So back in May (I think May), Bronson was limping, so I took him to the vet. Since we live in an area with a lot of ticks and a few were found on him before, the vet tested him for Lyme's disease. The test came back negative but the vet said it was probably a false negative and treated him with antibiotics like it was Lyme's. This seemed to help and he was better within a week, but his toes somehow became crooked between May and now. Now, one day last week, he woke up limping and his front leg near the joint has been swollen and hard for a few days, so we took him to the vet. The vet took X-Rays and they said that there was bone loss and the swelling was a calcium deposit, but they had no idea what it could be from, so they sent us to another animal hospital close by. The other animal hospital took more X-Rays from all angles on all four legs and paws, and they told us that his toes are luxated and that they are completely separated from the joints. These vets said that they also have never ever seen this before. They did an ultrasound and ran a bunch of tests. They said all of his organs are clear (apparently they see bony masses in dogs with liver or lung tumors). His bloodwork came back normal except for slightly elevated white blood cell counts. We also did and entire tick panel and the results came back on Thursday. It showed that he had been exposed to a tick, but really didn't show anything else. Eight hours later, when we left the vets, they gave us three medications, an anti-inflammatory, an antibiotic, and pain medications. Bronson seems to have a lot of energy and he isn't limping anymore (he wasn't even limping on the leg that has the mass) and he doesn't seem to be in pain, either. He doesn't eat much, though. If you put a steak in front of him, he'll eat it, but he refuses to eat his food unless I mix beef in it. He'll also eat treats, so I think that he's just picky. I think he may have rheumatoid arthritis or something, but I have no idea (he's also only nine months old). I hope he doesn't have bone cancer… Has anyone ever heard of this before?
I think it is time to ask your vets to get a consult from University of Penn. Something is very wrong and the longer you go treating just symptoms and not the underlying issue, the worse it could get. I will ask a friend but it worries me when they treat and don't know why.
Edited to add this:
Heard back from friend FAST… she said:
I'd take him to Dr Franczuski at VRC in Malvern 610-647-2950 he is the best ortho I have ever met
You have no idea how encouraging it is to hear this. We took our 1 year old in for a dislocated toe…apparently he has lax joints and that toe needed to be amputated, at that time they x-rayed the other paws and the other back one showed up with lytic bone. The vet said this could be infection or cancer and to amputate that as well. We thought that was extreme at the time and didn't do it. Instead we took anticbiotics to clear up the infection...5 months later we are awaiting surgery in 2 days to have it amputated and sent off for histology. He's been on antibiotics for months and the new ones have taken care of the swelling but now his lymph nodes are enlarged and he is obviously sick. We have had every test possible without amputating and no answers as to whats going on...so happy your dog is going to be fine and have hope that our boy will get the same diagnosis.