A PET owner in Bicester hopes to create a legacy for his dog after she underwent alternative herbal cancer treatment.

Chris Hayes-Brown, owner of twelve-year-old German Shepherd Layla who passed away last September, opted to treat her cancer with a plant from his garden.

Mr Hayes-Brown researched herbal treatments for Layla when she developed cancer in her jaw and said he was told she may only live a few weeks.

But after researching herbal alternatives to chemotherapy he found a rare orchid is used elsewhere in world for treatment.

It uses a form of Bletilla Orchid which Mr Hayes-Brown grows and he asked the vets if they could try it.

He said: "The method used the plant's tuber crushed up and injected into the tumour in Layla's mouth.

"I noticed that Layla responded well, and felt the orchid was attacking the cancer causing parts to turn black and die away.

“The cancer was trying to fight back but the orchid seemed to be keeping it to the side of the jaw.

"It gave her a breath of new life."

Unfortunately Layla had to be put to sleep after the tumour made her jaw too weak but Mr Hayes-Brown said she managed to live an extra 14 weeks.

He added: "Over the years Layla touched the hearts of many and was such a devoted dog, we are proud and honoured to have known her."

Mr Hayes-Brown has been in touch with Orchid enthusiasts who he says have agreed to name a Cymbidium orchid “Layla Troy” in her honour and it's registered with the RHS.

He hopes more will be named to continue the lasting legacy including Bletilla, Pleione and Cattleya orchids.

The vet who treated Layla, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "She was a lovely dog with a great personality and I know Chris misses her dreadfully.

"There was some information available suggesting the orchid may have some anti-cancer properties, though we could find no placebo controlled clinical trials.

“Given that Layla had nothing to lose and we found no reports of toxicity we agreed that Chris could try the herbal supplement.

"Chris believes that the herbal supplement from the Bletilla Orchid helped Layla fight her cancer. Maybe it did help her in someway, though personally I am sceptical."