More Oklahoma Pet Owners Turning To Alternative Medicine

Wednesday, May 1st 2013, 10:57 pm
By: News 9

Acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbal treatments and massage; not things we normally think of when it comes to our pets. But lately more and more people are turning to alternative medicine to treat their furry friends.

More and more pet owners are turning to alternative medicine to meet the health needs of their four legged friends. News 9 found one dog whose owner says the difference after just one treatment was like night and day.

Sidney is having acupuncture needles inserted near her collar bone to treat her severe arthritis. Some relax her instantly. She's a 12-year-old Brittany Spaniel, 84 in dog years, and her owner says the pain used to be unmanageable.

"We were just giving her two kinds of pain medication and at first we kinda started slow and we had to go up and up and up and nothing was really helping," said owner, Connie Mugno.

When the arthritis became crippling, Mugno turned to Dr. Leilani Alvarez at the Animal Medical Center in New York.

"When you insert the little stainless steel needle there is a variety of functions inside the body, release of hormones and neurotransmitters that have a healing effect," said Alvarez.

The American Veterinary Medical Association says the number of pet owners opting for alternative treatments is on the rise. Each acupuncture session costs about $100, and the physical therapy sessions are $150 each. Mugno says she noticed an improvement after the first treatment.

"When I think about surgeries and long-term medications and possibly other complications, I think this was the more economical way to go long-term" said Mugno.

Sidney is now walking and playing again, and has the energy of a dog half her age. Sidney still gets acupuncture and therapy once a month, but she's no longer on any pain medication.