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Alternative Medicine Puts Pets On Pins And Needles

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RALEIGH — More and more pet owners are turning to alternative medicine to treat their ailing pets. Sarah Lowder brings 18-year-old Sophie in for treatments for her kidney disease.

Lowder did not want to give her beloved pet a lot of drugs, so she gave acupuncture a try.

"It seems like some of her kidney function levels are better. Dr. Bowman has also been treating some respiratory allergies that she has had and she seems to be sneezing less," she says.

Acupuncture has been used on animals in Asia for more than 3,000 years.There are points all over the body which lie along channels or meridians which are connected to everything in the body. The stimulation of these points allows energy to flow through the channels.

Dr. Gale Bowman just started providing her patients with acupuncture treatments and says it has helped just about every kind of illness, especially pain.

Mary Bonura says her cat stopped jumping because of arthritis. That changed after a few acupuncture treatments.

"She jumped over my purse. She jumped three feet out from the couch after she has this. I thought, boy, this is amazing," says Bonura.

Bowman says she has seen some dramatic results with eye treatments.

"We had one eye ulcer case that had been seen by two vets, two very good vets, and this corneal ulcer did not resolve in seven months. We treated him one time and the ulcer went away in three days," she says.

Even with that amazing case, Bowman says acupuncture is best used in a general sense.

"I think promotion of health, longevity and quality of life may be its greatest value," she says.

Bowman says acupuncture does not completely cut out the use of medication. There are times when both are needed.

Acupuncture treatments start at around $65.

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