My Little Holistic Pup

Elliot + Natural Healing Pet Care // take a megabite

I’ve wanted to talk to you guys about my pup, Elliot, for years! I’ve wanted to tell you all about how he’s had back problems and how they’ve caused trouble with his back legs for awhile. Years ago, Elliot was running in the snow and slid into the fence. He wanted to bark at the angry dogs that lived behind us. That was the beginning of his troubles. At the time he stopped using one of his back legs. Through steroids and rest, he fully recovered. He had another episode where it started with one leg, and then began making the other rear leg have trouble, but through steroids and rest he recovered again.

Elliot + Natural Healing Pet Care // take a megabite

In November 2010, however, it was worse than ever. He was being his normal active self, although he just seemed a bit off. I brought him out before work and he was fine, but when I got home for work (with treats in tow) he wasn’t using either of his back legs at all. It was an old injury at this point, so just jumping on or off a couch could’ve caused it. There’s no way to know what happened. I completely panicked! (Meanwhile, Elliot was happily chewing on a bone I brought him, despite not being able to use his legs. Such a good attitude despite it all!)

Elliot + Natural Healing Pet Care // take a megabite

I took him to the vet right away. The only options they gave me were to either take him to the animal neurologist (which I couldn’t afford) or try steroids again. After 5 days, with no improvement, the vet called me and told me that putting him to sleep was an option. After only 5 days! I told him that NO, it wasn’t an option. You see, through all of this Elliot didn’t act upset. He wasn’t acting hurt. He couldn’t feel his back legs, and couldn’t use them, but he was still his sassy, playful self. So we continued with the steroids for a few months…

Elliot + Natural Healing Pet Care // take a megabite

Christmas that year was so hard. I didn’t want to make any cookies, and I didn’t really care that much about any of it. I remember trying to make donuts that morning and I messed up the recipe and opted for pancakes. My little Elliot wasn’t walking so that’s why he’s in his crate hangin’ out in the recap. We always moved his crate all over the apartment to keep him a part of things. He normally follows me around and is totally a part of all I do! I also used to help him run along in the backyard wheelbarrow-race-style. I’d hold onto this little back legs and he’d run on his front legs. And I’m much taller than him so it was a bit tricky, but a good workout! And the little old lady two houses down (that I hadn’t met before) came by to see how Elliot was because she saw us runnin’ around all crazy-like.

(Now it’s February.) I took him to a holistic vet in town for  a second opinion, but didn’t like it. His method of acupuncture involved putting staples in… not exactly what I think of, when I think of holistic. I headed home with a bunch of weird vitamins that I didn’t understand.

Elliot + Natural Healing Pet Care // take a megabite

My friend Pam knew what was going on with Elliot. She was there for me through all of it! She mentioned his condition to a customer at her shop, Scout, and they said they knew of a holistic vet nearby! (A different one than the scary staple vet.) And that’s when I finally went to Dr. Nicole LeVeque at Natural Healing Pet Care. She was impressed with Elliot’s motivation to move around her office despite not being able to walk. He pulled himself all over her office, under her desk, and smelled all over looking for crumbs. She mentioned I should get him a cart, but that we’d see how he did after his treatment. I began taking him weekly for acupuncture and the occasional laser treatment, and eventually chiropractic sessions. After his first visit, she said that with the improvement she was seeing that she didn’t think I’d need to get a cart. And within a month he was taking steps!

Elliot + Natural Healing Pet Care // take a megabite

And I’ve been taking him to her ever since! He goes monthly now, and is on herbal supplements. He’s totally a hippie. He  was able to go 2 months between appointments for awhile, but last September he had a flare up and was having a little bit of trouble again. After resting and continuing with treatments he’s doing super good again! He isn’t able to go on stairs or jump on or off of furniture, but he’s super strong now! I’m so lucky to have this little pup! He has remained so happy and positive through all this. And on top of it, Elliot and Dr. Nicole are BFFs. He can’t wait to run into her office and bark for treats.

I just wanted to share this with you guys because when all of this started happening, I didn’t know my options. I didn’t really know anything about holistic medicine, and the choices out there. I would hate for someone else to be going through something similar and not know about alternative medicine. And now look at him! A prancy running fella!

Elliot + Natural Healing Pet Care // take a megabite

P.S. While my pup was hurt, I was a mess! I barely went out, and when I did I kinda felt guilty for leaving him. I ate pad thai carryout in the living room every Friday night. I’m hoping that this situation has helped me learn how to deal with crisis in the future. You see, I had a hard time focusing on much else! My fella at the time helped out a lot by making dinners and encouraging me to push through and make Christmas cookies despite my grinch-y feelings. I knew I wanted to post about this, but wanted to wait until it was less emotional of a topic. I wanted to wait until I knew my little guy was ok!

Elliot // take a megabite

These photos were all taken by Cybelle Codish for an article in Hour Detroit magazine that mentioned Elliot’s vet. To view the article click here or to visit Natural Healing Pet Care’s site, click here.

This post was not sponsored in any way. It’s just something I feel super passionate about, and I wanted to share it! Feel free to share your positive experiences. I’m no holistic medicine expert, I just know what worked for my pup.

