Veterinary Alternative Therapy to open

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – There are more similarities between treatment for humans and animals than one might think at first. Many times, when someone is particularly ailed by a condition, they might choose to seek alternative treatments, and these natural remedies can often work better than prescribed pharmaceuticals. The case is no different with animals.

Veterinary Alternative Therapy will be celebrating its grand opening on Saturday, July 26 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The veterinary office, owned and operated by Jody Oelschlager, DVM, gives pet owners a chance to explore alternative treatment methods for a variety of conditions.

“When the opportunity came up to do this here in this location and to focus on these new and different things, I couldn’t pass it up,” Oelschlager said. “I’m really excited, and I think that pet owners are going to be excited too.”

Oelschlager’s treatment center will be able to provide a variety of non-traditional remedies and therapies, including acupuncture, dietary and nutritional treatments, laser therapy, allergy testing and hydrotherapy.

The center in St. Clairsville is equipped with an Oasis Canine Hydrotherapy Treadmill, which can help with conditions such as arthritis and general rehabilitation.

Oelschlager explained that as some dogs get older, especially certain breeds, they can develop arthritis, which causes the dogs to want to be less active and can eventually lead to the dogs not being able to move much at all.

“In aiding them and making it easier for them to move,” she said, “we can get them in water, which reduces their weight by up to 80 percent so that they can start moving their joints again and building muscle. So instead of saying there is no hope, we can offer something that may help them come back. If they’re a geriatric dog, they might live a little bit longer or maybe a little more comfortably.”

Oelschlager, who graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University in 1995, has her own general practice office in Moundsville which she has been operating since 1998. She is also a certified veterinary acupuncturist and is in the process of becoming a certified canine rehabilitation specialist. By practicing both traditional and alternative remedies, Oelschlager is quite unique in her field, especially in the Ohio Valley.

Having a variety of remedies at her disposal allows Oelschlager to better care for the animals she treats by being able to identify what is best on a case-by-case basis rather than employing a one-size-fits-all solution.

“One of the things I’ve done over the years using these drugs and watching these side effects is think ‘Isn’t there something else I can do?’,” Oelschlager said, explaining that traditional pharmaceuticals can sometimes augment rather than alleviate the problems. “In adding the allergy testing and the nutritional management – sometimes environmental changes, acupuncture – it’s trying to identify the cause rather than just treating the symptoms.”

Oelschlager stated that she does not intend to replace a pet owner’s traditional veterinarian, but rather to work in a complementary way with traditional treatments.

“I would never want to separate the two (traditional and alternative treatments),” Oelschlager said. “You’ve got too much coming from both sides. I’d like to see people come who would like to keep their general practitioners and would like to see if we can do something in addition to what they’re doing.”

The grand opening of Veterinary Alternative Therapy will be held July 26 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The office is located at 52343 National Rd. in St. Clairsville, right across from C. A. House. The grand opening will feature giveaways, two demos of the canine hydrotherapy treadmill and special pricing for new clients. For more information, please call (740) 699-2800.

Scott can be reached at jscott@timesleaderonline.com.