In the spring of 2008, our German Shepherd "Katie" started dragging her right, hind foot. Upon the advice of our veterinarian, we took Katie to a neurologist. After an examination and MRI, his diagnosis was a compressed disc. On the neurologist's advice, we started taking Katie to Dr. Krisi Erwin for acupuncture to see if it would alleviate her symptoms. After several months the symptoms did not alleviate so the neurologist operated on Katie's disc. After Katie's surgery things did not progress as hoped. Because she was a German Shepherd, there was a possibility that she had a genetic disease called Degenerative Myelopathy. Dr. Erwin researched and discovered that a new test had recently been developed to test for the disease. She ordered the test kit, collected the sample from Katie and had it tested. Unfortunately, the test came back positive for the disease.
Degenerative Myelopathy is like Multiple Sclerosis in humans. It is a devastating disease with no current cure. Through all of the stages of the disease, Dr. Erwin was with us researching the best aids, diet and exercise for Katie helping us to help her have the longest, fullest life possible. Dr. Erwin came to our house numerous times to perform acupuncture, laser therapy and massages on Katie. Katie was always relaxed and confident during those treatments because of Dr. Erwin's gentle and calm nature. In addition, the mental support that Dr. Erwin gave to us, Katie's owners, was incredibly helpful through the progression of this terrible disease. When it was getting closer to the time to let Katie go, we knew that we didn't want to plan it in advance. For us, it had to be when the "right time" presented itself. On a Saturday morning in February of this year, that right time came. We called Dr. Erwin late that morning and asked her if she could come that evening. When she came, Dr. Erwin spent over an hour talking to us about all different things, not just about Katie, so that when it was time, Katie had fallen asleep on the couch and we were calm. Having to put animals to sleep is, unfortunately, something that we must do as pet owners. In the past, having to take our animals to a vet's office for it, was depressing for us and upsetting to the animal. I hope with future animals to always be able to do what we did with Katie – at home with Dr. Erwin lending her competent, compassionate support.
Elise and Gary Snight
My Golden Retriever Woody developed two conditions in his 12th year, a serious heart disease as well as laryngeal paralysis, in addition to a general decline in the use of his rear legs. He changed from being a very active, healthy, and carefree dog who was cool with whenever and whatever was happening, into one where he really required a form of assisted living. Though I was happy to be there in every way for him, my concern was for his well being, comfort, and enjoyment of living.
Acupuncture had always been a part of his life in terms of general care, but with Woody's conditions, travel was too stressful to take him out for treatment, and it was about six months that he had not received any acupuncture before I learned that Dr. Erwin was able to provide in-home care. She and her veterinary technician husband Jeremy began coming over, and in addition to the acupuncture treatments, they provided a warm and caring connection with Woody and with me. They were there not only in support of my dog, but also in providing support and perspective on Woody's conditions, expectations, and complimentary treatments, in addition to advising and collaborating with other necessary allopathic remedies. Whereas I had thought Woody was close to passing, he stabilized, and improved with each of his conditions, and to such a point, that our life around the home once again had a normalcy and ease to it. Woody never stopped trying to do the things he wanted, but just with less frequency and at a necessarily slower pace with all that was going on. I was thrilled and amazed to see him comfortable again, and with enough energy to play a bit, "speak" occasionally, and move about with more certainty. I was also comforted in knowing that Krisi and Jeremy were also willing to work with us as needed as the need for final arrangements would present itself. They were indeed a blessing in Woody's care and treatment!
My elderly Basset Hound named Oprah May had been suffering from osteoarthritis for a couple years before we started seeing Dr. Erwin for acupuncture. Oprah was on daily anti-inflammatories, supplements, and a special joint diet at the time, but her hocks would still periodically swell up to the size of softballs. She was inactive, depressed, and at times, ornery. Despite being in the veterinary field myself, I'll admit I was skeptical about the benefits of acupuncture. However, Dr. Erwin made it so easy for us--she came to our house so we didn't have to transport Oprah and the benefits were immediately apparent. Just receiving the acupuncture soothed and relaxed Oprah, and she would often fall asleep during the treatment and continue napping once Dr. Erwin had finished. She became more active, happier, and rejoined our family instead of isolating herself. We were able to eliminate all other treatments except a small dose of anti-inflammatory medication. I truly believe that Dr. Erwin's acupuncture added years onto Oprah's life and definitely transformed her once miserable existence into a comfortable and pleasant life.