Alternative care for pets can offer hope and viable options when conventional medicine doesn't do the trick. Drawing on natural remedies such as vitamin therapy, acupuncture, and nutraceuticals, alternative medicine is less invasive than traditional care, and it's almost totally free of adverse reactions.
Dr. Marty Goldstein, practitioner of alternative therapies and medical director at Smith Ridge Veterinary Center, shares the stories of two dogs who owe their lives to such unconventional treatments.
Elsa (pictured) is a Staffordshire terrier who developed cancer years ago in her left tonsil and lymph node. The prognosis was grim: Even after the surgical removal of the affected areas, Elsa's oncologist predicted the cancer would reappear within weeks and gave her only five months to live.
Stephen, Elsa's owner, was devastated but refused to give up. He brought her to Dr. Goldstein, who administered a regimen of intravenous vitamin C and other naturally based medicinal solutions designed to re-establish immune health. Combined with acupuncture, the therapies worked wonders for Elsa.
Elsa's cancer did grow back twice, but Dr. Goldstein was able to remove it through a simple, lightly invasive surgery called cryosurgery. Today, she's a healthy 11-year-old dog.
Hunting Dog Healed
Six years ago, Blitz was a top-ranked field trial Weimaraner. But after he experienced breathing difficulty during a competition, his owner Lance rushed him to the hospital and discovered he had a ruptured diaphragm. Although doctors were able to repair the diaphragm, Blitz's health problems continued -- an abscessed lung necessitated further surgery, and a severe chest infection led doctors to propose euthanasia.
Lance sought out alternative treatments with Dr. Goldstein. As with Elsa, Dr. Goldstein administered intravenous therapy containing high levels of vitamin C and other biological medicinal solutions. Then, he put Blitz on a regimen of nutraceuticals -- dietary products with health benefits -- to treat his immune system and diseased lungs.
At the conclusion of his treatment, the dog that other doctors had given up on was ready to resume conditioning for competition. After a year of building up his endurance, Blitz returned to field trial competition in 2006 and finished the spring field trial season as the No. 1-ranked field trial Weimaraner in the country.