Hope Found Her Forever Home!

Remember Me?  Now I'm all grown up with a family of my own!

Remember Me?  Now I’m all grown up with a family of my own!

It’s been a long, hard journey for this now 7 month old kitten. For those of you not familiar with her story, here is a quick recap:

On June 4, 2013 little Hope, just 5-6 weeks old at the time, was found in the middle of the road having been hit by a car. She was trying desperately to get out of the road, but the car had shattered her pelvis leaving her unable to walk. Two young women found her army-crawling, trying to drag her broken body out of the street. She was brought to us, awake, painful, and terrified. Our doctors evaluated her and determined that due to her broken pelvis she needed a procedure called a Femoral Head Osteotomy. The procedure involved removing the head of the femur and creating a new hip joint so Hope could walk. While the procedure was very successful, little Hope still had a lot of healing to do. We used Cold Laser Therapy to help her heal and relieve her pain. Her pelvis was still crooked, and likely would be for life due to the severity of the trauma, but she was walking on her own the day after the procedure! She stayed with us for several months while we used range of motion exercises and Cold Laser Therapy to help her heal, regain strength in her hind end, and relieve her pain. She grew stronger with each passing day, and soon she was free to roam the hospital with the rest of our cats.

I just love lounging around my new home

I just love lounging around my new home

Now, that you know how the story began, fast forward to mid-October 2013. Hope is now 7 months old and doing remarkably well considering all that she has been through. She has been spayed, vaccinated, and socialized. She developed quite the relationship with Casper, one of our hospital cats. He took care of her like she was his baby and she adored him. Hope was as normal a cat as could be expected given her situation. Her pelvis was still crooked, which could lead to problems down the road. It is very likely that she will develop arthritis in her pelvis, hips, and hind legs. It is also possible that she may need more surgeries in the future.

All of these issues made finding a forever-home for Hope very difficult. We discussed keeping her as a hospital cat, but it was decided that she would be happier in a home of her own. Dr. Dusza introduced Hope to one of our clients who has the patience and ability to cope with her challenges. They took to each other right away! They adopted Hope on October 16, 2013 and took her home to meet her new feline sister. The two cats get along very well! While we miss having Hope around the hospital, she deserves to have a family of her own and we were lucky enough to find just the right people for the job.

Every move you make, every step you take, my sister and I will be watching!

Every move you make, every step you take, we’ll be watching!

I can walk again!

Shyla Lexo, a 10 year old Labrador Retriever Mix, stands stoically during her acupuncture treatment


What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.

~Dwight D. Eisenhower


When Shyla came to us in March 2011, the 10 year old spayed female Lab mix had severe pain in her front right leg and she was knuckling her hind end.  When she began limping, her owner took her to their original vet, where she spent several days undergoing steroid therapy, pain management, and preliminary diagnostics.  During her stay there, she got progressively worse, becoming lethargic and unable to walk or sit up.  The doctors recommended euthanasia, but Shyla’s family was not ready to give up on her yet.  A family friend recommended Dr. Dusza, and they set up a holistic consult with her right away.

When she arrived at the Lancaster Small Animal Hospital she was ataxic (loss of muscle coordination leading to a jerky, unsteady walk) and she was unable to bear weight without assistance.  While her reflexes were very slow and unsteady, she was able to position herself while lying down.  We admitted her to the hospital for IV fluids, x-rays, and supportive care such as steroids, pain control, and muscle relaxers.  X-rays showed that she had narrowed spaces in between the discs of her spine, causing severe pain and making it difficult for her brain to transmit signals to her limbs.  That day, Shyla had her first acupuncture treatment followed her first massage with Hilary, after which she was able to get up and stand on her own!

