Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tales From Tessie: Cancer Diagnoses

Today, we discovered that our beautiful Tessie has very limited time left with us. We rescued Tessie from a horrible life as a breeding dog in a puppy mill. Her cruel owners threw her over a 6 foot fence into a high kill animal shelter after she could no longer have puppies. She had no front teeth from chewing on the cage where she had been locked for years. We heard her plight and our rescue, Ariel Rescue saved her along with another husky male. We didn't know her exact age, but the veterinarians estimated her to be about 5-6 years old. That was only 3 years ago.

Tessie never had a lot of energy and tired easily. She had bursts of hyperactivity but for the most part has been a very mellow dog. Always, from the time we had her, there was a slight cough.....

For so long , we checked on the cough, had bloowork, XRAYs and really not much ever showed up. Through great nutrition, supplements and lots of love and patience, we transformed this ragamuffin into a beautiful dog (Tessie's before and after pictures can be seen on our Testimonials page). However, in the past 6 months, her cough progressed.
Pets often don't display their pain because of their survival instinct in the wild. We are so grateful we continued to follow through with the laboratory work and went back over/over until today we received our sad news: Tessie has cancer. Because the tumor is located around her heart, there is nothing that can be done from a conventional veterinary standpoint. The veterinarian said it is either canine chemodectoma or canine hemangiosarcoma but we may never know for sure. Of course, we will do all we can to keep Tessie comfortable using diet and supplements but the prognosis is bleak. We thought by sharing our heartbreaking story with others, that somehow, it might provde insight to all pet owners. We will provide regular updates to Tessie's tales and hope that by following our story, it will be helpful to you.

  1. My 10 year old dog Maceo, a Doberman/Shepherd mix, was diagnosed yesterday with the exact same thing. We too are unsure which type of cancerous tumor he has.

    He began having fainting spells 3 weeks ago and was put on Theophylline to help stimulte his heartbeat. The medicine helped reduce the frequency of episodes but he is still experiencing dizzy spells when he gets excited.

    We took him to Va Tech Veterinary teaching hospital for a pacemaker procedure, and they discovered a tumor around his aorta and right atrium. Maceo has a 3rd degree av blockage and the vets were amazed at how strong he is. This is an inoperable condition and there is no way to treat the tumor itself.

    All we can do now is provide him as much love as we can and I too hope that others out there will learn from or experience. Although the prognosis is grim, I am thankfull to have the time to say goodbye to our beloved dog. It makes you appreciate everyday that you have together and I'm treating each day as if it's the last. My best to you and Tessie.

    Best, Elaina Smith

  2. My 12 1/2 year old Siberian Husky male was just diagnosed with a tumor on his atrium. Biopsy results showed it was most likely a chemodectoma and there was nothing to indicate it was the more aggressive hemangiosarcoma, which the vet basically told me he was convinced he had. My dog has obviously slowed down in his old age but he shows no signs of being sick. The tumor was found bc he was rushed to the emergency vet one night bc he had bloat. In the workup to sedate him they noticed a heart murmur so they took a chest xray which showed lung nodules which they believe were metastatic from elsewhere so we did an Ultrasound and that's where they found it so they did a biopsy the next day. Anyway, I'm going to opt for chemo treatments. 1 treatment every 3 weeks for 5 cycles. they will check to see if he is responding, about 40% of cases do respond. He has had tumors before that vets have told me they were convinced were serious, malignant cancer but he keeps defying the odds. I know he's old for a husky but with this cold weather he reverts into a puppy every year. Good Luck to everyone and keep me posted with your treatment and results!