Pet Health

March 2018 Patient of the Month

In a delightful departure from our normal Patient of the Month format, this month's entry is brought to you by the patient himself!  Here, straight out of the horse's....er...dog's mouth, is Beau's story! Enjoy!

Sir Beau's Story

Beau 1.jpg

Hi!

My name is (Sir) Beau I’m a 17+ year old Treeing Walker Coonhound

Do you have any food?

I grew up hunting in North Carolina, then when I was unable to that anymore,  I went to a place where there were a LOT of other dogs, then finally to Animal Care Sanctuary when my friend found me!

Do you have any food?

I’m not much for playing but have always loved walks wherever there are good smells, lying down with my friend and FOOD!

Do you have any?

I’ve slowed down a lot in the past few years (my human friend can keep up with me now, but my other pack member Casey leaves us in the dust! He’s crazy!). Considering I’ve been shot (birdshot which may be why I was unable to hunt anymore and am so afraid of thunder and gunshots), had Lyme disease, almost died from Leptospirosis (Thank you VMC for saving me!), have arthritis and an enlarged spleen, I think I’m doing pretty well!

Beau 3.jpg
Beau 2.jpg

Do you have any food?

Now I come to the VMC to get treats and see Lis and Dr. Flaherty (I used to see Dr. Burnett before) and go sniff around the back.  That water tank is pretty sketchy, but I feel better and I get TREATS!!

Do you have any?

That’s my story, for now.  I think I’ll go sprawl out in my bed and dream about hunting but first, some food.

Do you have any?

Beau 4.jpg

With a grateful (and Hungry) Heart-

Beau

January 2018 Patient of the Month

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Scarlett Jane's Story

Like so many of the very best things, Miss Scarlett Jane (a 7-year-old Great Dane) burst into my life quite unexpectedly. In June of 2015, a little over a month after my dog of 9 years had passed away, my sister called me up saying that I needed to get on Facebook immediately to check out a dog that had just come up for adoption. I told her no thanks, I just wasn’t ready. I was still grieving and was in no shape to adopt another dog so soon after losing my boy. After a few more minutes of her insisting that I just needed “to look”, I hung up, convinced I wasn’t interested.

That lack of interest lasted only moments, before curiosity got the best of me. Within seconds of hanging up the phone I jumped on Facebook, saw Scarlett’s face, and fell in love. And within minutes, I’d sent a private message to the humane society where she was being held, expressing my extreme interest.

Scarlett had been surrendered from a family with other dogs and young children, and was listed as a “special case”. Her new owner would need to meet certain requirements before being considered as a feasible adoptive option. As luck would have it, I had previous experience with Great Danes and since I was living in a country home free of children and other pets, I knew Scarlett and I would be a perfect fit. The next day the shelter was open, I scheduled a meeting during my lunch hour to introduce myself to Miss Scarlett. I could tell this beautiful girl was nervous and disoriented by the chaos of the shelter surroundings, but after just a few minutes she was leaning into me with all her heart, and I was a goner. The volunteer on hand didn’t even need to ask, we went straight into the office and filled out the paperwork that afternoon. And for the next year and a half we lived happily ever after…

Flash forward to February of last year, when the happy little bubble Scarlett and I were living in, burst around us. One fateful morning as I was wiping her down from the messiness of our snowy/muddy morning walk, I came across a terrifyingly large mass that had all but appeared out of nowhere on her belly. I put a call out to her vet and within an hour she was being examined and my worst fears were coming to life. Surgery was scheduled for several days later, where it was discovered that my girl had the canine equivalent of breast cancer. She was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of inflammatory carcinoma. The prognosis was grim at best and our post-surgical options were limited. I was told that the surgery would only do so much and that without additional treatment, Scarlett had maybe weeks to live. Refusing to give up on my girl without exhausting every available option, I was referred to Dr. Kenneth Rassnick and the Oncology department at the Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) of CNY. And two days after the biggest snow storm of early 2017, I loaded my girl into the car and made the hour long commute to Syracuse to see what our future held.

