Zini, our beloved piebald husky, was born in July 2001 in California before coming to Canada as a sled dog in 2003. After retiring from the races in 2005, this sweet, mischievous, and witty husky was ready for a new home. After travelling to meet Zini, we locked eyes and that began our beautiful relationship. He came home with my husband and I, and Zini came to work with me every day at Pet Planet*.
It was late winter 2012 when we noticed that Zini was not himself; and when I returned to work in January 2013, Zini tried to stand up but couldn’t. Realizing something was wrong, I rushed him to our vet where tests revealed a mass on Zini’s liver, spleen and lungs. Cancer. My years at Pet Planet provided me with product knowledge so we could get to work supporting Zini’s health battle.
We switched Zini to a raw diet, reducing carbohydrate intake because cancer cells thrive on carbohydrates. I also started him on immune boosters, antioxidants, B50 vitamins, chlorella, omega-3 fatty acids and other products I knew would help bolster Zini’s ability to fight the cancer, while making an inhospitable environment for the cancer cells. One year passed and Zini was doing well and improving.
Zini lost some hair and had some immune issues, but our vet told us he was still with us because of the immune boosters. Despite the rough year, he never lost his sparkle in his eye and maintained a good quality of life; something that was very important to me. Radiographs showed smaller tumors, but blood tests showed a rise in liver enzymes which was very concerning. These enzymes continued to rise from the tumours throughout 2014.
In April 2015, Zini’s lymph nodes became extremely swollen on the left side of his neck. A suspected infection meant a course of antibiotics for Zini. However, only a few days later, the swelling spread to Zini’s face and he was doing worse. A few days after we completed an aspiration and sent it for testing, he let me know he was ready to depart our earth. I listened.
Lymphosarcoma reared its ugly head and was taking my Zini, and this was a different cancer than what we began fighting two years earlier. Letting Zini go took a part of my heart I will never get back, something many other pet guardians can unfortunately relate to. Zini had almost 14 wonderful years and his spirit lives on in all that knew and loved him.
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*Full Disclosure: Pet Planet is a sponsor of the Kali’s Wish Cancer Foundation.
The content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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