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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone had any experience with this, or know of any good articles on it? I've done the google searches and read what I could find, but thought maybe someone on here would have more information.

My younger shepherd has a lump on her lower leg that may be calcinosis. When I had her examined, the vet didn't know what the lump was and an x-ray is pending (they were in the process of buying a new x-ray machine). In the meantime, I'm trying to research so that I can show up with information (kind of sad when WE have to educate our vets!).

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Bumping this up ..

It may be that no one here knows anything about this, but it's something that we GSD people should probably be aware of. 50% of the cases are GSD's or GSD mixes. It's considered uncommon but not rare in dogs. It can be tied with some serious diseases like renal failure and has symptoms that range from a simple lump to weeping sores on the pads. The lumps can sometimes involved joints or the spine. It may or may not be genetic (there are varying views on that).

So if anyone has heard of this or dealt with it, please add your experience so that we can have a good idea of what it can involve. If my girl is diagnosed with this, I'll post what info I can.

Melanie and the gang
 

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Melanie, our previous GSD had it at around age 1. A lump grew on his front leg. It came on quickly (within days) and grew to the size of an orange. We brought him to the vet and shortly after he had it removed. The lump was sent to a lab and identified as Calcinosis circumscripta.

Till I saw your post I completely forgot he had it. It was such a long time ago. Vet said it happens sometimes, especially in GSDs but is benign. For the surgery he stayed overnight - I don't remember much - but he had no problems after and no new growths. He was healthy otherwise.

I am wishing you and your GSD best of luck!!
 

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Jean, I'll have to upload some photos of the lump. It's about golf-ball size and is on the long bones of her ankle (not in the joint). It has been there the whole time I've had her (as far as I can tell) but I didn't notice it initially as she had the typical knobby shepherd legs and was always in motion. And of course it started small and grew with her.

Fee, it's good to hear that your dog recovered so fully from it! I've read that surgery for the single lumps is usually pretty successful. And on occasion a lump will just reduce on its own (something I've been hoping for .. *L*).

Barb, that's one of the articles I have printed off to take to my vet (the Lanting one). I spent several hours googling and trying to find information. I couldn't find any that had a lump in the same area as my girl, and many of the cases were MUCH worse than hers. I'm hoping for the best!

I was truly surprised to hear how prevalent this is in the GSD, because I have never seen it before (even as a vet tech).

Melanie and the gang
 

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I had never heard of it either, funny thing though is that I have a brother that has Gout!
 

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From what I gather, some call this "canine gout" but in all reality it's different from actual gout. Gout is caused by purine crystals (I think that's what it is) in the joints. I know a guy who has flare-ups of this and it's miserably painful. But the calcinosis is like a calcium deposit but it shows up in different forms. Some dogs get it on their tongues, some get it on their pads, some just get lumps like Tazer.

I'll come back and post whatever the vet tells me when I get the x-ray done. I'm hoping to take a picture of the x-ray (I thought they were getting a digital x-ray machine but they didn't).

Melanie
 

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Recently removed mass

My dog was just operated from one of these masses a couple of weeks ago. It can supposedly be related to adrenal problems but in my case I think this was due to the fact that she was administered an excessive amount of corticosteroids to treat her allergies (although I hadn't given her any the last couple of years as I was told by a second veterinary that these could lead to renal and kidney failure).

The fact is that she developed the lump when she was approximately one year old and was told that is was probably just a callus due to sleeping on hard floors (she never sleeps in her beds during the summer season). The mass seem to be quite stable until a few months ago when it did seem slightly more inflamed, probably due to an allergic bout she was having. The veterinary recommended its removal for biopsy as she had no idea what it could be so I went ahead with the procedure. Personally, had I known that this was benign I would not have put the dog through the procedure as it did not bother her (my dog) whatsoever. The procedure itself is quick and doesn't require a very deep anesthetic (we picked her up 3 hours after the surgery and all was fine), the problem comes with the healing process. As this was on the side of her rear leg it was a very difficult wound to heal as she constantly steps and jumps on that foot. After the surgery I was told that the stitches were very tense due to the lack of skin in that area (as the skin that covers the paws is very thin) and that they could break. Two days later part of the wound was necrosed due to the tightness of said sutures so daily trips to the vet were required so that she could personally handle the wound (which is a big ordeal for my extremely anxious and vet-hating dog). A full week later of daily treatment, antibiotics, bandaging and rest the vet decided to remove the stitches as they were sticking into the wound and applied staples to the wound (which hurt the dog quite a bit as this was applied on a fresh wound with no type of anesthetic). Once again, due to the difficulty of the area the staples were not very well placed and the dog was in pain and limping as one of them was lodged into part of her pads. So off we went again to take these out. Two weeks have gone by and she still has a pretty ugly open wound with no type of suture or staples to close it as well as a slightly necrosed part that will have to be debrided some way or another...I am hoping it will not open if she jumps or something (she does not go on walks and is supervised almost 24/7 but she is the jumping-excited type when saying hi).

Unless the mass is excessive and bothers your dog I would personally not recommend taking it out due to the difficulty of the area. If your vet is very sure this is a calcinosis I would think there is no need to have your dog go through 2-3 weeks of possibly having an open wound and not being able to walk or enjoy him/herself.

I will try to upload a couple of pictures of the before and the current state of the wound.

*Sorry if I had any gramatical mistakes, I'm not native :)
 

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Riley has a lump on his front right elbow that was diagnosed as calcinosis circumscripta. It was discovered shortly after we adopted him. When the vet did a biopsy, it was pure white and somewhat powdery. The vet had never seen anything like it before. The biopsy came back benign. Vet consultation with a specialist led to the conclusion it was calcinosis circumscripta.

We were told to monitor it. In particular, to make sure it was always free moving and not fused to the bone. The recommendation, at that time, was that surgical removal was unnecessary. And, that is still the recommendation several years later.
 

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Hi Everyone, My female gsd is just gone 3yrs and has had surgery in early December to remove a lump size of golf ball on back leg below ankle, Surgery went well and wound healed well, vet was happy. Got results this week and she has been diagnosed with calcinosis . Vet said its his first case every and he's practicing for over 40yrs, that's how rare it is. Said not much I can do, but surgery anytime she get a lump but no reason she cant live to normal age. However her feet are weeping and if you hit of her feet they bleed a little. Does anyone have any ideas how to deal with this or used anything the helps. She is in discomfort and cant run and function like she should. I feel helpless . I am starting to bath her feet in Epsom's slats but any.
All ideas and help most welcome on how to make her quality of life better, there has to be a solution.

Regards,
Máire
 
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