Walking into the VMC, I was cautiously optimistic, because we really had nothing to lose. But instantly I knew that no matter what happened, we were in the best possible hands. The atmosphere was unlike anything I’d ever experienced, in any medical office, human or otherwise. Everyone from the receptionists to the techs to the docs were kind, understanding and so very sympathetic to our situation. Even the other pet-parents, were super supportive and wishing us well. This extensive group of complete strangers took us in and were going to help us in any way they could.

After our consultation, it was decided that a combination of chemotherapy and a daily medication would be the best option for Scarlett. For the next 3 months, Scarlett and I traveled out to Syracuse on a weekly basis for her treatments, making friends with several Thruway toll collectors along the way. And for a dog that was quite apprehensive about visiting the doctor and very reluctant to leave my side, Scarlett handled the treatments amazingly well, carrying herself with a graceful dignity that any pet-parent would be proud of.

In June, it appeared that Scarlett could possibly be on her way to remission. Her bloodwork was looking good and her scans were all clear. My heart was overcome with joy and relief. In my mind, Scarlett had beaten the odds and we had been granted the miracle I had been praying for. My brave sweet girl, who deserved so much more from her golden years, enjoyed a perfectly amazing summer of long rides in the car with the windows down, lazy days napping in the sunshine and all the snacks and snuggles she could handle.

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In September, to my great disappointment and to the disappointment of all our wonderful friends at VMC, I found a new mass on Scarlett’s belly. So we’re back to our regularly scheduled chemotherapy and trying our luck with a new medication. But most importantly, Scarlett’s spirits are high and she’s feeling good. So for now we take it day by day, the plan being to keep Scarlett happy and comfortable for as long as possible.

I don’t know what the future holds, but what I do know is that finding Dr. Rassnick and all the incredible people at the VMC has been a true blessing. They helped to keep my sweet girl feeling like herself and have given me precious time with her, and those two things have been the greatest gifts I could have ever asked for. So from the bottom of my heart I thank you… and Scarlett thanks you too!

- Erinn Riley (Scarlett’s Mom)

February 2017 Patient of the Month

Pilot's Story

January 13 2016 is a day that I will never forget, that was the day my boy was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia-IMHA. When your dog has IMHA, it means his immune system destroys its own red blood cells. Your dog’s body still produces red blood cells in the bone marrow to replace the destroyed cells, but, once they are released the immune system mistakenly recognizes them as something foreign. Pilot is a 3 year old Schipperke male who came into my life on October 19th 2013. I show dogs and I waited a very long time, years in fact, to get a dog as special as he is. He was the most confident dog I have ever seen and I knew he was going to be a top show dog, he loves everyone he meets and everyone who meets him loves him, a dream come true but that was not to be. He rose to the top in a very short time, finished his championship in record speed before his first birthday, on his way to becoming a grand champion. I had HUGE goals for him and he certainly was the dog to do it all. But I noticed that he was starting to fade just after his second birthday, he would what I call pass out with exertion lost interest in eating and developed bloody stool. I rushed him to Stack Vet Hospital to see what was wrong they took a blood sample and said they would get back to me with results the next day.

Well I got the call from Dr. Stack and he asked me if I could come up that day to review the results, I knew right then and there it was not good. I called my husband Spencer and we met at home to take our boy for results. I was told that Pilot had IMHA and it was a life threatening illness, a normal RBC is 45 and above, he was at 15.5. We were in total shock, I had never heard of this disease. They started him on Prednisone which is the first line of treatment. A follow up appointment was made for the following week for a RBC count. I went home to do my research on this illness. I contacted some of my show friends and no one really knew or had seen this before.

When we went for his follow up appointment it was snowing and blowing out. Pilots RBC count was now 7.5! Dr. Stack said to me Pilot needs a blood transfusion or he will die. I chose to take him to the Emergency Room at the Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) and the arrangements were made.

