More Pet Owners Turning to Alternative Medicines

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More pet owners are turning to alternative medicines to meet the health needs of their furry friends. One dog owner says the difference after 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. 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 Connie Mungo.

When the arthritis became crippling, she 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," Dr. Alvararez said.

Sydney also gets a workout on a underwater treadmill in 90 degree water. It helps her build muscle without putting too much pressure on her joints.

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. Connie 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."

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.

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