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My Sherman has been in and out of the vet for the past 2 years with inconclusive results. He's a large golden weighing in at 85 lbs and we strictly monitor his diet, but with his reduced activity levels managing his weight has been a family commitment. He is currently lame in his left hindlimb and now strained his right front limb. He had a fatty mass and edema in his bad hindlimb, but after a biopsy the results are not cancerous. His swelling has gone down in his hindlimb because a couple of days ago a interdigital furnacle came to a head and oozed a lot of clear fluid, but now the limb is not weight bearing. He is on NSAID and torador for inflammation and pain but his quality of life is now 80% immobile. This is a really difficult time for us and deciding what his next steps should be. The vet has recommended an orthopedic surgeon or amputation but unfortunately we cannot afford these options.

Have other senior golden owners experienced limb lameness like this? Have any non-surgical methods proven successful?

We love our Sherman dearly and he is part of our family. This is my last hope in attempting to solve what is going on with my baby.:(
 

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I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. Unfortunately, your vet is the only source of help for his problems, and you really should follow his recommendations.

I assume his foot is very, very sore, which is why he won't walk on it and probably has been the problem for quite awhile. I would ask the vet for a long course of antibiotics because the interdigital furnacle is actually an infection and it needs antibiotics. Get him on the antibiotics and give them time work, you may see improvement. Increasing his pain medication is another option you should explore with your vet.

If you need funds to help with his care, check into Care Credit. Healthcare & Medical Financing Credit Card | CareCredit

Most vets have the application at their clinic.
 

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This was our second opinion from the vet. The first vet, which is his primary, did not even recommend an orthopedic specialist. The test results conducted by the second option concluded that there was no infection because he did not have elevated white blood cells so my vet did not think that antibiotics would be of any help.

After sets of x-rays taken by both vets it does not appear that his ligaments are torn which makes the problem even worse because everything is so inconclusive. His edema has decreased in his hindlimb but it bears no weight.

My gut is wondering if steroids rather than his NSAIDS would help his joints.
 

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I'm so sorry that you and your boy are going through this. Have you had him tested for tick-borne diseases like Lyme, which can cause lameness? That would be on my list for sure.

Good luck and please keep us posted.
 

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vmrorg

My Sherman has been in and out of the vet for the past 2 years with inconclusive results. He's a large golden weighing in at 85 lbs and we strictly monitor his diet, but with his reduced activity levels managing his weight has been a family commitment. He is currently lame in his left hindlimb and now strained his right front limb. He had a fatty mass and edema in his bad hindlimb, but after a biopsy the results are not cancerous. His swelling has gone down in his hindlimb because a couple of days ago a interdigital furnacle came to a head and oozed a lot of clear fluid, but now the limb is not weight bearing. He is on NSAID and torador for inflammation and pain but his quality of life is now 80% immobile. This is a really difficult time for us and deciding what his next steps should be. The vet has recommended an orthopedic surgeon or amputation but unfortunately we cannot afford these options.

Have other senior golden owners experienced limb lameness like this? Have any non-surgical methods proven successful?

We love our Sherman dearly and he is part of our family. This is my last hope in attempting to solve what is going on with my baby.:(
Did your vet manipulate his leg? Could he have a torn ACL? My 10 year old girl had this and had to have surgery called TPLO which completely repaired her right hind leg so she could walk. She was trying to walk holding her leg up in back and hopping. I agree with the Care Credit that someone else mentioned-that is how we were able to afford her surgery.
The way our vet diagnosed that it was Smooch's ACL was by taking xrays and doing a manipulation of her leg.

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/acl-injuries-in-dogs
 

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I would also think by you mentioning torn ligaments that he tore his ACL?
Yes, ACL repair is a costly procedure but it would give him quality of life back and a few more years.

I would also recommend checking into Care credit first before doing anything drastic.
 