Well, the staff at VMC were just incredible! I was an emotional wreck thinking the worst and in shock myself. I was treated with such compassion and a better knowledge of what was wrong with my dog. I left knowing he was in good hands. They kept in contact with me throughout the night and his RBC count went up to 19. He was hospitalized for two days and transferred to the Critical Care Service. I was told how serious this was that some dogs do well but it is a long battle, our goal is to get Pilot into remission.

Pilot still has a long way to go and is going to need frequent visits with the Internal Medicine Service at the VMC. The Internal Medicine Service is the greatest “team” ever to care for him. My husband, Pilot and I would like to personally thank Dr. Heather White, Dr. Cortright, Kim (vet tech) and Toby (vet tech), and Tracie receptionist who just love my boy, hard not to since he is very special. I can honestly say my dog would not be here if it weren’t for the love and devotion they have for him and for the emotional support they have given my husband and I. As long as Pilot is willing to fight so are we!!!

Thanks so much to everyone who has been there for Pilot!!!

Spencer, Sandi and Pilot Lovelace…

January 2017 Patient of the Month!

Stella's Story

When we adopted Stella in 2010, we weren’t looking for a young dog. We had our hearts set on a 9-year old female from German Shepherd Rescue who could be a companion to our 9.5-year-old male, Ezra. The 9-year-old female did not want to live in a house with other dogs, so the rescue steered us to Stella, a 2.5-year-old that had been surrendered by her family.  We feel in love with Stella’s sweet personality and playfulness immediately.  Stella and Ezra were running around and playing like old friends shortly after meeting so we knew she was the dog for us. 

Stella had a femoral head and neck osteotomy performed on her left hip when she was 6-months old after x-rays showed hip dysplasia. Despite this early setback, Stella is an extremely active dog who loves to play fetch and Frisbee. Occasionally we noticed that Stella was stiff after her playtimes. We brought her in for Physical Rehabilitation and Pain Management at the Veterinary Medical Center of CNY. Dr. Fleckenstein and Lis Conarton had worked wonders on our old shepherd, Ezra’s issues through the end of his life so we knew they would come up with a plan to keep Stella active. We immediately saw a decrease in Stella’s stiffness and recovery once we added physical rehabilitation. We have kept Stella on a 4 to 6-week rotation of chiropractic care and hydrotherapy and followed a regiment of home exercise and stretches. 

When we adopted Stella we knew she had anxiety issues. Having a strong male role model around helps with Stella’s anxiety but it is still a problem. Stella’s greatest problems occur during thunderstorms. We have frequently come home or woken up to find Stella wedged into a space that is too small for her. Stella has cut herself during these episodes but never caused an injury that required medical care. In early July, Stella panicked during a thunderstorm and wedged herself under our bed. The bedframe is very close to the ground. The only way Stella was able to get herself under the bed was to unnaturally contort her body. Stella was wedged in so tight that we could not pull her out. I was able to pull Stella out after my husband lifted the bed. It looked like she had rotated her hips at a strange angle so we weren’t surprised that she was a little stiff when she started walking around. 

Aside from the stiffness, she acted like her normal, playful self.  The next morning when we took her out to play fetch it was obvious that something was wrong. She was not putting weight on her left hind leg. We brought Stella to the Veterinary Medical Center of CNY for evaluation and found out that she had ruptured her cruciate ligament. Dr. Robinson and the surgical team assured us that this was a common injury in active dogs and that Stella would be back to her playful self about 12 weeks after surgery if we followed a strict rest and recovery program. 

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One week after Stella’s surgery we started Acupuncture. Stella had a lot of bruising and swelling around her knee and ankle and her leg was extremely hot to the touch. A few hours after her first Acupuncture treatment, the bruising and swelling had decreased significantly. We continued with treatments every two weeks through Stella’s 6-week post op x-rays. Once we got the all-clear that she was healing well, we were able to add Physical Rehabilitation with Lis. Visits with Lis for laser therapy were already part of Stella’s recovery but we were happy that now she was going to be able to do something active to burn off some of that nervous energy. 

