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Dr. Christian K.
Dr. Christian K., Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10146
Experience:  12 year of veterinary experience in surgery, medicine and behavior
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Our 13-year old Rottweilers front leg is swollen and slightly

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Our 13-year old Rottweiler's front leg is swollen and slightly warm to the touch. We thought maybe he injured his leg somehow and that it would get better over time. (At his age, he is not very active.) The firm swelling started at the joint a couple months ago and has progressed the past few days to his foot. He is limping, and it's getting increasingly difficult for him to put weight on it.

Dr. Christian K. :

Hello. This is Dr. Christian.

Dr. Christian K. :

How is he doing otherwise? Eating, drinking, weight, etc.

Customer:

He seems fine otherwise, eating, drinking, no loss of weight. He does have some lumps that he has had for years. Still wags his tail, is very alert, can see and hear well.

Dr. Christian K. :

Okay. Thank you for the information. There are not a whole lot of things that can cause the symptoms you've described. The swelling you are seeing in the foot is just a continuation of the problem higher up on the leg. One possibility is infection but that would be very unlikely since that typically would cause fevers, etc. or would have improved in this time period. Some fungal infections of the bone might be possible though. Unfortunately, the highest probability is bone cancer, more specifically, osteosarcoma. It is very common in older, big breed dogs (Rottweilers especially) and presents with these symptoms. A swelling in the area of a bone that progress fairly quickly and starts to cause bone pain and limping. As the situation worsens and the bone gets weaker, it may even break with something as simple as jumping off a couch. Unfortunately, osteosarcoma is a very aggressive tumor and when the swelling is first seen it has spread to other parts of the body already (such as liver or lungs). Treatment typically involves amputation and chemotherapy but even that doesn't cure the cancer, only controls it temporarily. I hope I am wrong about the cancer but it is best to have him seen by your vet. X-rays will most likely be recommended and possibly blood work as well.

Customer:

Thank you very much for your diagnosis. We feared it was not going to be hopeful news, but he has had a long and happy life.

Dr. Christian K. :

I'm sorry. I hope I'm wrong. I truly do.

Dr. Christian K. :

You're welcome.

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