Cranberry Holistic Pet Care Takes Alternative Approach to Animal Health
May 31, 2016 12:29PM
By Vanessa Orr
For many people, pets are members of the family. Keeping them happy and healthy is important, whether they’re in the puppy or kitten stage, or facing the chronic conditions that often come with old age.
Dr. Cynthia Maro has been a veterinarian for 29 years, and during that time, she’s seen a shift in the way that people think about animal care. “My clients love their animals and take an active approach to making sure that their pets aren’t in discomfort,” she explained. “And while most are concerned with budget, even more than finances, they are now focusing on the end results of treatments.
“As a society, we are becoming more aware of the harmful chemicals we use and the long-term effects of drug therapy,” she added. “So when a client is considering the idea of treating their dog’s cancer with four weeks of radiation, they want to know if there are other options available; if there’s something else that they can do that allows them to spend more quality time with their pet with fewer side effects.”
Dr. Maro is a strong proponent of holistic medicine, which is why she opened Cranberry Holistic Pet Care this past January, in addition to running two other practices in Ellwood City and Chippewa. “At the Ellwood clinic, we had a lot of success treating patients with alternative/holistic care, and word began getting out,” she explained. “My practice became known for treating geriatric animals, and those with chronic conditions, and we soon needed more room for the rehabilitation therapy that holistic treatments require.”
The Ellwood Animal Hospital was the first veterinary facility in the Tri-State area to feature an underwater treadmill for use in rehabilitation therapies, and the Cranberry clinic has gone a step further, with dedicated areas for a CT scanner, outdoor exercise courses, space for stem cell therapy/cell extraction and an in-house lab.
“It’s funny that treatments that used to be considered radical or alternative are now mainstream in veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Maro, who began offering acupuncture back in 1998. “For example, years ago veterinarians used to say that using glucosamine was a waste of money; that it didn’t have any effect. Yet when clients used it, they saw results—people can see what works on their animals.”
The Cranberry clinic offers a wealth of holistic options, including stem cell therapy and PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy to treat conditions including osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, immune disorders, allergies and degenerative diseases. The clinic also offers acupuncture, chiropractic, NAET therapy for allergy treatment, and laser therapy. “We’ve had great success in using neoplasene to treat patients with osteosarcoma, who have gone into remission for six years or more,” added Dr. Maro. “The numbers are phenomenal.
“I think what sets us apart is the level of diagnostics we do integrated with holistic medicine,” she continued, adding that in addition to a focus on Eastern medicine, Western treatments, such as certain drug therapies, are used when it will benefit the patient.
“Most of our clients want more natural care because they are concerned about chemicals,” she explained. “They are not opposed to vaccines, but want rational use. You have to think about what you’re putting into your pets. Are you giving them a flea and tick solution, or are you giving them poison?”
While about half of Cranberry Holistic Pet Care’s clients are local, the other half travel an hour or more to come to the clinic from areas as far as New York, West Virginia, Maryland and Ohio. “The primary reasons that people come to us include diagnoses of paresis (weakness), paralysis, a variety of cancers that they do not want to treat with chemo or radiation, and kidney or liver failure,” said Dr. Maro. “We also see animals with chronic allergies whose owners are concerned about using prednisone or immunosuppressive drugs.”
Dr. Maro has spent much of her career researching alternative therapies and undertaking post-graduate studies in order to find new methods to help her clients. “I’ve got a lot of tools in the toolbox, depending on what fits a particular patient,” she said. “Dr. Amy Wong, who joined the practice in September of 2015, is certified in veterinary massage and rehabilitative therapies, and our staff is also very experienced and willing to work with clients—to really listen to them, because they intuitively know what’s going on with their pets. It’s a team approach.”
Dr. Maro takes this same approach when working with children, or with other animal welfare organizations in the community. In addition to supporting a number of shelters, she also visits schools to talk about vet tech programs and careers in veterinary medicine, as well as animal care and social responsibility. For more than 12 years, she has been hosting Junior Vet Day at the Ellwood office, where more than 100 kids get to have hands-on veterinary experiences every summer.
While Dr. Maro is known for her expertise in treating geriatric animals and those with chronic conditions, she would ideally like to see the animals as early in their lives as possible. “If you start good nutrition when an animal is young, it reduces inflammatory problems from developing,” she said, adding that early chiropractic care can help to prevent arthritis. “Preventing disease is so much easier than dealing with chronic conditions down the line.”
Ellwood Animal Hospital
728 Lawrence Ave.
Ellwood City, PA 16117
Chippewa Animal Hospital
2400 Darlington Rd.
Beaver Falls, PA 15010
Cranberry Holistic Pet Care
20570 Route 19 Rear
Cranberry Twp, PA 16066