About a year and a half ago we noticed a discharge from our beautiful Dennis the Golden Retriever’s right nostril, which concerned us and we took him straight to the local vet.
The vet told us it was simply a seed up his nose and prescribed antibiotics in case of infection. We returned to the vet after a week and got the same response, even though the discharge looked horrible and the other nostril was clear. At this point I ended our relationship with that vet.
As soon as another local vet saw the discharge he recommended an MRI scan and managed to get Dennis in the same day. Results showed a rare fungal infection in his upper sinus, well established and difficult to treat. Without treatment it would eventually eat into his brain cavity and finish him.
Dennis was taken to a specialist Vet who performed surgery, including drilling his skull in two places, and applying chemicals directly at the site. Collecting Dennis afterwards, I was close to tears, seeing him with wounds and metal clips, head shaved and drowsy from the anesthesia. By next day, he had come round but was obviously a sick boy.
The specialist Vet prescribed an anti-fungal oral medication which we researched on the internet. We found it was highly toxic, bad side effects with particular threat to the liver, since it was designed to feed poisons to the fungal infection, but since through the bloodstream, it poisoned all of him. To try to counteract the side effects, we gave Dennis milk thistle tablets. Dennis had five further surgeries and in each case poison was applied directly to the fungus through his nostril, and pictures taken. The fungus persisted and we were told it was a long and slow process to cure For over two months Dennis was lethargic, would not chase a ball and even a walk was hard work. He wasn’t happy and neither were we.
We’re not sure exactly how we got KK’s contact details, but we can only say we are so glad we did. Kaori asked us to bring our boy’s medication to the first consult and was very concerned at the Western meds he was taking, particularly the anti-fungal. We had come to the point where we’d had enough of giving him pills to try to counteract the bad effect of other pills, and our big boy just didn’t seem to be improving.
KK suggested that we wean him off the anti-fungal and other meds and put Dennis on a series of herbal based, traditional Eastern medicines to enable his own immune system to fight the infection. At the time, these meds were only available as powders and getting them into Dennis was very difficult.
Marg spent hours disguising bitter smelling powders into tasty vegetable cakes etc so we knew he was getting all he should. His diet was also changed to meat and fresh vegetables, with no dairy or other things which were given to us on a list.
Within weeks Dennis was noticeably more inquisitive, looked happier and started to get his energy back. As a bonus, the meds became available in capsule form so it became much easy to administer them.
KK started to see Dennis every four to six weeks, giving him acupuncture and massage therapy on key points. She explained each area in turn and the effect it had; I filmed her on my phone so I could do the same at home and it felt good knowing I had an input like this to help him recover.
Each time KK saw Dennis, she said she was pleased with his progress, but it was a way to go until he was fully recovered.
More than fourteen months after the initial diagnosis, KK made a house call and said she was very pleased with his condition. We thought the same, as he was back to his happy, bouncy self and having a great time with our other dog, a Retriever x Samoyed called Sharon.
Having watched him almost day by day from the first diagnosis, we are now converted believers in the Eastern herbal medicine approach. We also think there is a place for both the Western and Eastern approach, and at times there must be conditions where the two are complimentary. Keeping Dennis on the anti-fungal pills may have cured him completely, but we think would have come with a long term penalty.
In the end his own immune system was fired up and did what it’s supposed to do naturally. As he got better, his herbal meds reduced and now both our woofers have herbal supplements in their food and are a picture of health.
Marg and Pete