At this point, we are almost 11 weeks post-surgery and Stella is doing great. Stella now comes in twice a month for her treatments with Dr. Polly and Lis and we follow our home exercise and mobility regiment.  Stella is doing better than we expected at this point and is basically back to her old self. Even though some parts of the recovery process have been difficult, things would have been much worse without the great care and support that we receive from the VMC. You never want anything bad to happen to your pet but when it does, it is great to have such a great resource close by that embraces both traditional and non-traditional approaches to veterinary care. 

                               ~The Sliwiak Family

Diagnosis:

  • History of Left Femoral Head & Neck Osteotomy
  • Left Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture corrected with TPLO repair
  • Noise Phobia
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Secondary Compensatory Muscle Pain

Treatments:

  • Electroacupuncture
  • Laser Therapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Massage
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • VSMT
  • Alprazolam (for anxiety)
  • Shen Calmer (Chinese Herbs for Anxiety)
  • Pain Management Perioperatively (and as needed)
  • Tendon Ligament Formula Chinese Herbs

 

 

 

 

Albuterol toxicity in Pets: Where's your inhaler?

ventolin-inhaler-02-1 Millions of people in the United States suffer from asthma.  Many of these people have inhalers to use during an attack.   These inhalers are composed of a small pressurized canister that contains a solution of asthma medicine fitted into a plastic casing that releases a precise dose of the medicine in an aerosol form.  The medicine contained in many asthma inhalers is albuterol, a drug used to relax the muscles in the lungs and allow the air passages to open.

The size and (we think) the smell of the inhalers make them very attractive and interesting to our dogs.  Dogs are easily able to puncture the canister if they chew on it. Since the canister is pressurized, the entire contents are released instantly, resulting in almost certain overdose of the medication. In an overdose, these drugs affect both the muscles of the lungs as well as the muscles of the heart. The results are immediate, severe, and include the following:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Red gums
  • Increased respiratory rate / excessive panting
  • Abnormal behavior (restlessness/agitation, hiding, tremors, shaking, lethargy, weakness, collapse)
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Severe changes in blood electrolytes (particularly potassium)
  • Seizures
  • Shock
  • Acute death

If you know that your pet has bitten into an inhaler, you should seek care at the nearest emergency veterinary facility.  Bring the inhaler and the original packaging if it is available, as well as any medications that your pet is currently taking. Do not induce vomiting at home.

cute-albuterol-toxicity-patient

Dogs suffering from albuterol toxicity will typically need to stay in the hospital for 12 - 48 hours.  Treatment will include sedation, aggressive IV fluids, blood work (to monitor the electrolyte levels), drugs to slow the heart rate down, and heart and blood pressure monitoring. With prompt and appropriate treatment, albuterol toxicity is rarely fatal, although pets with heart conditions and pets on medications that interact poorly with albuterol are at higher risk for serious complications.

Veterinary Medical Center of CNY's Emergency veterinarians are available 24/7/365 to help you and your pet through these types of emergencies, but we will be just as happy if you can avoid them!  Keep these and all other medications out of reach of your pets.  Also avoid disposing of used canisters in trash cans that are accessible to pets. Used inhalers can still contain enough medication to be dangerous.

November Patient of the Month

Dorothy's Story, Part II

dorothy

You may remember that we featured Dorothy's story a few months back.  She is a senior dog who was left on the street when her owners decided it was too much trouble to care for her and her medical problems.  If you missed our original post about her, you can catch up here: http://wp.me/p2pFC1-bk

We have an update from her family, about how Dorothy's care has been going since that original article:

Once Dorothy had recovered from all her urgently necessary treatments, it was time to begin focusing on the rest of her.  It was clear by her posture, movements and body language that she was experiencing pain all over her body. Dorothy was evaluated by Dr. Burnett and prescribed a regimen of pain management medications, laser and massage therapy.  Dorothy has been visiting Lis and Dr. Burnett for 10 months now and has shown remarkable improvements.  She has always enjoyed her walks around the neighborhood but now runs around the yard like a puppy, tossing her favorite rubber ducky into the air!  There was a time that she would run away from a massage at home and tremble when you would touch or try to stretch her. Now she can’t get enough of her massages and stretches.  She still needs work and is not 100% but she has come leaps and bounds from where she was 10 short months ago.  If you look into her eyes close enough you will see that she is saying thank you to VMC and CARE for significantly reducing her pain and allowing her to live again!  

