Trusting your instincts

Last week Dan took Molly to the vet because she limps, badly, quite often. She doesn’t limp all the time but several times a week she has a heavy limp on her front leg. This has been going on for over a year

We took her to our regular vet where she saw an orthopedic doctor for the first time. He said he thought it was her elbow, gave us pain pills and said we could get her x-rayed but it probably wouldn’t show anything anyway. for $150.00 we got no answers to Molly’s limp.


I had asked our regular vet about cancer, specifically thinking bone cancer. She told us that dogs under 5 don’t get cancer. She has never seen it.

I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the answers or lack of that we got from our vet. I don’t need to hear what I want to hear, trust me I want to hear she can’t have cancer,  but it has to make sense. Telling me dogs under 5 years old don’t get cancer doesn’t make sense to me. Children get cancer, why can’t puppies?

It also didn’t make sense to me not to x-ray her. It may not show anything, but what if it does? If she has arthritis it would show that, right?  Or a break, torn ligament etc….

So, I went on my gut instinct and brought her to another vet today. The first thing this vet said was she was checking for cancer.

Really? I told her what my last vet said and the assistant said her dog has cancer. It can happen. No kidding?

Well, the vet today does not believe Molly has cancer because she would limp all the time, not just sometimes. She said she would also be able to feel it and Molly would be in great pain. She limps but never holds her leg up in pain. She is sore for sure, but not hurting.

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That makes sense to me. I can buy that.

She also suggested we do x-rays so we an see what is going on. She thinks Molly has a swollen tendon in her toe because it felt swollen to her. Dan and I kept wondering if her nails were too long because she seems to walk better on soft surfaces rather than the hardwood floors. A swollen tendon in her toe makes sense.

She also wonders if she is having an issue with her shoulder, which Dan has been saying from day one. Not her elbow, as the other vet suspected.

The vet isn’t worried about Molly but would like to see what, if anything, is going on. She did say we may not see a thing but at least we will know what it isn’t. She said we can still do something for her even if the x-ray comes back negative and she hopes they do.

All of this made sense to me and we will go forward with x-rays. I feel better bringing her today (I had doubts that I was being silly) but I couldn’t just take a diagnosis that logically didn’t sit with me. I have been happy with the previous vet and it was hard to call and explain I was getting a second opinion, could they please fax her files?



When things don’t feel right go with your gut. If something doesn’t make sense or you don’t understand ask or get another opinion. It isn’t silly. Molly is our girl and leaving her leg unattended could cause her other issues in the long run. Plus, she should be able to run and play without us yelling at her to stop. She’s a dog.

Lesson of the day: Trust your gut

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