Foster puppy Quantico, aka Tico, came into our care with a challenging congenital disorder, Spinal Nephroblastoma. He is currently undergoing radiation therapy after surgery removed 80% of the turmor pressing against the spinal cord. With the relief of the pressure, mobility of his hind legs is improving. Read his progress below, see the photos and watch the videos. See the joy and strong spirit of this handsome boy, Tico.

You can also read my story on Facebook.

Follow Tico's Progress

Sept 7, 2013

It's been 3 months and it's time for Tico's post-radiation MRI follow-up. Well....the news is WONDERFUL!!! No evidence of tumor re-growth!!!

June 8, 2013

Today is a day of CELEBRATION!!! We ate just leaving Northstar from having Tico's last PT appointment!!! They are so thrilled with how well he is doing, they just can't even believe it's the same boy that drug himself in their doors 4 months ago!!!! My how he's grown!!!!

June 8, 2013

Tico running with new foster brother, Vic.

June 2, 2013

Tico continues to do well, he is now weaning off his prednisone and I'm getting my puppy boy back without all the craziness from that medicine It's so nice to see him still being able to RUN Here he is in the hammock on my lap!

June 2, 2013

Tico playing soccer.

May 16, 2013

Radiation COMPLETE!!! Tico is done, they were sorry to see him go and he got departing gifts:-) A VSEC blanket with his name on it, balloon and toy...plus a feast today for lunch I'm told :-) Prednisone for a few more weeks and possibly a follow up MRI in 3-4 months to see if there is any growth....yay TICO!!!

May 15, 2013

Tomorrow is Tico's last radiation treatment!!! Yahoo...he is wishing on a star...for continued good health:-)

May 4, 2013

Guess who celebrated 6 months?!? Happy pupday Tico!!! When we first got his diagnosis we did not know if he would make it, each month is a celebration of life!

April 30, 2013

Tico at PT last night...I think he would walk anywhere for food right now!!!

April 26, 2013

Tico is doing well.. 7 radiation treatments down and 13 more to go!!! He seems maybe a little tired but otherwise none the worse for wear:)

April 21, 2013

Watch the video
Tico has been doing quite AWESOME!!! He has completed 3 radiation treatments.

April 17, 2013

Tico had his CT scan for planning his radiation treatment yesterday and did well. The BEST news ever is that they only see small amount of tumor in there, so it seems its just was the stuff not able to be resected and no new growth!!!! He had a minor reaction to the contrast last night of eye swelling but it went right away with Benedryl:)) Radiation starts Thursday!!!

April 14, 2013

Watch the video
Tico is having a blast meeting and playing with some of his rescue buddies!

Tico had his CAT scan in preparation for radiation treatment this week. Radiation started 4/17/2013. He was kept overnight at the vet's to watch for side effects as he had a minor reaction to the contrast dye used for the CAT scan.

Tails of the Tundra's Board met on Sunday, April 14 for a regular Board meeting. The board thought carefully and mulled over all of the ups and downs of the situation, and considered the input from the vet community, our friends on Facebook, and our volunteers.

It was not an easy decision, but we have decided to proceed with radiation and give Tico a chance at a decent life. We felt that he is a fighter and has a strong spirit - just look at the FB videos:) and that we are going to finish what we started, so to speak..by following the recommended protocol. Tuesday will be his CT scan and as long as there are no issues he will start treatment the following week.

Although we do not know the outcome, and it still eventually may not end well...Tico deserves the chance. We also felt strongly that this will give the scientific world another dog to be able to include in their research of this VERY rare tumor, so that in years to come Tico will still be helping:)

Note that while we are moving forward with radiation, if at any time we find that Tico is in pain, the cancer has returned, another cancer has formed or Tico is suffering in any way, we will do the right thing by him. We do not want to see him suffer, but since he hasn't given up, we don't want to give up on him. We appreciate all your support and will keep you posted on Tico's progress.


