When three Long Beach sisters received their 5-month-old maltipoo last November, they had no idea the joy he would bring into their lives.
But the now 9-month-old puppy named Niko was diagnosed with stage 4 acute kidney failure on Wednesday and the family is seeking donations to cover the cost of his medical bills and treatment.
Angelina Dok, 18, was alarmed last week when the energetic and food-loving pup didn’t act like his usual self, stopped eating and exhibited very low energy. After two rounds of ER visits, veterinarians determined that Niko’s kidneys were failing and his blood levels were extremely high. The main cause of acute kidney failure in pets can be a result of them ingesting toxic household cleaning products or another dog’s urine.
“Niko is our happiness and we can only hope that he is fully healed and back to his normal energetic self,” wrote Dok in the GoFundMe.
Normally this would be a fatal diagnosis, but because Niko is so young, veterinarians say he has a higher chance of survival. Niko spent three days at Long Beach Animal Hospital over the weekend and is now recovering with his owners at home.
Dok created a GoFundMe in hopes that family, friends and the community would come together to ensure that Niko makes a full and speedy recovery and continues to spread love throughout his home.
The children of Cambodian immigrants, Dok said she and her sister’s upbringing was not easy. Growing up mostly independent, Dok had to look after her two younger sisters while working part time at a boba shop and finishing up her senior year of high school at home. Financially supporting her sisters and now a small puppy has proven difficult, said Dok. “We’ve gone through a lot of hardships… and when we got Niko it was kind of like all those issues went away.”
In total, Niko’s medical bills amounted to just over $3,000. Currently the GoFundMe page has amassed $1,625 of its $5,000 goal, with the rest going to Niko’s pet insurance.