Posted 10:00 PM 5/13/2012 : Pet owners turning to alternative treatments for their four-legged friends
If you are a pet person you probably cannot imagine your life without one. So when a life-threatening condition threatens your pet's life it can be devastating. However two Tucson pet owners would not give up. They went searching for alternative treatments and got life-saving results.
Just like people often seek out second, even third opinions on medical care, the staff at P.A.W.S. Veterinary Center encourages pet owners to do the same. They practice Eastern and Western medicine, often combining the two to give animals and their owners as many options as possible.
Coco the Mastiff is not supposed to be here, three years ago she was diagnosed with bone cancer in her back left leg.
"They said if I did amputate her leg then she'd have a year to live and if I did not that she'd have about four months," said Marilyn Kahlich, Coco's owner.
Kahlich decided against the amputation and after two rounds of radiation, came to P.A.W.S. looking for other options.
"The belief is the body has an amazing ability to fight cancer or heal itself given the building blocks," said Dr. Randy Aronson.
So Dr. Aronson put Coco on a grain-free diet, combined with a variety of medications, multi-vitamins and Chinese herbal supplements. Now, almost four years old, Coco is cancer free.
"She's just like any other dog, you would never know there was any problem," said Kahlich.
Seven-year-old Prince is another dog defying the odds. Late last year the active Boxer started limping, and eventually could not use his back legs at all.
"We were really worried because we didn't want to put him to sleep," said Cheryl Sparks, one of Prince's owners.
Cheryl and Gary Sparks even fitted Prince for a wheelchair after laser therapy and steroids failed. P.A.W.S. prescribed electroacupuncture and underwater treadmill therapy. That, combined with a variety of dietary supplements, seem to be doing the trick.
"His back legs are not as stable as they used to be, but he's got a great quality of life and he doesn't notice it," said Cheryl.
"He's been a great dog and we're going to give him every chance we can," said Gary.
Treatments start at $50 or $60 and go well into the hundreds, but Dr. Aronson says they try and work with every family to find the right treatments within the right price ranges.
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