When Leslie Christianson’s 13-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback mastiff was diagnosed with bone cancer last August she was told by a veterinarian the most they could do was prescribe debilitating pain medicine that would leave her dog virtually lifeless.
Even with medicine, her dog, Max, continued to become sicker, as the cancer took over his body, creating a growing tumor on his shoulder. However, because of his large size and condition, Max was hard to treat and most veterinarian technicians ran the other way when they saw him.
“When I would take him to the vet I would have to muzzle him and he would still chase techs out of the office,” Christianson said. “They refused to treat him.”
Discouraged with her dog’s deteriorating condition, Christianson turned to holistic veterinarian Tim Patterson.
Patterson, a certified veterinary acupuncturist and chiropractor owns and operates Holistic Veterinarian Services in Payson. He specializes in mixing conventional veterinarian medicine with alternative that is designed to treat the body as a whole instead of just the symptoms.
Patterson said he received his bachelor’s degree in animal sciences from Purdue University and then his doctorate in 1987. When he opened his first practice on the East Coast, he worked primarily in equine reproductive services and also treating small animals and exotics.
It wasn’t until an auto accident 19 years ago that Patterson became interested in practicing holistic medicine. After his accident, which injured his back, neck and shoulder Patterson was treated with alternative therapies. Realizing its effectiveness, Patterson went on to obtain his certification with International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and moved to Payson in March of 2007 to practice alternative medicine on animals.
With alternative therapies, Patterson said there are more options with fewer side effects. For Max, Patterson used a combination of therapies including homeopathic medicine, chiropractic, laser therapy and acupuncture.
“I could bring him into the office and he (Patterson) and Max could sit on the floor with no muzzle and he could do chiropractic treatment on him and he never tried to bite him,” Christianson said. “He had such a way with Max. He could inject him and do whatever he needed and he would lie there calmly and quietly.”
In the 13 years she had him, Christianson said Max never laid still for anyone.
“I believe it is the energy, he (Patterson) gives off a calming energy, it’s just his way. He has a gift,” she said.
Over a period of three months, Max was weaned off the pain killers and regained much of his energy even with the tumor growing larger.
“It was amazing, he was awake and alert and eating, drinking and not crying anymore,” she said.
Eventually, the tumor grew too large and Christianson was forced to have Max euthanized in November.
“Eventually there was nothing to do, even surgery would not help, so I decided to put him down,” she said. With the help of Patterson, Christianson said she was able to have three, pain free months with Max.
Patterson has successfully treated a number of pets with debilitating injuries. For example, Romeo, a Shih Tzu, was paralyzed after jumping off the groomer’s table and rupturing a disk. Patterson treated Romeo with a laser and by the fourth treatment, he was able to stand up and walk around normally.
The therapeutic laser uses a light to treat inflammation and swelling, especially in the joints. Along with the laser and acupuncture, Romeo was back to normal.
Besides physical ailments, Patterson treats destructive behaviors in pets with a variety of herbs.
Patterson treats small animals and horses from his mobile clinic. For more information, call (928) 951-5261.