Alternative medicine can have incredible benefits where conventional medicine may not be able to help
As it is National Pet Month, I want to celebrate a special friend and the resolution of a problem with one of his special dogs.
Shadow is a fabulous fluffy white German Shepherd, with a temperament as soft as his fur coat. He lives a lovely life – much loved, in a spacious home – but last autumn when he was about 10 years old he started to experience an embarrassing problem.
The poor soul developed an incontinence problem with his ‘number twos’. Every day for a couple of weeks he had an accident in his bed, and some days packages would drop out of him as he walked through the home, without him being aware of it.
Fortunately his owners are so loving that they tidied things up for him each day, and cast no blame. At least there was no diarrhoea, so clearing up was a minor exercise. However, no dog likes to dirty his own place, so he was brought in to me to see what I could do.
The usual causes of lack of bowel control in dogs include injury to the spine or tail, anal gland problems, muscle or nerve damage, perianal fistula and intestinal disorders. Some dogs with a painful condition of the hips or anal area may prefer not to squat to do their business, and then get caught short instead.
After my assessment I felt that I had very little to offer Shadow with conventional medicine. I sent him away with a promise to review the literature and discuss his issues with my colleagues. Very sadly, nothing new cropped up until my colleague Angie, who has spent all her spare time in the last five years studying acupuncture, suggested that she examined him.
When he came back to see us a little while later she noticed that there were some subtle signs of nerve deterioration affecting his hind legs and tail. He received acupuncture treatment; he didn’t enjoy the needles, but was far too much of a gentleman to do more than give Angie a meaningful glance.
Angie also added some fibre and probiotics to his diet. He had recently also been put onto nutritional supplements for any arthritic changes, which had made him more playful and boisterous.
Just three days after his first acupuncture session, he was clean for a whole day. He has remained that way now for months, having had a total of five sessions with Angie.
Not surprisingly, his owners are delighted, and they can now invite guests back into their home without anxiety about what they might tread in!
To find out more about how acupuncture works and why Angie has switched from needles to laser acupuncture, go to www.tipsfromthemewes.co.uk.