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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16179
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Altman. My boxer is eleven years old, and we know that he

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Hi Dr. Altman. My boxer is eleven years old, and we know that he has cancer in his body; particularly evident in his left hindquarters. Over the past few weeks, his left rear leg and foot have swollen very significantly. The area has pitting edema. He doesn't show signs of pain, only discomfort as he has limited use of this leg due to the swelling. Can you recommend anything that we can do to make him more comfortable and perhaps reduce his swelling? Thank you so very much!

Hello, I am afraid that the expert you have requested is not currently available. Still I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

I am very sorry to hear about Durango's situation and do have to note that this isn't uncommon for our dogs with tumors infiltrating the body's lymph drainage system (this is the system that removes the fluid leaked daily by blood vessels). In this case, if he isn't already on an anti-inflammatory (steroids or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) then we'd want to speak to his vet about this. These will help ease discomfort, reduce inflammation of the lymph system and hopefully reduce the fluid. As well, I would note that if Durango has lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes), then steroids do have a cytotoxic effect against this cancer type and can be of benefit in these situations. As well, if he is uncomfortable his vet can also add Tramadol or Gabapentin to his treatment to ease any discomfort.

Otherwise, our main treatment option in these cases is to keep them mobile (since the fluid will build more if they are inactive) and to warm compress the legs to encourage the fluid to be resorbed. For the former, if he is weak, then swimming may be an option for him since the water will hold his weight as he exercises and moves those legs. For compressing, If you do not have a warm compress at home, you can make one by filling a sock 2/3rds full of uncooked rice. This can be microwaved for a minute or so until warm. Shake it to distribute the heat (and do check its not too warm). This can be rewarmed as needed and we can compress a few times daily.

Overall, this is a side effect of cancer that can be very difficult to get under control (even in people). So, we'd want to be using the above to help reduce this for him and keep him comfortable.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Dr. B, thank you so much for your help and advice with Durango. His affected leg has also begun to ooze a clear liquid, though so far I've been unable to determine the source. Will continuing to utilize he above-mentioned steps assist in stopping this discharge?