We thank you from the bottom our hearts!  

~ Dorothy's Family

 

Dorothy's issues:

  • Suspect chronic arthritis (hips/stifles) with compensatory muscle pain

Treatments:

  • Pain Medications
  • Supplements (Omega 3 Fatty Acids)
  • Physical Rehabilitation (laser and massage therapy)

 

VMC September Patient of the Month

Bevyn's Story

bevyn

In December of 2015, I noticed a small growth on the lower lip of my 4 year old Golden Retriever, Bevyn. I contacted his primary veterinarian and brought him in to be evaluated. They decided to perform a fine needle aspiration of the growth and had me continue to monitor the area for any changes. The fine needle aspiration was inconclusive and within a couple of weeks his front bottom teeth began to shift and there was obvious inflammation. Due to the sudden changes in his mouth, his vet performed x-rays of his jaw and she confirmed that a tumor was present.

I was beyond devastated. Unfortunately, due to his breed the vet prepared me for the “C” word, cancer. I was immediately referred to Dr. Rassnick at the VMC in January 2016. During the oncology consult, Dr. Rassnick discussed the options that were available for Bevyn and from there we started our journey at the VMC. A fine needle aspiration was initially performed on 2 lymph nodes to rule out any metastasis, thankfully they were both clear. A CT scan was performed to show the margins of the tumor and biopsies were taken which confirmed the diagnosis of fibrosarcoma.

The next step was meeting with Dr. Robinson for a surgery consult to remove the tumor. Dr. Robinson’s plan was to perform a bilateral rostral mandibulectomy (removing a large portion of his lower jaw). In March 2016, Bevyn’s surgery was a success and I was able to bring him home the day after surgery. Dr. Robinson’s surgical work on Bevyn’s mouth was wonderful. I had planned for alterations in Bevyn’s basic activities such as eating, drinking and playing with his toys but he has continued to prove me wrong! He is eating and drinking the same as before his surgery and he still enjoys finding sticks outside to chew on. Although we have hit some bumps in the road during Bevyn’s recovery and a few more than anticipated visits to the VMC, Bevyn is still my happy and energetic boy.

Bevyn is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments with Dr. Rassnick to prevent any future regrowth or spread of the fibrosarcoma. The level of compassion and professionalism we have received from all of the staff at the VMC has been immense. I am thankful every day for the care that has been provided for Bevyn.

~Bevyn’s Mom

Diagnosis:

  • Oral Fibrosarcoma

Treatment:

  • Mandibulectomy surgery to remove tumor and section of affected jaw
  • Multiple chemotherapy treatments followed surgery due to his risk of tumor recurrence and spread

 

July 2016 Patient of the Month

Oliver Abbey

Oliver's Story

This handsome boy is Oliver, the love of my life. He is a Maltese/Shih Tzu who will be 17 on July 22nd, 2016. Happy Birthday to my boy! Oliver’s first visit to the Veterinary Medical Center of CNY was in July 2004 with corneal ulceration and corneal edema of the right eye. We were referred to Doctor Burgesser who began treating Oliver for dry eye with ophthalmic drops. Doctor Burgesser continued to be his Ophthalmologist until his retirement from VMC in January 2016.

Oliver started having back issues the beginning of 2012. His veterinarian, Doctor Stokes-Cowley at Lyncourt Veterinary Hospital took radiographs and diagnosed the beginning of disk disease. He was given NSAID, pain and antispasmodic medication. Oliver was also seen at VMC in 2012 and 2013 for recurrent episodes.