39 thoughts on “My Little Holistic Pup”

  1. Oh, I’m so happy to read this story! And I’m so glad that lil’ Elliott is doing so well! I have had a couple of scares with my pup too, and they really are awful to go through. It’s amazing how our furry family members carve out such a big space in our hearts. Cheers for Elliott! (and his mama). 🙂

  2. I’m so happy to hear that your little man is doing well! I just spent the day cuddling my four legged friend (Gimli) and there’s nothing in the world I wouldn’t do to help him, so I know how hard it must have been to not be able to afford the neurologist. I’m so glad it all worked out – hooray for holistic!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! And yeah, totally the hardest. I’m so glad there are more options that don’t involve scary procedures.

  3. What a wonderful and inspiring post – so very very very happy to hear that Elliott is doing wonderfully!

    Our pup has had a few health scares over the years – a horribly scary snake bite encounter and some back issues of his own – we have even moved our mattress to the living room floor and camped out with him for days (well…nights!) when needed. True love indeed. So glad that you have it too, for Elliot’s sake. 🙂

  4. Aw, what a happy ending to your story! The photos are gorg and Elliott is a total pup super model! I’m so glad you and Elliott found something that works for you. He’s the cutest!

  5. Oh Megan. I love you girl. Even though this story has a happy ending, I’m in tears! Good for you for persevering for your little dude. I love that dog – that little red fox. So glad to know he’s better.

  6. I had no idea the little cool dude was going through all that! All of this just makes you like a thousand times cooler and makes me need to meet elliot. I’m super glad to hear that he’s doing so much better!! I’m glad you said capital bold no to the vet who was actin’ a fool.

  7. It is so, SO wonderful that Elliott is doing well and I am SO happy for you and for wonderful puppy him 😀 Pets (but especially dogs) give us everything, 110%. It is utterly heartbreaking when we can’t do the same for them. It is so wonderful that through love and perseverance you helped him get back the quality of life that he needs to be his happy self. You guys are both awesome and you deserve each other!

  8. Such an amazing story! I am hearing more about animal holistic medicine and I like it! Pets do need some chiropractic care and acupuncture as well as humans. Steroids only help the inflammation and not really the problem so I am so excited to see your little guy up and running around!!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Lisa! And yeah, I wish I would’ve known about the holistic options sooner. Steroids are tricky business.

  9. Aw, I’m so glad you shared this story! Go Elliot for being such a champ and go YOU for not listening to careless vets! My little pug is a rescue pup, so I know all about health problems and how tough it can be, but also how awesome it feels when you’re able to help them out in a really meaningful way. 🙂

    1. Ah, I bet your little pug loves you so much! Thanks for reading this! Yeah, it’s so hard to feel stuck and not know what to do. I’m so glad I found Dr. LeVeque. She is the best ever!

  10. Megs! (Can I call you Megs? I always do in my head!) This whole post made me emotional. I have a tiny human child, a pooch and two cats. So – I feel you on this. This is such an inspiration to pet owners and any caretaker really. Lastly, I’m so HAPPY that Elliot is so much better now! <3

  11. He seems like such a sweet puppy! I can’t believe your vet suggested putting him down! What’s wrong with him?! Dogs are part of your family not just a pet. Glad he’s doing so well!

  12. Megan I love this post. I actually recently wrote about all the different stuff my dog has eaten and put me through. I’m so happy Elliot is doing well, I worry about spine disorders all the time with my dog Tripp since he is a corgi terrier and has small legs and a long body. I think it’s great that there’s a good holistic doc there for you guys. Being in Cali now they are all over, so it’s overwhelming all the different hippy stuff for your pooches. But I’m getting sidetracked, I’m sorry the vet made such a terrible suggestion, dogs are an important part of your life no matter the issues they put you through or for me how annoying they are ;). Sometimes it seems silly to give your pets better treatment then yourself in some cases… But they give so much back to you. Yay for Elliot!

    -Lauren and Tripp dog.

    1. Thanks, Lauren! I remember seeing little Tripp around Ferndale when you lived here. SO CUTE.

      And I know what you mean! They’re the best!

  13. Megan, I am so glad you finally were able to share Elliot’s story. I can remember the first time I met him! So little..so cute..ALWAYS so cute.. You are such a good ‘mom’ to him…and I love you so very much!!

  14. Elliot is a total champ and a super model, at that! You’re a good dog mom (da best!), I know he appreciates you! Love that sassy little dude!

  15. This is such a great story to me! I have a dog and when she’s been sick or not being able to go outside I totally feel guilty for leaving her and going for a walk without her… I’m so glad your baby is doing so much better!

  16. Such an interesting post! I’m so glad Elliot is doing better! I don’t have any pets but I know the bond is super strong. I’ve always been intrigued by holistic medicine and am glad to hear it works.

  17. Thanks for posting this! I have a little dachshund and she hurt her back last month and it totally freaked me out! I have been nervous ever since. We actually made our whole house handicap accessible with ramps going up to our deck, couches, and bed! If anything further happens with her back I am most definitely going to check out this vet. Do you ever go to Bonnie Burke at Little Friends of Ferndale? I LOVE them there…Dr. Burke is amazing with all 3 of our dogs.

  18. Awww, he is so adorable! What an inspiring post – I’m so glad that Eliot is feeling stronger now and that he got the treatment that worked for him 🙂

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