Special Reports

Alternative Pet Treatments

Thursday, March 05, 2009

For centuries people have been turning to eastern medicine which has long been known for its alternative healing powers. But, what about turning to unconventional methods to treat your pets? The methods are becoming increasing popular among veterinarians in our area.

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For centuries people have been turning to eastern medicine which has long been known for its alternative healing powers.

But, what about turning to unconventional methods to treat your pets?

And the methods are becoming increasing popular among veterinarians in our area.

From acupuncture to herbal treatments vets are turning to holistic medicine to treat aliments including arthritis, seizures and even cancer.

"She saw the cancer and it was either amputate or put him down," said Rick Turner.

At thirteen years old Rick Turners beloved dog Sundance was now in for the fight of his life.

The diagnosis of a rapidly growing bone cancer in Sundance's hind leg left Rick with a painful decision "He was still so full of life you could see the sparkle in his eyes," said Rick.

"To amputate we basically would have been killing him."

So Rick turned to Doctor Rose DiLeva with the Animal Wellness Center in Chadds Ford, who he knew would suggest an alternative route.

Doctor DiLeva treated Sundance with neoplasine, a natural botanical from bloodroot which she injects directly into the tumor.

"His osteosarcoma his bone cancer is completely gone," said Dr. DiLeva.

Sundance's treatment is just one of many alternative therapy's doctor DiLeva has found to work.

Gina Dianna's cat Sabrina, was diagnosed three and a half years ago with liver cancer.

Since then, Doctor DiLeva has been treating Sabrina with an intravenous vitamin c therapy about every four to six weeks.

"She's not just hanging on, she's thriving," said Gina.

In fact, Dr. DiLeva uses unconventional methods, including the use of herbs and even acupuncture to treat many types of aliments.

"You can deal with anything from behavioral problems to arthritic problems to epilepsy to ligament issues," she said.

Lauren Chicklo's dog Jake was suffering from a spondolosis, a severe arthritic condition of the back.

After trips to the orthopedic surgeon, and rounds of pain management Jake wasn't getting any better.

"I just felt like all that was doing was putting a band-aid over what was really going on," said Lauren.

So she sought out acupuncture as another approach.

"After the first treatment I just noticed that he was happier," Lauren added.

"We're going to hit some acupuncture points," said Dr. DiLeva.

Nacine Supinsky also found acupuncture and herbal treatments are helping her German Shepard Vargas, who suffers from seizures.

Traditional treatments can usually cost pet owners hundreds to thousands of dollars.

If a pet requires surgery the cost would be even more.

A round of acupuncture is $45 a treatment.

The neoplasine cancer treatment runs $150 to $275 an injection depending on the size of the mass. And the Vitamin C drip around $350.

"I was thinking about the hip transplant but it was such an invasive thing to do and it was so costly," said Linda Elliott.

Since a puppy, Linda's dog Oliver Maxwell Smart has suffered from severe hip dysplasia.

Surgery Linda was told would cost twenty thousand dollars.

Dr. DiLeva suggested a gold bead implantation.

"Which is a permanent form of acupuncture," added Dr. DiLeva.

Dr. DiLeva says the procedure a less invasive option, but at $1800 a less costly option as well.

But not all vets are convinced that alternative medicine is the best way to go.

Dr. Carol Caracand says pet owners should be cautious when considering alternative therapy.

"I have a little bit of a problem with some chiropractic techniques....unless there's a veterinarian on board," said Dr. Caracand.

Dr. Caracand is firm in her belief that alternative medicine should never be used alone or for treating animals with cancer.

Still doctor DiLeva and her army of success stories believes in the holistic approach as another option. "I try to beat the odds, I'm here to beat the odds," said Dr. DiLeva.

Dr. DiLeva said that every case is individualized.

She does both a traditional western medicine exam and a Chinese exam on her patients to give their owners all the options.

Dr. DiLeva said that certain aliments including heart and thyroid issues cannot be treated holistically.

If you're planning on looking into an alternative approach for your pet you should seek out a doctor that is licensed to practice this method of medicine.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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