VIDEO: Local veterinarian uses acupuncture to treat pet health issues
EDGERTON—Berny, a 13-year-old Australian shepherd, appeared calm as he stood motionless during his second acupuncture treatment.
As Dr. Terri Osgood stuck more than 20 hair-strand-thin needles into the his body, the dog stared into the eyes of his owner, Cheri Dallman, who comforted him from a seat nearby.
"Some dogs go right to sleep because acupuncture has that affect. It can make them feel pretty groovy when it starts to release serotonins and endorphins, which have healthy benefits," Osgood said.
She is a certified veterinary acupuncturist at Edgerton Veterinary Clinic, 553 Lake Drive Road.
Berny didn't appear to be in any pain.
Dallman sought acupuncture to strengthen Berny's hindquarter weakness and to treat his senility.
"He's wobbly in the bath tub, hops up the steps two at a time, and jumping on the deck is a challenge. I'm trying to keep him mobile for as long as possible. If the weakness continues, he won't be able to go for walks, which keep his joints mobile and mind active, too," she said.
Dallman was familiar with veterinary acupuncture after seeking help for one of her late dogs that suffered from incontinence and pain due to old age. The relief and improvements from the ancient Chinese therapy was convincing, she said.
"As soon as those needles came out, she'd run around and feel better immediately. She responded and did so well after treatments. Acupuncture extended her life for four years," Dallman said.
Osgood learned about vet acupuncture when she sought help for her own dog that didn't respond to pain medication. She later enrolled in four one-week sessions at the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine in Florida. Several years later, she returned to attend another weeklong advanced course and began performing vet acupuncture in 2007.
She performs acupuncture as many as four times a week, mostly on dogs and occasionally on cats. Pet owners drive as far as 60 miles for acupuncture treatments at Edgerton Veterinary Clinic. Some pets need only one or two treatments.
"The goal is to taper them then maybe add herbals to treat them as naturally as we can," Osgood said.
Acupuncture is used to treat disc disease, spinal stagnation, inflammatory bowel disease, Cushing's disease, seizures and arthritis, she said.
"It helps increase energy flow to avoid causing dysfunction," Osgood said.
Acupuncture sessions can be 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the age of the animal. Younger dogs that have more energy can tolerate longer sessions, Osgood said.
Each session, she said, costs an average of $90.