Senior Early Detection Program
In honor of September’s National Senior Pet Month, Campus Veterinary Clinic is excited to unveil its redesigned Senior Pet Early Detection Packages that now include a free evaluation by Dr Alana Alpern, a veterinarian who practices acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Is my pet a senior?
There is no specific answer to this question since pets age much faster than people and there are many additional factors that also affect your pet’s aging; species, breed, weight, nutrition, even environment. There is no specific age at which a pet becomes a “senior”, but since you’ve probably heard that one year in a human’s life equals about seven “pet years”, most pets are generally considered a “senior” at the age of 7. Giant breed dogs like Great Danes age even more quickly and can be considered seniors by 5 years of age. Just like people, as our pets age, the risk of developing medical conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, benign and malignant tumors, arthritis, oral/dental disease, and loss of senses like hearing and vision increases with advancing age.
Why do I need to bring my pet in every 6 months for a complete physical examination?
Because your pets age faster than we do, their system can change quickly and they can develop diseases and conditions in a very short time. Pets are programmed to conceal signs of illness and can appear normal and healthy until a problem is advanced. Fortunately, laboratory tests to analyze blood, urine, feces and radiographs along with a physical examination, allow us to learn more about your pets’ health. Medical conditions are detected in approximately 20% of patients that can be treated simply by dietary change or simple medications at this age. Our goal is to focus on detecting diseases BEFORE they become a problem, and keep your pet happy and healthy for a longer time.
Senior Early Detection Packages
Here at Campus Veterinary Clinic, we try to make caring for senior pets as simple and as stress-free as possible. We have senior early detection packages available for both canine and feline patients in two different level options. Both levels will include 2 senior semi-annual exams (every 6 months), senior blood panel, radiographs, urinalysis, blood pressure and fecal parasite screen. In addition to these procedures, you will receive any necessary vaccinations, a 1 month supply of dental chews or toothbrush kit and a consultation with our acupuncturist, Dr Alana Alpern, for FREE, with the purchase of the package. Services in both of these packages have been generously discounted to make caring for your senior easy and affordable. All packages are viewable on our website or for more information call us to schedule an appointment.
Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine
Alana Alpern, DVM is a board certified veterinary acupuncturist who after receiving her DVM from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, went on to continue her education at the Chi Institute where she studied Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicines in both herbal and acupuncture modalities.
Dr Alpern is currently working hand-in-hand with Dr Yen and Dr Reid to provide alternative methods of treating conditions ranging from chronic pain and arthritis to epilepsy, urinary incontinence and chronic skin disorders. We are very excited to announce that Dr Alpern is now providing her services as part of our Senior Early Detection Program. With the purchase of a senior early detection package, your pet will now receive a free consultation with Alana to see how acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine may benefit your pet’s overall health.
Dr Alpern is available every other Wednesday from 12pm-3pm by appointment only (additional times may be accommodated upon request). The initial consultation/exam will be approximately 1 hour long, and will consist of a thorough history and physical exam as well as creating a treatment plan. Subsequent treatments will be approximately 30-40 minutes in length. Acupuncture packages for multiple sessions at a discounted rate are also available if interested. For additional details, pricing information or to schedule an appointment for your pet with Dr Aplern, please give us a call or come by the clinic at any time.
Animal Acupuncture: More Pets Get the Point
By Sean Markey, National Geographic News
The West explains acupuncture by pointing out that most of the body’s 365 main acupuncture points are located at clusters of nerves and blood vessels. Stimulating these areas triggers a host of local and general physiological effects, leveraging the body’s own healing power. Studies have shown that acupuncture can increase blood flow, lower heart rate and improve immune function. Acupuncture also stimulates the release of certain neurotransmitters like endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killers, and smaller amounts of cortisol, an anti-inflammatory steroid.
When Mary Morrison’s 16-year-old border collie, Shadow, was diagnosed with kidney disease last year, traditional veterinary medicine offered two options: kidney dialysis or euthanasia. Morrison chose another option altogether: acupuncture.
Acupuncture has not cured Shadow’s kidney disease or slowed the decline of old age. But it has helped alleviate the collie’s symptoms and discomfort. “She has more interest in life, more pep. She’s eating.” says Morrison. “We haven’t felt like she was ready to be put down.”
Shadow represents both the promise and challenge facing veterinary acupuncture. Anecdotal evidence suggests that acupuncture is an effective treatment for a host of ailments in animals. But researchers still understand relatively little about why and how this alternative therapy works.
The American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture in Hygiene, Colorado, says that acupuncture can treat ailments ranging from hip dysplasia and chronic degenerative joint disease to respiratory, gastrointestinal, neurological and urinary tract disorders.
“Clients are asking for it every days,” says Kevin Haussler, a lecturer at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary. “[They] are the number one reason why any of us are doing alternative therapies like acupuncture or chiropractic, because they want something more than just drugs or surgery.”
“Within the greater veterinary medical community, I would say that acupuncture is very well accepted,” says Haussler. “Because we’re always looking for the next thing that is going to make animals feel better [and] reduce pain.” Researchers are exploring how acupuncture can reduce the amount of pain medicine a patient requires. The reduction in medication can significantly lower the risk of adverse drug reactions in patients. “The more that veterinarians learn and accept acupuncture and some of the other complimentary [alternative] medical techniques, the safety of medical intervention for animals will be that much better.”