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Volume IX: Research to Protect, Treat & Cure Animals

Research to Protect, Treat, & Cure Animals
Alternative Medicine Provides Options by Heather Grimshaw
MAF Research Tests Effectiveness
Combining Eastern and Western medical therapies, sometimes called integrative or complementary medicine, gives patients the best of all worlds.
Requests for the services are increasing. Approximately 38 percent of adults in the United States use one form of complementary or alternative medicine, according to the National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine. And many seek treatments for their pets as well.
A study from Colorado State University’s Animal Cancer Center shows that 65 percent of 254 pet owners requested chiropractic care and acupuncture to reduce pain in their pets suffering from cancer. To accommodate demand, many veterinarians offer complementary services and network through industry groups such as the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Chiropractic Association and American Veterinary Chiropractic Association.
Dr. Robin Downing is a pain management specialist, owner of Windsor Veterinary Clinic in Colorado and a Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) trustee. She uses a variety of treatments like acupuncture, manual therapy and medical massage. “We blend the very best of what traditional, allopathic medicine has to offer,” she explains. “Think of it as a way to assist the body in healing itself.”
Although many of these techniques have yet to be fully proven in animals, research continues to advance. MAF wants to help ensure these techniques are scientifically sound, which is why we’ve expanded funding into nontraditional areas.
Two MAF-funded studies will provide reliable, scientific data about complementary treatments, including acupuncture, herbal remedies and chiropractic care.
Dr. Darryl L. Millis at the University of Tennessee is evaluating the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, low-level laser therapy and acupuncture for treating osteoarthritis in dogs. He estimates 20 percent of adult dogs suffer from the disease, and since some do not respond to or cannot tolerate drug therapies, complementary care could provide an attractive option.
Within the equine realm, Dr . Robert MacKay at the University of Florida will evaluate how acupuncture and herbal remedies impact anhidrosis, a condition that impairs a horse’s ability to dissipate heat through sweat.
“Studies like these help veterinarians make informed choices for patients. The availability of additional treatment methods appeals to veterinarians, who may have exhausted conventional approaches without success,” says Dr. Carvel Tiekert, executive director of the AHVMA.
Pet owners should work with trusted veterinarians as their primary source for information, referral and integrative or complementary therapies. In fact, many states require veterinary involvement when pets receive complementary care and specify where care can be provided.
“Review credentials of individuals who will do treatments, and try to speak to other pet owners whose animals have been similarly treated,” Downing recommends.
Dr. Millis’ co-sponsors: Doreen Jakubcak & Michael Malchow; Patricia Bennet Hoffman; Dr. Amy Hunkeler; Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America; Ms. Ann Campbell; In memory of Jean Arnold, DVM, MS, CVA by her friends, family, colleagues; Dr. Mary Carlson
American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture

American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association

American Veterinary Chiropractic Association

Rewritten with permission from Morris Animal Foundation

Thank you for your continued interest in animal chiropractic.

Dr. Lance E. Cleveland
Animal Chiropractor

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