It all started on 17 May 2010, when our Hungarian vizsla Albert, who was not yet 10 years old, was diagnosed with bladder cancer by UH scan. The radiologist saw a 5% chance of survival and surgery due to the size and location of the tumour.
Our veterinarian recommended the University of István Street, where Dr. Tibor Németh performed surgery 2 days later and partially removed the tumor. He then referred us to AHOK, to Dr. Péter Vajdovich, an oncologist, who started the first chemotherapy treatment.
We were afraid of the side effects of the treatment but, as we were told, it doesn’t happen in dogs like it does in humans. There was 1-2 days of weakness afterwards nothing else.
After 4 courses of suitable chemotherapy and regular medication, the tumour did not grow back and no metastases developed; we were terribly happy.
But after 3-4 months the tumour started to grow again, so Albert had to have another round of chemotherapy, but this time of a different type. After the first treatment, which lasted a full day, Albert became unwell and stopped eating and drinking. He turned out to be one of the rare sensitive dogs whose body reacts badly to this type of chemotherapy. As a side effect of the treatment, Albert’s kidneys and pancreas partially shut down.
A two-week course of daily (including weekends!) infusions was started to flush his kidneys and get his organs working again. Thanks to my dad’s internet search, we found K9 products and ordered them immediately. On Dr Vajdovich’s suggestion that we could use any immune booster, it wouldn’t do any harm, we bravely gave it a try. After a week of infusion, Albert was still barely moving, not eating anything. Our previously energetic, slightly lunging vizsla dog could be pushed up by the wind blowing in the street; we were absolutely desperate. We put him on the first 5 capsules of K9 Immunity on a “what have we got to lose” basis, and I left the dog with my parents with the understanding that if he didn’t improve, we would take him to the university the next day to be put to sleep, not to be infused.
Albert stayed with us a little longer
However, the next morning my parents called to say that the dog was moving and had been drinking; hurry up, there would be an IV. After a week and a half of infusions, his kidneys and pancreas were functioning again so well that we didn’t need to take him for any more treatment, but we knew he only had months to live. Unfortunately, because of his sensitivity, his old appetite never returned. He was picky (he used to be a chewy, oatmeal machine) about his food; so we couldn’t give him K9 formula as prescribed. (If we mixed it into his water, he would rather not drink that day.)
Finally his kidney gave up completely on October 7, 2011. He hadn’t eaten or drunk anything for a week and a half by then. That morning she could barely stand up and we knew immediately we couldn’t let her suffer any longer.
Thanks to the surgeon, the oncologists and K9, we were given a year and a half respite from a serious disease that most dogs are lucky to survive six months with.
We regret that we didn’t get hold of these products in 2008, when a small tumour was removed from Albert’s eye. Had we started boosting his immune system then, the bladder tumour might not have developed.
That’s why we decided to start marketing Aloha Medicinals Inc. K9 products in Hungary. Maybe this way, other owners will get more time with their four-legged family members with proper preventive therapy and immune boosting.
Prevention is significantly less physically and emotionally painful (and usually cheaper) than surgery and chemotherapy. If you already have the problem, it is very important to consult an oncology veterinarian. K9 supplements are not magic (although they were an admirable help in our case) and traditional treatment is definitely needed as cancer kills our dog very quickly.
If we were given the opportunity to have Albert back at 5 years old, we would feed and care for him in a completely different way. There would be a much greater emphasis on prevention.
We would like to thank AHOK, Dr. Peter Vajdovich and his colleagues (Dr. Eszter and Zsofi Szendi) for their care and love for our Albert. He was never afraid to go in to them, even when we were petting him in his last, eternal sleep in the surgery.
And we are very grateful to Albert for giving us, in addition to the traditional treatments, another “weapon” for dogs to fight tumours.