April 13, 2013

Tico's VSEC appointment to speak about traditional radiation was not very encouraging. They recommend 5 weeks of daily sessions (20 total) and even that will only keep this tumor in remission...they are not sure for how long. They are also worried about other cancers arising due to Tico's obvious bad genetic predisposition. This weekend, our rescue will gather to discuss our options and make some impossible decisions. Thank you all for your kind messages. :)

April 9, 2013

Ticos appointment did not go as we had hoped yesterday:-( The doctors in Yonkers feel that the cyberknife is not the best option for the tumor remnants or the location, they feel conventional radiation would be better. So we have an appointment tomorrow at VSEC to discuss this. In the meantime Tico is enjoying his walks and stopped for a photo op last night:)

April 6, 2013

Tico loves his 2 legged foster bro AJ:)) Monday is the trip to Yonkers, NY to see if Tico is a candidate for the gamma knife radiation!

April 4, 2013

Tico is going to see about gamma knife radiation on Monday in Yonkers! :)) In the meantime, he can now go up and down the two small steps into the living room where he is staying and he is trying hard to get the other resident dogs to PLAY!!!!

April 1, 2013

Watch the video
Tico awaiting PT...staples out!!! Look at his progress:)

March 31, 2013

Tico is having a happy Easter!!! He figured out today that there is PB in his kong:)

March 30, 2013

Watch the video
Tico Walking!!! He's hard to keep up with!!!

March 29, 2013

Tico continues to improve...excuse the blurriness but it is because he is WALKING!!!!

March 28, 2013

Tico puppy standing all on his own to eat this morning....can you say determination?!?

March 27, 2013

Got Tico some chewies cause despite fighting cancer...he is teething terribly:))

More Tico!!!

Tico is getting LOTS of lovin and spoilin...and as you can see he is very happy:)

March 26, 2013

Tico is sprung...this is him on the way home earlier:)

March 25, 2013

More good news for baby Tico!!! Today, he is also able to move his right leg a bit as well. :) He tries to walk with the left but is so happy and excited that the right is dragging behind...but he can move it. It seems as though he is having more improvement everyday!!! He is going to stay one more day and have a PT evaluation and come home tomorrow. :) Biopsy still pending and once it comes in we will confer with the vets to come up with a game plan.

Well unfortunately Ticos biopsy results came back late this afternoon. He has what the surgeon suspected, a very rare congenital cancer called Nephroblastoma. We have an appointment already set up with the oncologist for tomorrow to discuss this diagnosis and what the appropriate plan of action will be. Tico will also come home tomorrow and start getting LOTS of lovin!!! Please keep all the good thoughts coming for this little guy!!!!

March 24, 2013

Vets called today to report that little Tico has even a bit more function in his left leg today then yesterday!! He is trying to walk with assistance and is doing very well. :) The doctor who did his surgery will be back in tomorrow morning and will discuss possible discharge for Monday!!!! Yay Tico puppy!!! :D *Biopsy results due in soon.

March 23, 2013

Received some good news. Vet feels Tico is doing very well post op. Yesterday, they were very skeptical about just how much pain sensation he had; today he definitely felt the toe pinch right away!!!! This is wonderful news considering they said he may do worse right after the surgery. We're taking it one day at a time, but it's a positive first step.

March 22, 2013

Watch the video
Please meet our newest foster puppy who just came in last night and went straight to Northstar to seek medical attention.He became suddenly lame in his back legs within the past few weeks. Xrays last night showed nothing and today he will have an MRI. He is only 4 months old...keep your fingers and paws crossed for a pawsitive prognosis:)

MRI results show Q puppy has a tumor in his spinal cord that is causing compression of the nerves and that's why he's losing function. He was just taken into surgery to remove and biopsy the tumor. Thank you for all the well wishes and good thoughts. Please keep them coming!

First, Q puppy has a name, Quantico, or Tico for short! -Second, surgery is done and the good news is he came through surgery well. Now the not so good, the tumor was not encapsulated as they had hoped (meaning one solid mass). It was actually intruding into the spinal cord's outer layer so they were unable to remove all of it for fear of damaging healthy tissue. They estimated an 80% removal which did take a lot of the compression off of the spine. They said it was highly suspect of cancer just by looking at it, but biopsy will confirm. He will stay in recovery for a few days and the biopsy will take about 72 hrs to come back with results.



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