Acupuncture therapy helps some dogs, cats, and other pets walk again

A pet is like a member of the family for many people, and they do whatever it takes if the animal is in need.  Now pet owners have another option when it comes to treatments for their pets.
 
Janelle Swilley is one of those pet owners.  She owns a six-year-old short-haired dachshund named Gator.  
 
Just over a month ago, Gator stopped walking and started dragging his hind legs.  "I took him to my regular vet, who assessed him.  (He) didn't do x-rays or anything, just assessed him, and said our options were to either do surgery out of town or to put him down," Janelle said.
 
With the cost of Gator's surgery estimated to exceed $5,000, and no guarantee he would walk again, Janelle did some research. She came across another option, acupuncture therapy.
 
"I can heal things that I didn't know was possible to heal," said Mitsie Vargas, a veterinarian at Orchid Springs Animal Hospital in Winter Haven.  "We've seen animals that have been paralyzed for over six months or eight months and they have walked again."
 
That is what happened with Gator.  "It was after his sixth session that he started to really walk," Janelle said.
 
"It stimulates the nerves to reconnect and to change, basically different pathways," is how Mitsie describes how acupuncture therapy works.
 
Sadee, an eight-year-old long-haired dachshund, also got the treatment after being paralyzed two years ago.  "I noticed that her one leg was limping and she wasn't able to walk on it," Kimbery Rooney, Sadee's owner said. 
 
After a few sessions with Mitsie, Sadee started to walk again.  "I was pretty excited and amazed that two weeks to a month later she's running around and jumping," Kimberly said.
 
The cost for acupuncture treatments is about $325.00 for six sessions, and it works on both dogs and cats. "I believe it 100 percent.  I believe it.  It works," Janelle said.
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