I met Dr KK when my dog was about five and a half years old, oh how I wish it had been five years earlier!!
I own Jinx, a male blue English Staffordshire Terrier who is now almost six and a half years old. As a puppy he did all the ‘normal’ things until he was just over a year old. At this point we began to notice skin irritations, the odd hot spot dirty yeasty ears. As a veterinary nurse and a dog behavioural trainer I was not overly surprised as I am aware of many of the problems which tend to be prevalent in the blue coloured staffies. Each of these conditions were treated by my vet with the normal antibiotics, antifungals and a change to a ‘hypo allergenic’ kibble diet.
However very soon after that he slowly and progressively became more and more unwell. He would vomit multiple times a day, he had diarrhoea constantly and his behaviour was changing, he was becoming more and more anxious and fearful. I was also unable to put weight on him, at one point he was down to 12kg, he was just skin and bone, his skin was dry and flaky and his coat was course, dull and brittle.
Again through Western Medicine we investigated these symptoms through many blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds and then even invasive exploratory surgery which did not solve any of the problems he faced. On surgical exploration it was found he was very inflamed all throughout his internal systems but there was no answer as to why.
We then visited a veterinary specialist who diagnosed him with a chronic inflammatory gut condition. He was put on a high dose of steroids for well over two years which had so many other terrible side effects on him and did not ever entirely ‘fix’ his condition. As I am fully aware of the potential side effects of these drugs I was hesitant to use them, however I also wanted my dog to live a happy life and this was what I was told was the way to do that. For the following two years he was on steroids as well as a medication to help line his gut and a veterinary diet. At any time he ate anything other than his kibble or had anything put into his system such as a vaccination or heartworm injection he would again become unwell for days at a time with more diarrhea and vomiting.
After he seemed to be at a point he was having less unwell days he was weaned off the steroids and put onto a ‘safer’ medication which he would have to be on for the rest of his life, we also continued on with his veterinary diet. As the days and years went by he was surviving but was still having more bad days than good and his level of anxiety was not improving. As a behavioural trainer this frustrated me to no end that I was unable to modify his behaviour and also that I could see he was merely surviving, he was not happy or enjoying life. I had also been recently questioning my vet as to why he couldn’t eat anything other than kibble and if we would ever be able to consider changing his diet, however with how unwell he was this was not advised and not really an option I was able to explore for fear he would become extremely unwell again. We were by now thousands of dollars out of pocket with a dog who was still so unwell.
Jinx then began to become unwell with the vomiting starting again and his level of anxious and fearful behaviour reached an all new height, he was in so much pain he would not poo for days and then when he did he would be so scared and then as he managed to do it he would run in fear. At this point I had heard of Dr KK but have to be honest, I was sceptical. As a western trained vet nurse I had no understanding of TCVM and was unsure that it was going to be able to help where western medicine couldn’t, but at this point what did I have to lose?
On my first visit to Dr KK we went through the long history and discussed diet as well as Jinx having an acupuncture treatment. I decided then and there we were going cold turkey off all his medications and changing his diet to a much more species appropriate one, from kibble to real food. He also went home with some herbs to add to his food. Again at this point I was incredibly hopeful but still sceptical.
After just a week of a new diet and herbs I had a whole new dog!!
Jinx began to poo like a normal dog, he was loving his new food and was becoming less and less anxious as each day passed. After just over a month of treatment all the behaviour modifications I had been trying to make for years were done!! Now he was not suffering from chronic inflammation and feeling so unwell he was able to behave in a completely new way.
We still see Dr KK for regular check ups, something I completely expected in a dog who has had a condition for such a long time, and he is still taking his herbs to keep him on track.
Without Dr KK I feel Jinx would have had a very short lifespan and I was at a critical point of having to decide if it really was fair to keep him living in so much pain and such an unhappy way. She has truly saved my dog and kept him in my family. Jinx is also used by me for work so she has also enabled him to have a good working life with me as he is now able to do so much more than he ever could before.
Jinx now loves visiting KK and will rest very peacefully through his acupuncture treatments, her clinic is a beautiful relaxing and calming place to visit for both dog and owner. Dr KK is always so happy to answer my many questions about TCVM, as it is not something I have had any exposure to previously I am certainly more and more curious to learn about it as I cannot believe the results I have been able to get for my own dog.
I now also carry forward more knowledge in diet which I am able to implement in my training and care of my clients dogs as I have learnt how important diet and nutrition is when it comes to modifying behaviour. A dog who feels uncomfortable and in pain generally has behaviour to match!
I look forward to our future journey with Dr KK and all my future dogs will certainly be clients of hers.
-Shannon from Doonan