A little over two years ago, Tess’ owner brought her to me in need of help. She had just been diagnosed with bladder cancer and had been recommended by her groomer to see what ‘Aunty Kim’ could do.

Although I had not treated Tess before, she was well known to me as the dog in charge of the grooming room. When she came in for a clip, she was the only dog allowed to wander the room, checking each one as they were dropped off and approving each haircut as they were clipped and snipped.

Bladder cancer

Tess didn’t seem to concerned about her alarming diagnosis. She only had eyes for the jar of treats. On average dogs with transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder live 4-6 months without treatment and 6-12 months with treatment (chemotherapy and/ or radiation therapy). Tess had been given anti inflammatory medication which has been shown to have some effect on transitional cell carcinomas. 

I was feeling quite positive about treating Tess. she was in good spirits despite her slight incontinence and bladder infection. She was also my second bladder cancer dog and Henrietta, my first  was still kicking along two years after her diagnosis.

I started her on a course of acupuncture, herbs, supplements and lots of positive vibes. A bonus that resulted from this was that her itchy skin improved in the process. 

Cruciate Injury

Late last year, more than a year after her diagnosis, Tess suffered a set back. She had injured her knee. It was a full tear of her left cruciate ligament, the dreaded ‘footballer’s knee’ injury.  Her owners elected to try rehabilitation rather than surgery and Tess was told that she had to go on a diet! Her knee gradually improved with treatment and a carefully coordinated rehabilitation protocol ( and less food).


This week, Tess ran into the clinic looking for the treat jar. Her leg was fine, she occasionally wets her bed but there are no other symptoms. It has been more than two years since her diagnosis. You could think that Tess was a fluke,a ‘one off’ but what about Henrietta? Henrietta is still kicking along, four and a half years since her transitional cell carcinoma diagnosis. Henrietta has also ‘done her cruciate’ so she will be starting on her rehabilitation path too. 

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