Oliver Abbey 2

In November 2013 when the spasms became severe, he was seen by Doctor Fleckenstein, who diagnosed Oliver with Intervertebral Disc Disease. After her assessment , Doctor Fleckenstein prescribed laser acupuncture along with medication and supplements. I was also given exercises for Oliver at home. Without her present regimen, I do not believe Oliver’s quality of life would be what it is now. Thank you to Doctor Fleckenstein and Sue for the love and treats you spoil Oliver with.

Thank you, VMC staff!

Kathy & Oliver

Diagnosis:

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Corneal Edema (Right Eye)

Treatment:

  • Laser Acupuncture
  • Lateral Flexion Exercises
  • Warm Compress
  • Massage
  • Pain Medications & Supplements

June Patient of the Month

Raji and mom

Raji's Story

Raji started coming to the VMC in the summer of 2013, when he was 12 years old. He had been showing some signs of arthritis, especially in his back legs and part of his back. Sometimes he was also reluctant to go out on walks and we started to wonder if he might be having some pain. We’d gotten him on some supplements that our veterinarian (Dr. Capparelli) recommended (which definitely helped). However, it seemed like he needed something else to help with the stiffness and increasing reluctance to walk for as long as he used to. Our vet thought acupuncture from Dr. Fleckenstein here at the VMC might help to reduce pain and increase mobility.

Raji started seeing Dr. Fleckenstein and right away we noticed a decrease in the amount of twitching in his back when we petted him in certain areas. He also seemed to have more energy, and he was more interested for his normal walks. He also liked coming to see Dr. Fleckenstein and Sue, who assists with most of our visits and also gives great massages and treats! There is always a calm atmosphere and I think Raj feels very cared for. Dr. Fleckenstein has definitely helped with keeping Raj comfortable in his own body as he ages. She has helped to keep down pain and inflammation from arthritis, and worked out trigger points with the laser and needle acupuncture. Dr. Fleckenstein also recommended a ramp for getting him in and out of the car. This ramp has been so helpful, and it is light and easy to set up; he couldn’t get in the car without it!

In the fall of 2014, Raj started seeing Lis for Physical Rehabilitation. Dr. Fleckenstein recommended her and said she could add another dimension to his care. Lis started doing laser therapy and massage to release the increasing number of trigger points he had, and also made exercise suggestions for home. He liked coming for the rehab sessions and was very comfortable with her and her caring, gentle and friendly demeanor. At first Raji had to get up a few times during the sessions to “shake out” after her manual trigger point release, but as Lis worked with him and the trigger points became fewer, he could sit for whole sessions quite often as she worked her trigger point release magic! Lis also shows me various exercises to do with him. She gave some simple exercises and massage techniques for us to do at home to keep his range of motion as good as possible. We also do the massage techniques she shows us so we can keep some of the trigger points at bay. With the sessions with Lis, we can see changes in Raji immediately: he seems brighter and moves better after she works out all the kinks!

Raji

Just a few days ago, unfortunately, Raji had a vestibular episode. Our vet and the folks at VMC were kind enough to lend a hand. The VMC lent us a special harness to help him get up and walk. So far, he hasn’t been successful, but we are working on bringing him back to his old self. It is nice to know everyone is concerned and willing to help Raji get better. We look forward to resuming his therapies soon!

~McCoy Family

Diagnosis:

  • Rhinitis & Sinusitis
  • Presumptive Hind End Osteoarthritis & Weakness
  • Compensating Muscle Pain
  • Myofascial Trigger Points
  • Vestibular Syndrome

Treatment:

  • Acupuncture
  • Lacer Acupuncture
  • Low Level Laser Therapy
  • Dry Needle Trigger Point Therapy
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Myofascial Trigger Point Release (Manual)
  • Home Exercise Program
  • Medications, Multiple Herbal Therapies, Supplements

 

VMC's May Patient of the Month

Petunia's Story

Petunia

Petunia was the runt of her litter and we believe that is why her spirit is especially strong.  Since the day she came home with her brother Ruben, she has made it very clear that she is the alpha.  Although she may be tiny, she has always gone out of her way to prove that she is the ruler of the roost. It is especially humorous since Ruben and the rest of the animals could not care less.