The following day, we repeated her Acupuncture and started her on several Chinese herbs to help with stagnation along the spine and for pain control.  We continued acupuncture and massage therapy daily in combination with the herbs, steroids, muscle relaxers.  Several days into her stay we were able to decrease her steroid dose to half of what she started on, and she continued to improve.  The daily acupuncture and massage increased the range of motion for all 4 limbs, improved her coordination, and relieved her pain.  After spending 5 days with us undergoing treatment, Shyla was able to go home!  Once returning home, her owner had strict instructions to use a harness only (no collar as that can pull on the neck and spine) and her only exercise was to be quiet and slow leash walks for the next month.  Shyla was to continue the herbs and medications until her follow-up acupuncture in 2 weeks.

At her 2 week recheck, Shyla was very stable and recovering well!  We repeated her acupuncture and scheduled a recheck and acupuncture for the following week.  At that appointment, we  decreased the dose of  her muscle relaxer  and began the slow process of weaning her off of the steroid.  One week later, her owner reported that Shyla wanted to get back to her normal activities!  She was much more energetic, and her owner wondered if she could be allowed to be a little more active.  Dr. Dusza gave the go-ahead for her to use the stairs on a harness.  We further decreased her steroid dose and discontinued the muscle relaxer all together while continuing the Chinese herbs.   We began spacing her acupuncture treatments out a little more and she continued to improve.

By the end of April, Shyla could easily get up from lying down and her limp was gone!  By mid-May her steroid dose was further deceased to once every 4 days.  She was doing so well that we began spacing her acupuncture treatments out to once every 4 weeks.  By early June, she was off of the steroid all together and Dr. Dusza determined that her neuropathy had completely resolved!  Today Shyla continues monthly acupuncture treatments as well as Chinese herbs and she is doing very well.  She’s a happy, healthy 11 year old girl who can still run and play in the outdoors she loves so much.


A Story of Hope


A Courageous Little Kitten Gives New Meaning to the Word Hope

One of Hope's digital x-rays showing her dislocated hip and crushed pelvis

One of Hope’s digital x-rays showing her dislocated hip and crushed pelvis

Sweet little Hope was brought to us on Tuesday June 4th by two kind young women who found her in the middle of Central Avenue, right across from Lancaster High School.  This tiny 5-6 week old kitten, who wasn’t even old enough to leave her mom, had been hit by a car and the heartless driver couldn’t even bother to stop.  This poor little baby was struggling to army-crawl her way to safety, her tiny front legs dragging her broken hind end.  The two young women stopped their car, picked her up, and brought her to us.

When they brought her in she was conscious, terrified, and very painful.  The girls had named her Hope and we promised to keep her name.  She immediately received an injection of a strong pain medication, after which our Doctors gave her a thorough Physical Exam.  There was extensive damage to her pelvis and hips that was preventing her from walking.  In order to ascertain the extent of the trauma we sedated her, so she wouldn’t feel us manipulating her broken limbs, and took digital x-rays of her tiny little 1.7 pound broken body.  The x-rays revealed a crushed pelvis and a dislocated left hip.  Dr. Dusza and Dr. Fetzner discussed her situation at length, and they determined that a Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO) would be needed to salvage her hind end. The procedure involved removing the head of the femur, allowing her body to create a new hip joint as she grows.

Hope sits so nicely for her Cold Laser Therapy

Hope sits so nicely for her Cold Laser Therapy

Little Hope underwent the procedure on June 5th, and this tough little girl came through with flying colors!  One day after her surgery, little Hope was walking on her own!  She was kept on heavy pain control for the next few days and we began icing her leg several times each day as well as doing passive range of motion exercises.  The exercises helped to build up her tiny muscles and to keep her leg moving freely in its new joint.  We also started Cold laser Therapy to speed healing and decrease pain and inflammation.  She bounced back quickly, regaining her appetite and curiosity.  Each day she gets a little stronger and a little more inquisitive.  She has such a sweet, friendly, easy-going personality, and that is really helping her recovery.  If she didn’t allow us to do cold laser or range of motion exercises she would not heal as quickly or as well as she is.

Casper says "Don't worry Hope, I'll take care of you."

