Sanchez was experiencing neck pain a few months ago. When I first noticed the problem, the symptoms were acute, appeared very suddenly after little activity, and were very worrisome. At the worst flare-up one weekend, pain management was so challenging that I didn’t know if I could keep him alive for the weekend. He had nerve pain going down his leg and both of us slept very little in a 48 hour period.

That Monday he was at Coastal Holistic Complementary Veterinary Services, where both of my dogs are patients. While Dr. Molly Rice and Dr. Kari DeLeeuw are both DVM’s, they are also certified veterinary acupuncturists and chiropractors. He responded extremely well to acupuncture treatments, even when he went into the office crying in pain. Their holistic treatments literally saved Sanchez’s life and I am grateful beyond words.

In the above picture, Sanchez is receiving electrostimulator acupuncture treatment, a form of acupuncture in which a small electric current is passed between pairs of acupuncture needles. This form of treatment is particularly helpful in treating pain, in this case quite severe pain. An X-ray read by a radiologist revealed that he had a slipped disc in his neck and joint mice in his shoulder area.

Rehab was pretty intense. During the initial stages, when he was essentially on bed rest and pain management was challenging, I played Music to Comfort your Elderly Canine almost around the clock. Both of us benefited. The soothing sounds were so helpful when his meds started to wear off every few hours. The added component of frequency modulation – the addition or subtraction of targeted frequency ranges – makes assimilation easier for an already stressed, or weakened elderly canine nervous system.

A few months have passed, and I’m happy to say that Sanchez is off all medication (except for an herbal supplement) and is showing signs of acting like a puppy again. He is nine years old and there are some ongoing lifestyle changes to consider. I’ll never attach a leash to his neck (only to a harness), he’ll always have to do a 15 minute warm-up walk on leash before he gets let off-leash, and he now uses a ramp to avoid jumping out of the car. But, that’s a small price to pay for having a healed, healthy, vibrant dog.

Both Sanchez and Gina also receive canine massage treatments from Dr. Cindy DiFranco. With the help of her instructional canine massage DVD, I’ve even been able to do a bit of canine massage myself with them.

I am grateful beyond words that Sanchez didn’t need surgery to recover. And this scare was also a reminder that every day he has left with me is a gift. I’m counting my blessings!

Have you ever sought holistic veterinary care and alternative treatments for your pets? If not, would you consider it in the future? Thanks for sharing your experience in a comment below.

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