Vets use acupuncture to help suffering pets

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by DAWN TIMMENEY / WCAU

NWCN.com

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 18 at 9:59 AM

Veterinarians are now using acupuncture to help heal ailing dogs.

A botched surgery for a herniated disc in June of 2009 left six-year-old Greta with no bowel or bladder control and disabled, only able to get around in a special cart.

Owner Helen Dickson was devastated.

"It was really sad. She was a young dog, 4 going to be 5, used to playing in the yard and sudden she's paralyzed," she says.

That's when Helen turned to Dr. Sheldon Gerstenfeld of the Chestnuthill Veterinary Clinic.

Dr. Gerstenfeld used a combination of electro-acupuncture and holistic medicine to treat Greta.

Dr. Gerstenfeld says by placing very fine needles in different areas called meridians, the acupuncture can restore the balance of energy.

"There's all kinds of energy highways through the body and what we do is we put the needles at the on and off ramps of these meridians," he explains. "This sends an energy flow through these different areas."

Dino, a 13-year-old German shepherd, is a regular.  He's been coming to Chestunuthill Veterinary Clinic for four years now for a variety of issues.

"I call it a tune-up," says owner Rosemarie Dileo. "He comes in once a month for a tune-up and I can see results with in two days."

Dr. Gerstenfeld says depending on the animal's problems, at first they may need to get acupuncture a couple of times a week and then taper off treatments.

He says acupuncture combined with supplements and a proper diet and exercise can make all the difference.

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