Casper says “Don’t worry Hope, I’ll take care of you.”

Each day Hope grows stronger, and although she still has a long road to recovery, she’s getting better and better each day.  Hope has been through a lot in her few short weeks on this planet.  She has experienced more pain and trauma than anyone should ever have to, and while she is healing well, she still has a long road ahead of her.  Her pelvis is still crooked and she will probably require more surgeries in the future, but for now Hope is healing well and able to enjoy the carefree life every kitten deserves.


Urinary Incontinence Improved!

Peepers Darling receiving Cold Laser Therapy during her Acupuncture threatment

Peepers Darling receiving Cold Laser Therapy during her Acupuncture threatment


Holistic Medicine Has Helped Peepers to Enjoy a Better Quality of Life!


Peepers Darling came to us in late January 2012. The 13 year old spayed female cat had a neurologic condition that resulted in urinary incontinence in addition to difficulty walking and maintaining her balance. When relaxing, she would often leak a small puddle of urine without even realizing it. Peepers had been incontinent for approximately 2 years. Besides a previous diagnosis of hyperthyroidism, Peepers had no other health concerns.

At Peepers’ initial consultation Dr. Dusza began treating her with Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Treatment consisted of regular acupuncture sessions as well as Chinese herbs administered with each meal. After approximately 1 month of treatment, Peepers seemed to have more energy, plus her balance and gait had improved. Although she continued to leak urine, the volume had noticeably decreased.

Several months into treatment Peepers neurologic condition progressed to the point that she had lost the ability to express, or empty, her own bladder. She was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection due to her inability to fully empty her bladder, and her owner was taught how to express the bladder for her. During this time, Peepers incontinence progressed to the point where she wasn’t using a litter box. Peeper’s was unaware that she was urinating as she went about her daily routine, and so an additional medication was added to strengthen her bladder. Daily treatment with herbs and weekly acupuncture continued.

Peepers continued to have incontinence after the urinary tract infection resolved, but the volume and frequency of her incontinent episodes had decreased considerably. Although her gait had improved, at times she still had difficulty walking and maintaining her balance. In May 2012 the Lancaster Small Animal Hospital purchased our Class 4 Cold Laser Therapy unit, and Dr. Dusza added Cold Laser Therapy to Peepers’ treatment plan. For the first week she came for treatment every other day, and after just three cold laser sessions Peepers’ gait and balance had improved considerably. In addition, the amount of urine leakage decreased and often she was able to make it to the litter box rather than leaking as she went about her daily activities. As Peepers improved, Dr. Dusza decreased the frequency of Cold Laser Therapy to twice per week plus weekly acupuncture and Chinese herbs with each meal.

After 2 months of treatment with Cold Laser, acupuncture, and herbs Peepers was using the litter box on her own much more frequently and her urinary incontinence had improved considerably. She would still leak small amounts urine when relaxed, but she seemed to have more control over her urination. She would go the litter box and empty her bladder as much as she could on her own, then her owner would have to express the remaining urine for her. This is a considerable improvement from the very frequent urine leak she presented with originally. Plus, her gait and balance had improved considerably! She fell far less then when she first began treatment, and she was much more playful. Initially, Peepers had difficulty walking and maintaining her balance, and now she could run, jump, and play a little bit. Since Peepers had improved so much, Dr. Dusza further decreased the frequency of treatment from two cold laser sessions per week with one weekly acupuncture treatment to one weekly session of cold laser with acupuncture. Peepers’ continued to take Chinese herbs with each meal.

In conclusion, the use of acupuncture, herbs, and Cold Laser Therapy have greatly improved Peepers’ quality of life. She’s able to walk, jump, and play without falling over, and she has better control over her bladder. While her owner does have to expresses her bladder regularly, there is far less urine leakage around the house. Overall, holistic medicine has helped Peepers to lead a more normal, healthy, and happy life.

No Longer Paralyzed!

Now Cogswell and stand and walk all by himself!


He came to us paralyzed, and look at him now!


