As Dudley reached the age of 13, his owner, Sue Strange, noticed the overly active border collie was having trouble getting off the hardwood floors in her Garrison, N.Y., home.
Strange and her husband put Dudley on anti-inflammatories and steroids, but they only helped with the dog's obvious joint pain for just so long.
"When we noticed that they stopped being effective, I said, `There has to be something else,' " Strange said. She and her husband are personal advocates of acupuncture, so they thought it could work for Dudley.
Strange asked her veterinarian for a referral and was directed to Shellie Skopit, who has training in animal acupuncture. Skopit and her husband, Damian Battersby, recently purchased Park Animal Hospital with locations in Darien and Norwalk.
At first, Dudley's weekly 50-minute acupuncture sessions did little for his joint discomfort, but the benefits were soon evident.
"Probably within the third treatment he was like his old self again," Strange said. "He was running and jumping just like a happy dog. You could see it in his eyes."