Alternative Therapy

Could your loved one benefit from alternative therapy?

For many pet parents, having the option to choose alternative therapy for their animal family members is a huge benefit. These techniques combine ancient methodology with modern technology for natural healing and enhanced wellness. At Animal Hospital of Mt. Pocono, we’re pleased to offer a number of integrative treatment options to help you better care for your best friend.

Dr. Joe Valese has been improving the quality of life for pets since 1983. “During my many years of Veterinary practice, I’ve come to realize that traditional western medicine and surgery alone were not able to solve every pet health problem. To remedy this, I’ve gone through extensive continuing education and training in order to provide relief and resolution to suffering that drugs and surgery couldn’t help.” The blending of traditional western medical practice together with more holistic therapies both western and eastern medical practices is referred to as complimentary or integrative medicine. The strengths of each therapy are combined to give an overall superior result in patient health, at times achieving positive results where only single therapies have failed. Integrative medicine then can provide relief for conditions not readily treated by conventional Veterinary medicine. These medical therapies work very well in addition to standard western medical and surgical care.



The ancient practice of acupuncture operates under the theory that when the body’s natural energy source becomes disrupted, sickness and pain can occur. To address these ailments without the need for medication, acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points along the body. Once inserted, the needles cause a cellular response in the targeted area. This restores the body’s energy, thereby promoting healing and reducing pain. Veterinary acupuncture can be used to treat anything from arthritis to respiratory problems and just about everything in between. It can also be used to boost the immune system and create better balance.

Acupuncture can be divided into: dry needle acupuncture, electro acupuncture, aquapuncture, and moxibustion.

Dry needle acupuncture – As our pets vary greatly in size, acupuncture needles of varying sizes are used to produce the therapeutic flow of Qi in the body. The needle alone is the only form of Qi stimulation in this therapy.

Electro acupuncture – In this form of acupuncture therapy, a small electric current is passed between a pair of place acupuncture needles. In so doing this form of acupuncture can produce a deep and more profound healing effect.

Aquapuncture – Instead of the use of dry acupuncture needles, an injection of a therapeutic substance, such as vitamin B12, is placed into an acupoint. This produces a more prolonged stimulation of the acupuncture site which enhances the healing response.

Moxibustion – This practice involves the burning of moxa, a prepared herbal product. The burning moxa produces heat, which when placed near an acupoint, serves to warm the area and enhance the flow of Qi. There are specific conditions where this form of therapy is used.

Conditions which can benefit from the use of acupuncture:

  • any painful condition
  • any weakness
  • neurologic problems
  • digestive problems (such as vomiting, diarrhea, inappetite)
  • respiratory problems
  • back and neck problems
  • seizures
  • eye problems
  • oral conditions (such as gingivitis, stomatitis)
  • masses, swellings
  • cancer
  • ear problems
  • skin problems (including infection, itchiness, rashes)
  • lameness
  • infections
  • renal failure
  • urinary problems
  • liver disease
  • hormonal problems
  • any condition not responding well to standard medical care
  • most chronic conditions


Chinese Herbal Medicine

For thousands of years, the Chinese culture has been using the power of natural herbal remedies to promote wellness and facilitate healing. The theory behind herbal medicine holds that certain natural ingredients, when combined together, can cause the body to respond in a positive way. Whether it’s used to support a healthy digestive system or as a treatment for illness, this therapy can be highly effective in companion animals. It’s an especially attractive option for pets with weakened immune systems or who cannot tolerate certain medications.

These services are available as stand-alone treatment options or can be used in conjunction with other methods for optimum results.

Some of their many uses of Chinese herbal medication in veterinary medicine include:

  • digestive problems
  • heart problems
  • skin diseases, including the ears
  • hormonal imbalances
  • reproduction
  • behavioral issues
  • respiratory problems
  • arthritis and other joint and bony issues
  • muscle injury
  • cancers and tumors
  • kidney disease
  • urinary problems
  • many other health concerns

Tui Na

Tui Na is one of the four branches of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM). Its use dates back over 2,000 years by Chinese medical practitioners. Tui Na therapy is applied by the hands and can be thought of as a combination of acupressure, conventional massage, and chiropractic therapy. It is used to help regulate energy imbalances in the body, soothe joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, promote circulation of blood and Qi, enhance the immune system, and enhance the normal functioning of the internal organs. It is most commonly used for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, but is also useful as a therapy for other medical conditions. Tui Na can be used alone or in conjunction with acupuncture and/or herbal therapy. Pets respond very well to Tui Na therapy. It is very safe with no known side effects. Tui Na, unlike acupuncture, can be taught to pet owners who wish to continue this effective therapy at home to help hasten the healing process.

If your pet suffers from a chronic medical condition, recently became injured or underwent surgery, or is experiencing any medical or painful problems, give us a call. We can evaluate your companion’s unique situation and advise whether one of our alternative medicine options would be a good fit.  (570-839-8116)