How far would you go to save your pet’s life? – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio

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A special report from News Center 7 reveals that the specialized alternative treatments available in the Miami Valley can ease the pain of pets and, in some cases, help them avoid surgery.

One of the non-traditional treatments is hydrotherapy – in the form of an underwater treadmill.

Cathy Derrico exploits the veterinary alternatives of Centerville.

She wears waders when she joins Wally, a 5-year-old lab, in the compound, then fills it with 90-degree water.

Wally had surgery on both legs for an ACL tear. The underwater treadmill relieves her joints and helps build muscle.

In another nearby room, Cindy Abbott waits with her 16-year-old West Highland White Terrier.

“He’s my little guy. He’s the man of my life. It’s little Winston. He’s just over 16, ”Abbott told News Center 7’s Cheryl McHenry.

Three years ago, little Winston hurt his back while jumping over snow. Her vet told Cindy the injury was inoperable. Winston was in pain and standard treatments were not working. Cindy feared the worst.

“I really wasn’t sure he would do it that year,” Cindy said.

So Winston’s senior vet suggested that Cindy take him to see Dr. Julie Servaites. She begins each visit with a nose-to-tail exam.

“How does he feel today? Said Serviites. “He’s doing really well. “

To relieve Winson’s back pain, Dr. Servaites uses acupuncture.

“We have a lot of stereotypes in this type of medicine where people can be afraid the needles hurt, or ‘my dog ​​is not going to sit for needles’ and ‘can you put needles in cats?’ The design of the acupuncture needle is really designed not to hurt and we really want to separate the skin cells so that we can get to the acupuncture point, ”Dr Servaites said.

Cindy brings in Winston every two weeks for treatment.

“How much have you seen a change in him since he came here?” McHenry asked.

“Huge,” Cindy said.

Dexter, 4, is more than a companion. He’s a dog with a job. He is Officer Darcy Workman’s partner with Buckeye Search and Rescue.

“He’s doing human remains screening,” Constable Workman said. “He finds deceased individuals. When he works he comes to life and gets so excited. You can tell he was born to do that.

It is a search and rescue dog that was first rescued by Constable Workman.

“He was in Alabama. He had been abused. He had been chained to a tree. He has scars on his leg because of it, ”Constable Workman said.

Dr Servaites treated Dexter’s leg injuries with acupuncture and laser therapy, then she discovered a more serious problem: a cancerous lump on his chest.

Darcy said the visits to Dr Serviites have become even more important.

“And after he got his chemotherapy treatments, he would come in for treatment from Dr Servaites, and I think that helped him cope with the chemo and detox,” Darcy said. “He worked and deployed through his treatments. He handled the treatments very well.

Dr Serviites said many pet insurance plans now cover these non-traditional services. When they help a patient avoid surgery, she says the cost savings can be even greater.

“Your pet may need spine surgery, or the surgeon may say, ‘Let’s try acupuncture and medical management.’ It could be something like saving around $ 8,000. The treatments for us are probably going to cost around $ 1,000. “

These treatments, combined with the Chinese herbs prescribed by Dr Servaites, she said, helped heal the wounds of these dogs. However, the best preventative care an owner can give their pet is to control their weight.

“Obesity can adversely affect the health of your pet,” said Dr. Servaites.

She cited a study from the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine that shows the average reduction in lifespan of overweight dogs among twelve common breeds. For example:

–Excess weight can shorten the life of a Golden Retriever by eight months.

–Beagles and two-year-old dachshunds.

–And the life of a two-and-a-half-year-old Yorkshire Terrier.

“By keeping their physical shape and calorie intake low, they will live longer and be happier,” said Dr Servaites.

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