they are doing to run over to her when we are out for our walks. We spent many evenings out around our fire pit this summer, Solo curled up with one of the kids. So here we are sharing our story and our pictures of our beautiful dog.
- Day of surgery – October 9, 2009
- Sleeping quietly
- Fun in the snow 5 days after surgery!