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KCGold
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Sorry you are having so many problems with this pup. Many of us have been their and many of us have had to make very hard decisions regarding our furry loved family members. I hope you find something or someone that can help, but if not, do what is best for him, which sometimes can only be helping him 'cross the bridge'!

God Bless
 

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I will have to respectfully disagree with your vets treatment plan for the interdigital funacle. Please read through this. I believe he should be on antibiotics for this to heal.

Overview of Interdigital Furunculosis: Interdigital Furunculosis: Merck Veterinary Manual

"...The most common cause is a deep bacterial infection. Many dog breeds (eg, Chinese Shar-Pei, Labrador Retriever, English Bulldog) are predisposed to bacterial interdigital furunculosis because of the short bristly hairs located on the webbing between the toes, prominent interdigital webbing, or both. The short shafts of hairs are easily forced backward into the hair follicles during locomotion (traumatic implantation). Hair, ie, keratin, is very inflammatory in the skin, and secondary bacterial infections are common. ..."

"...Pending culture, application of warm water compresses and topical triple antibiotic ointment or mupircin antibiotic ointment are recommended. Foot soaks in chlorhexidine solution are also helpful. Because the lesions are pyogranulomatous, it may be difficult for antibiotics to penetrate them; therefore, >8 wk of systemic antibiotic therapy may be required for lesions to completely resolve. ..."
 

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I was also thinking a torn ACL separate and apart from the furnicle issue. My other thought was whether or not one of the vets ran a full tick panel to check for TBDs. Many TBDs present with lameness.
 

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KCGold
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Well said goldlover68 not just for Sherman but all our beloved pets.
Sometimes we hesitate to say things like this. As I typed it I had tears running down my face as it pulled me back to my last Golden, Amber who we had to put down do to out of control cancer. She was 10, and was so brave and so sick....I was with her all the way, I held her head as the vet gave her the shot and I carried her body, and took her to a special place where I had prepared a place for her to rest. She had earned that with her love as only a Golden can give!

I have a girl now, Maddie, that had cancer earlier this year. She is 10, and the cancer was removed successfully we think, so far...but it too brought me close to that bridge....hopefully this time we will beat it back for a few years.....

But, thanks for the comments...they were from my heart!
 

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I'm sorry I've come to this so late, I just saw this now. I've dealt with a senior dog with decreasing mobility, but not for the same reasons you described.
You asked if anyone had success treating non-surgically and I have, but our issues were with arthritis, which is completely different from Sherman's issues.

What is the cause of all the edema in Sherman's hindlimb? Is it the furuncle? I agree with I think mylissyk said it, if it were me I would be getting Sherman some antibiotics STAT!!!!! From Merck veterinary manual online:

Interdigital furuncles, often incorrectly referred to as interdigital cysts, are painful nodular lesions located in the interdigital webs of dogs. Histologically, these lesions represent areas of nodular pyogranulomatous inflammation—they are almost never cystic. Canine interdigital palmar and plantar comedones and follicular cysts is a recognized syndrome that may be a subtype of interdigital furuncles or a separate disease.

Etiology

The most common cause is a deep bacterial infection. Many dog breeds (eg, Chinese Shar-Pei, Labrador Retriever, English Bulldog) are predisposed to bacterial interdigital furunculosis because of the short bristly hairs located on the webbing between the toes, prominent interdigital webbing, or both. The short shafts of hairs are easily forced backward into the hair follicles during locomotion (traumatic implantation).

Addendum: I had some additional thoughts about this - if the furuncle isn't causing the edema, do you know what is? Edema just means swelling or fluid in the tissues - it's usually a symptom or sign of some other problem going on, not a diagnosis in itself. Obviously getting to the correct underlying cause of the lameness is key in treatment.

I would hate to see you give up hope and Sherman be put down because he was treated incorrectly with something as simple and cost effective as antibiotics.
Can you give us a status update on what's happening?

Best wishes and prayers for you and Sherman.
 
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