Cogswell is a 7 year old neutered male Shar Pei mix who came to us in August of 2012 with a history of hind end paralysis. When he first came to us, he had been seen for the same condition at another vet who was unable to determine the cause of his recurring paralysis. He had been treated with western medicine for this condition several times since 2009, with short-term improvement seen, yet the condition kept recurring. His owners came to us to see if holistic and Traditional Chinese Medicine could provide some relief and help him to regain quality of life.

At his first appointment, Cogswell had to be carried into the hospital because he could not walk on his own.  While he was non-ambulatory, he was able to stand unassisted for short periods of time and he did not seem painful. At his initial consultation, Dr. Dusza performed Acupuncture and Cold Laser, and prescribed several Chinese herbs to help with weakness and inflammation. The herbs were administered by his family twice daily, and Dr. Dusza continued to perform Acupuncture and Cold Laser at regular intervals. Hilary performed Therapeutic Massage to help Cogswell relax his muscles and decrease spasms as well as to aid his range of motion and enhance muscle tone. In addition to holistic therapies, Cogswell was taking a muscle relaxer three times daily and a steroid once daily.

His family noted a small amount of improvement after the first treatment. While still non-ambulatory, he was able to stand on his own and bear full-weight! With each successive treatment, Cogswell was able to stand unassisted for longer periods of time. After 11 days of treatment, he was trying to stand up on his own! He also became more spirited and feisty- further proof that he was feeling better!

After 16 days of treatment, Cogswell began to try very hard to use his hind legs. He scooted around the house more and more, and while his hind legs were still very stiff, he managed to stand up from a sitting position, and walked to get a drink of water! With each Acupuncture and Cold laser treatment, and through the use of Chinese herbs, Cogswell’s mobility and attitude were improving!

The following week, approximately 3 ½ weeks since beginning holistic treatment, Cogswells’ owners were very pleased with his progress! At this point, Dr. Dusza decreased the muscle relaxer to twice daily, and the steroid to every other day, while continuing the herbs twice daily. She continued to perform Acupuncture and Cold Laser at regular intervals, but increasing the amount of time between treatments. When he first came to us, we were treating him every other day, and now he was able to go 7 days between treatments and still show marked improvement!

By mid-September, Cogswell was walking on his own more and more. He was gaining more control over his hind legs. He was happy, active, and overall improving so Dr. Dusza decided to decrease the steroid to once every 3 days while continuing the muscle relaxer and herbs twice daily. Acupuncture and Cold Laser continued to be administered weekly.

At the end of September, just over a month since beginning treatment with Dr. Dusza at Lancaster Small Animal Hospital, Cogswell was able to walk into the hospital all by himself! His family was thrilled that he was able to regain his quality of life. He was strong, active, and happy!


Kathy Mormul

Cogswell's Mom

My Husband and I would just like to send accolades to the staff and Doctors at Lancaster small animal hospital on behalf of our beloved Cogswell. He is a 1\2 pug 1\2 Shar-pei that turned 7 on 10\1\2012. They took us in on an emergency appointment on a Saturday morning, when after explaining our issues they did not even flinch that they closed in 2 hours, we were asked to come right in. We were given their name from a friend with similar issues. Cogswell was unable to walk or hold himself up, he suffered from disc damage to his lower back due to calcification in his discs. He has been treated by this team with acupuncture, laser therapy and herb therapy. He has improved by leaps and bounds, for three weeks we had carried him in to the office and when he was finally able to walk in on his own ,(which we were told he may never do from a previous doctor and exam) he was given a STANDING OVATION by the staff and doctors. Thank you Dr. Dusza and staff for a job well done! XO Cogswell!


Today, Cogswell is continuing to improve. He’s walking very well on his own, his spirits are up, and he has regained quality of life. Two months ago Cogswell was paralyzed, and now he can live a normal life thanks to Dr. Dusza and her use of holistic and Traditional Chinese veterinary medicine!


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