Monday, September 22, 2008

Tessie The Rescue Dog's Journey With Cancer

If your pet currently has cancer or if you are interested in preventing cancer in your pet, my hope is that by sharing our journey, you will gain some insight on how to help your pet. Last week I reported that my rescued husky dog Tessie was diagnosed with chemodectoma or possibly mesothilioma. She has a mass on the base of her heart and because of the location, it cannot be biopsied so we will never know for sure.

For about 5-7 years, Tessie endured a terrible life before we rescued her--she was used for breeding, locked in a cage and has no front teeth to show for it. There is a very sweet, short video (I promise 3 minutes max!) about Tessie on www.naturesvariety.com as it was this wonderful food that helped her get well.

In any case, for anyone who has ever rescued a dog from a shelter or a terrible life beforehand, we are left with so many unanswered questions--How could someone do this to my dog? How old is my dog really? What happened to my dog that he or she behaves this way?
We want to erase all of the bad things that happened to them and make everything good from now on. If you watch the video mentioned above, you will see before/after photos of how Tessie transformed from a beat up rescue dog into a beauty queen with soft, lustrous fur that could even pass her for a show dog.

Thus, I had thought that her bad days were over and then.....the cancer diagnoses. We had a terrible week and even thought at one point, that we would have to put Tessie to sleep but I am happy to report, she is feeling much better. While it may seem unrealistic to some, I believe that hope, faith and holistic medicine will guide us through this journey. We put our tears behind us and are taking action quickly. Tessie doesn't like going to the vet's offices but we did all the necessary testing because knowledge is power. In fact, it is the knowledge, as painful as it was, that saved Tessie's life. We had NO WAY of knowing that one of Tessie's lung lobes had collapsed under pressure of the fluid that was collecting in her chest. She was still going on walks and acting fairly normal. I think if you read our newsletters you will see that Dr. Gordon and I are always promoting the incredible importance of getting laboratory tests done BEFORE your pet is sick. Well, this saved Tessie's life as the ultrasounds and XRAYS started to show a problem and so at the slightest bit of malaise, we rushed her to the hospital. Many clients come to us and aren't fortunate enough to pick up on these very subtle clues---but in our case, because we kept testing, we knew there might be some trouble. In just a week's time since our last time showing only minor abnormalities and no masses, Tessie's chest and abdomen had filled with fluid. Doctors had to remove a quart of fluid from her chest cavity to help her lungs expand. Had we waited even just another day, it might have been too late.

Tessie has been improving a little bit each day as I have added some key supplements to her regimen. We have seen a wonderful internist and oncologist and put Tessie on diuretics which have taken a few days to start helping but are slowly improving her condition. We are researching many new supplements for cancer and started her on OncoX, Carnitine Synergy, Q-Avail, Renelix to name a few. They definitely helped as she is displaying more energy and breathing easier. We have received many wonderful emails from caring clients and friends and can't say enough about the power of good thoughts and healing energy. We urge you to try to stay positive with your pet, even when the darkest days come, as they want more than anything to heal your pain and this just takes more out of them. Tell your pet that you are getting help and reassure them that you are taking care of them--not that they have to take care of you.

We will continue to keep you posted on Tessie's journey and thank you for caring enough to follow her story!
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