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Monday, December 10, 2012

Tank Update & DIY Christmas

We got a startling update when we took Tank for his second visit to the vet. All his lymph nodes but one have gone down to almost normal. A good sign--even if tentative.

We still have to worry about that one stubborn lymph node, but we've redoubled our efforts to keep him on nothing but whole foods, minerals and immune-building supplements.

His diet consists of fresh chicken, beef or liver, along with eggs, sweet potatoes, and cottage cheese. (No dog kibble.) I exercise him but only short walks so as not to tire him out too much.

This morning he looked like a new dog. The vet was absolutely amazed at his turnabout.

The old boy isn't out of the woods yet. He still has way too many lumps that appeared almost overnight, and we still have that lymph node to watch. But he is much better than he was last week. I was so afraid we were going to lose him.

I watched him like a hawk, monitoring his vitals and modified his diet as needed. It's easier now that Greg is here.

I have to apologize to everyone for being absent. I kid you not, for the past three weeks anything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. Tank's dramatic downturn was the final blow, kicking me in the teeth. 

I was frantic for answers, and so many of you intuitively knew I was treading water because you wrote and offered me prayers, healing thoughts, and reams of data I could use to navigate Tank's illness. I can't thank you guys enough for all your emails. It meant more than you know.

For now, we're on watch and wait. He's better, but we still can't rule out lymphoma. If we can't get that one lymph node to reduce in size, our next step is a biopsy.

Tank handles anesthetic very poorly, so we're trying to avoid putting him under if we can help it.

We're hopeful, but realistic. Tank is an old boy but he's still got some life in him. As I write this, he's bobbing my arm with that great big head of his. He wants some hugging.

***

Don't forget that all this week and next, we have loads of guests with some fantastic DIY Christmas posts. There are a lot of giveaways too, so be sure to comment. Shelley Munro and Cathy Pegau each have a post up, so there's still time to enter their giveaways.

All contests end on December 21.  Be friendly. Say Hi! And hug your furry babies.

More tomorrow!


23 comments:

LD Masterson said...

I've been watching for this post since I saw your earlier posting on FB this morning. I'm so glad things are taking a positive turn. I'll keep the prayers coming for the old boy.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: It was the best news I've had all month. I know we still have a long way to go, but just turning the corner has lifted everyone's spirits here.

Stacy McKitrick said...

This is good news. I'll keep sending positive energy your way!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Sending hopes and good wishes to Tank.

Luanne Smith said...

My little Boston terrier had a lymph node like that. It grew to the size of an egg while I was on a trip last spring. I was shocked it grew so fast. But the vet did a biopsy and said it was filled with fat, not cancerous or anything. And then just as quick as the lump appeared it went down again a few weeks later. It's come back now, but is already shrinking again. Weird.

Hoping Tank will be fine and life will be less hectic for you!!

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: Thank you!

Susan: Tank thanks you too!

Maria Zannini said...

Luanne: I would be thrilled if it was just a fatty tumor. It came on so suddenly, it caught me off guard.

I'm glad your Boston is okay. It's a scary process and I can well imagine what you've been through.

Shelley Munro said...

That's great news, Maria. I've been wondering how he's doing. Our puppy is draped over my lap as I write this. She wanted a cuddle immediately, despite the laptop. I'm not sure how she managed to get her way...

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: I wouldn't have any lap left if any of my dogs draped over them. LOL.

Must go baby Iko now. He's limping and we don't know why.

Cathy in AK said...

Keeping Tank in our doggy thoughts over here! Hope he continues to improve.

Mike Keyton said...

Keep on hoping, Maria.

Maria Zannini said...

Cathy: Thanks!

PS Um...you really didn't need to send your cold temps to Texas. LOL. We had a hard freeze last night. Inconceivable!

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: That and moving heaven and earth. :)

R. Mac Wheeler said...

Ahhhh

Good news.

He and the family will remain in our prayers.

Maria Zannini said...

Thanks, Mac! Doggie prayers are very much appreciated. :)

Gwen Gardner said...

Tank must be loving the new diet! My dogs would go wild if they got all those yummies. I'm so glad he's doing better. I've been praying for him every night.

And I hug and kiss my dogs everyday! Doesn't everybody?

Sarah Ahiers said...

I'm so glad to hear the tentative good news! I'm really hopeful that his lumps and bumps will just be fatty tumors and that his one lymph node will go down and he'll be happy and healthy for years still.
Old dogs are the best, which sometimes makes it all the harder.

Stacy said...

Sending lots of good thoughts yours and Tank's way! Big hugs to you both.

Jackie Burris said...

Maria missed this yesterday but so glad to hear something positive, Tank is in good hands with you and Greg so keep doing what you are doing. Poor Iko, now what!

Maria Zannini said...

Gwen: Tank never saw a side of beef he didn't like. :)

Actually, this is one reason his sickness took me by surprise. He never lost his appetite which is usually the first sign that something is wrong.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: I checked his knot just now and it 'seems' smaller and not as hard. It would be wonderful if it were just fatty tumors. I don't like them, but it's better than the alternative.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: Thank you. Old Tank loves his hugs. I have a feeling since he's been getting so many virtual ones that it must be helping. I've never seen him so mellow.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: Unfortunately, Iko likes to jump off the bed like an Olympic high jumper. The floor can be slick if he doesn't hit the rugs and he might've missed it. It had to have happened when we were out with Tank at the vet because we never saw it happen.

He's moving a little better today, so I hope it won't be as painful for him tomorrow.