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Tuesday, November 30, 2004; Page C09

Dear Dr. Fox:

After reading about M.C.'s arthritic 18-year-old sheltie/border collie mix, I had to immediately share with you my 9-year-old beagle's experience with acupuncture. He was diagnosed with a slipped disk by his vet.

I read up on alternative medicine and decided to try acupuncture. It took only two sessions with this acupuncturist, a daily dose of human-grade glucosamine and chondroitin, flaxseed oil and other supplements, and a switch to a raw-food diet to make him what he is today. He is in excellent form now and 100 percent back to normal. I definitely recommend acupuncture for dogs. A change in their nutrition will also enhance their health. C.G., Bethesda

Dear Dr. Fox:

I am writing to share my experience with acupuncture for my yellow Lab, now 14 years old. In a word: Great!

Molly has severe hip dysplasia and arthritis, and had been on an analgesic for at least a year, when she started stumbling when we walked her and couldn't go up and down stairs like she used to. My vet recommended acupuncture and, for a year now, Molly has been treated by a licensed clinical acupuncturist.

Molly goes in about every two weeks, and I can always tell when the two-week mark is nearing because Molly starts getting stiffer and her legs give out on her periodically. Acupuncture relieves Molly of any lumbosacral/hip-related pain and helps maintain and restore feeling and strength in her hind legs.

K.K., Rockville

Dear Dr. Fox:

I had a female wolf hybrid named Cougar who was on glucosamine/chondroitin from the time she turned 8 years old. When she turned 12, the glucosamine was no longer doing the trick and she was in obvious pain.

My dog-walker had suggested I try acupuncture, but I was very skeptical. However, a friend referred me to a vet who would come to my house to treat her. The vet came every week for five weeks and I noticed no difference. After the fifth week, though, Cougar walked farther and faster than she had in years! If I had not seen it with my own eyes I would not have believed it.

R.P., Alexandria

Dear Dr. Fox:

My beloved Fia, a 50-pound American Staffordshire terrier, became incapacitated with arthritis in her later years. I truly believe that acupuncture treatment gave Fia another year of life that was as pleasant as was possible, and probably extended her life by another six months. She made it to 15.

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