At her very first vet visit, the doctor warned that she was a 'lemon' and she should be returned to the breeder. Obviously, this was out of the question.  Shortly after several consultations, she was taken to Los Angeles at just 3 months old to have surgery on her heart.  The procedure was very successful, reducing her heart murmur significantly. We were so relieved and Petunia's new strength was remarkable. Growing up in Sunny San Diego, the two Frenchies frequented dog beaches and parks; playing fetch was their favorite thing to do!  Petunia was fast and coordinated, bounding to get her ball. Unlike her brother who often tumbled and fumbled the ball -- he usually held on to it for dear life, knowing Petunia would happily have both balls to herself.

It was not until Petunia was 9 years old that she showed a change in her gait.  At first it was just once and a while, when running full speed for her ball, that her hind legs would go limp. She hardly seemed to notice and would still propel herself for the ball.  After several similar occurrences, we decided to have her seen by a neurosurgeon in Northern San Diego. After examining her, it was predicted that she had bulging discs in two parts of her spine. An MRI would confirm if surgery was even an option, knowing that surgery would only prevent more damage from being done, but would not reverse any of the immobility that she was already experiencing. With Petunia's heart condition and age, anesthesia for the MRI was not encouraged, let alone for the intensive surgery that may follow. The doctors noted that any pain she was experiencing was not affecting her attitude or eating habits and that we should proceed by minimizing her exertion at the park and try some anti-inflammatories to see if that may relieve any pressure in her spinal column. She tested out some mild steroids with little benefits.

Meanwhile, a move to Boston was in process and soon she met with the doctors at Angell Medical Hospital.  First she saw the neurosurgeons and heart specialist, seeking second opinions and advice on how to proceed.  At this point she was becoming more and more wobbly in her hips- coined as 'drunken sailor' movement.  Her spirit was still strong, but she was not able to move like she once had.  After concluding that any operation was too risky with no guarantee of positive results, she went to see Dr. Lisa Moses for acupuncture. After Petunia's first visit with Dr. Moses, she was noticeably more comfortable and showed strong action in her hind quarters. She found relief from pain and reduced inflammation immediately and it seemed like a miracle. As almost two years passed, Petunia's condition did continue to worsen, as expected.  She tried out water therapy and was fitted for some wheels. Still, it was obvious how much she rebounded after acupuncture. Her relief was visible and her love for Dr. Moses was palpable.

Petunia and Ruben 2

When Petunia moved to the Syracuse area, Dr. Moses recommended the VMC and Dr. Fleckenstein. For almost a year now she has been working with Dr. Fleckenstein and Lis. For the first time she was given exercises and stretches to work on at home. She started taking Chinese Herbs and has minimized her steroid intake, with positive results.  She looks forward to her weekly visits to see Dr. Fleckenstein, Sue, and our other lovely assistants. With ample treats and comfy bedding always set up, Ruben enjoys almost as much pampering when he comes along to accompany his sister. Together, we are all forever grateful for their tender and thoughtful care.  We simply cannot thank you enough!

~Gregg Family

Diagnosis:

  • Hind Limb Paraparesis Secondary to Presumptive Intervertebral Disc Disease and Congenital Vertebral Abnormalities

Treatment:

  • Acupuncture, Electroacupuncture & Lacer Acupuncture for Pain, Nerve Stimulation, Heart Disease, Urinary and Immune Support & General Well Being.
  • Methyl Prednisone, Gabapentin, Chinese Herbal Formula—Loranthus Powder
  • Canine Cart
  • Under Water Treadmill, Low Level Laser Therapy for muscle spasms and Home Exercise & Stretching Program including Home Water Therapy