Shih Tzu Stories: ZEKE, “Big C” at age 6?


It’s gotta be tough for a Shih Tzu to celebrate his 6th birthday with what is essentially a death sentence.  From Redding, California, Here’s Christine Wright’s story:

May 24, 2017: “My dog ZEKE.  His days are numbered. He just turned 6 and today was diagnosed with red fluid in his chest cavity which suggests he has cancer and it is untreatable.

I would love for this picture to come up on the Shihtzumania timeline, soon. He has been such a wonderful dog and loved everyone. Humans, dogs, and cats he did not care. All of them were his friends.

ZEKE was my great grandfather’s dog who I took after grandfather passed away. ZEKE was 1.5 years when I got him

I am taking it a little hard because I recently had surgery on my right ankle and he has been my recovery buddy. He has never left my side. We were thinking of sending him to the rainbow bridge later today. I look at it as if I have been watching him for my great grandfather, and now my great grandfather wants his little Shih Tzu back.

Here is a photo of when I first got ZEKE after my great grandfathers passing. He is pictured with my two older kids. My 8 month old was not born yet.”

 UPDATE (May 25, 2017):

“ZEKE is still with us right now but he is not doing good. I am waiting to hear from his vet but I think he is more than likely not going to survive the next few days. He just doesn’t have much left in him…

I expect he will need to be put to sleep but I want to be absolutely sure there is nothing else I can do for this little Shih Tzu – He is my furry child and don’t want to lose him if I don’t have to, but I don’t want him suffer either”

 UPDATE (May 26): “The tests show the fluid has NO CANCER cells, but white blood cells showing infection. He can still have cancer but needs more diagnostics. So we are going to do more tests to make sure nothing else can be done.  We are going to head to a bigger town an hour and a half away for a second opinion. Just have to get the funds together.  

OK, update on ZEKE. “He doesn’t have cancer but he has a liver hernia and his liver is starting to die so he needs to have emergency surgery.

 The cost of surgery he needs is anywhere from $6,000-$8,000. We can’t afford that but want to try to get help with the cost. We don’t have insurance on him. We tried but couldn’t afford it. Any ideas of what we can do?”
(Shihtzumania recommends a “GoFundMe” page, for starters, then shares the earlier post about the similar plight of another Shih Tzu ‘s (CoCoBelle Bleu’s) surgery, and some of the fund-raising ideas taken by Wendi Torkelson, CoCo’s mom, who is also recovering from serious surgery)
Here is ZEKE’S new “GoFundMe” page:
And, the latest word from Christine:
“They said he needs his surgery ASAP or he can become septic. They need to do a CT scan before surgery and Tuesday (May 30) we are getting more blood work done. The longer he waits for surgery, the more his liver cells start to die, from which, in turn, our little Shih Tzu can die.”

UPDATE from Christine,  June 23, 2018:

Hello. Sorry it has been so long since the last up date. Zeke’s Dr decided it would be too much stress on him right now to do his surgery to put in a port in his chest but he is doing great. He still has fluid in his chest and he breaths a little harder than before but he only coughs when he gets worked up and the color on his gum is normal.

His last checkup showed there was less fluid than before and he is in good health. He is also a very happy dog and has been getting into trouble like knocking over the trash and stealing food from my toddler. Here is a picture of him and my toddler playing together.

Stay tuned to the shihtzumania timeline for continuing updates on ZEKE’S progress…