Meet Our Patients
We are set up as a complementary or specialty service and are not operating as a primary veterinary office. One of the best things about our office is the variety of cases and creatures we get the privilege to work with on a daily basis. We will see anything with fur that will fit through our doors and treat everything from pets with chronic organ failure to adjusting agility dogs and supporting cancer patients. These are some of our wonderful patients who are thriving with our care and the dedication of their parents.
Hello, my name is Lina, or as the folks at Dr. Lord’s practice call me, Lina-bean. (The “i" in my name is pronounced as a long “e”, as in Lena Horne).
It has been almost a year since I last saw Dr. Lord and I had been hoping that my parents, their names are Mom and Dad, would write to Dr. Lord and tell her and her staff just how well I’m doing, but since they haven’t I’m going to do my best to use Dad’s laptop and see how it goes (I’ve been watching him use it as he works at his desk).
I am a basset hound mix, I’m sure about the basset but not about the other part, I may do one of those DNA tests I see advertised on TV. Anyway, while I usually move kind of slow, when I see a squirrel or chipmunk or the cat who is supposed to stay in its own yard, I can move pretty fast – I’ve got some powerful muscles in my little legs and used to be able to give my border collie sister a run for her dog treat.
About two years ago I was having a pretty good play day with my sister Lily. After we came inside for a drink of water and our nap, I decided to go downstairs to see what Mom was doing in the basement office. At the top of the stairs I was a healthy and happy eleven-year old puppy, at the bottom of the stairs I was an older dog who had torn her cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) – (think ACL in humans). O my did it hurt! I didn’t fall down the stairs, I didn’t slip, it just happened. One minute I could chase a cat, the next minute I had to be carried up the stairs.
My parents took me to our vet and he did X-rays. It looked pretty bad. Our vet explained different surgical options (I was listening), and none of them sounded very good, especially for an “older dog”. Really? Older? As a matter of fact they talked as if I wasn’t even in the room – like I was a non-person.
My parents went home and did lots of research on the types of surgery, they read articles, viewed diagrams, and talked to the vet again and again. They were concerned about my age, about the recovery time, about the effective recovery rates of the surgeries – in short, they were concerned about the risk. They actually scheduled surgery once and then canceled it.
Finally they found Dr. Lord – thankfully! As soon as I met Dr. Lord and her staff I felt comfortable, they all got down on the floor and talked “dog” – in fact, they even knew basset hound dialect…and they called me “Lina-bean”, that made me feel special.
Over the next few months my parents and I visited Dr. Lord frequently – at first it was a couple of times a week, then it was spaced out, and then spaced out some more. They gave me special micronutrients, and laser and acupuncture treatments. The acupuncture made me so relaxed I just wanted to dream about chasing squirrels and cats and eating treats. I had to wear doggy goggles during the laser treatments, I pretended I was Snoopy flying a Sopwith Camel. I showed signs of improvement within a few weeks!
Dr. Lord and her staff always explained to my parents how I was doing and discussed my treatment schedule – they helped my parents develop a plan of how to best care for me.
So here is the best news, it has been about a year since my last treatment and I can chase the cat back into its own yard and go after a squirrel or two each day. I didn’t have to have surgery, which my parents said would be “problematic” – not sure what that means. I didn’t have to undergo months of post-operation recovery (after all, at my age a few months is a few years for humans). While I am not allowed to go up or down the stairs (my Dad carries me upstairs to bed – yes, I’m spoiled), I can do everything I could do before. My parents do limit my outdoor activity because they know I don’t always make the best decisions about when to run and how hard and how often, but I’m content with that – as long as I’m with my sister Lily and my parents life is good.
Dr. Lord and her team gave me wonderful care and Mom and Dad are so thankful they found her – we live about 45 minutes away from Dr. Lord’s Richmond office, but every mile of every trip was worth it.
(my parents are Bob & Vickie Withers)
Within a few weeks of adopting my miniature dachshund Lola, she developed serious digestive issues, allergies and food intolerance. Although various traditional treatments and numerous changes in diet alleviated some of her pain and discomfort, over the years she never really showed any significant long term improvement. Eventually Lola was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
It was a constant roller coaster ride of steroids, ear infections, constipation/diarrhea, allergy injections and always a new food! After seven years of frustration and heartbreak we finally had a breakthrough! On one of MANY late night ER visits the attending Emergency Veterinarian recommended Lola see Dr. Tracy Lord at Four Paws Holistic Service.
Lola’s life began to change when Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and Microbiome Therapy were added to her conventional treatment. I attribute Lola’s significant improvement to the overall great care Dr. Lord and her impressive staff provide but, mostly to the Microbiome Replacement Therapy.
After three or so treatments several months apart I noticed significant improvement in her digestion, bowel movements and appetite. The therapy is painless and non-invasive. Most importantly for Lola it works!
Today she is thriving and enjoying life to the fullest with a good home cooked diet and NO steroids. She turned 10 March 29, 2019! I never thought she would see 5. Thanks to Dr. Lord I think she’ll outlive me!
I am so appreciative of Dr. Tracy Lord and her healing touch, and of her amazing staff Amber and Alexis for the care and tenderness they give to my sweet kitty Frankie with each visit. Frankie had a recurring eye infection and regular Veterinary medicine had not been effective in treating my little fella. My sister suggested acupuncture. Within 24 hours of Frankie's very first acupuncture treatment with Dr. Lord we had complete success! Dr. Lord is very gentle and coos and coaxes Frankie with her soft words and gentle touches. At first we began with visits every two weeks and we now see Dr. Lord every three weeks and the treatments have continued to be wonderfully successful. Dr. Lord has kept Frankie's infection from returning.
One important note to add: on the two occasions that we missed his regular appointments Frankie's eye infection started to show signs of returning. So I know beyond a doubt that Dr. Lord's acupuncture works for Frankie. We are now on a maintenance routine and I wouldn't dream of changing course. In addition to the acupuncture, Dr. Lord suggested a healthier diet for Frankie. I now make his kitty-delicious meals from scratch and his kitty housemates, once chubby, have lost weight while Frankie has maintained his ideal weight. Another sign that Dr. Lord knows her stuff! I highly recommend Dr. Tracy Lord and Four Paws Veterinary Holistic Service. Frankie deserves the very best! Thank you so very much!
As the saying goes regarding rescues, "Who saved who?" In 2013 I went to Mexico for a 2 week vacation. I was staying with a wonderful woman down there who taught yoga and had a love for animals. When I was leaving, she mentioned there was a 'resort dog' that needed a home. The caretaker was moving to Greece and was unable to take her. At first, I said I would simply foster her and find her a good home. However, it was love at first sight and she quickly became one of my children and my ESA therapy dog. She loves car rides, takes up the bed and is such an intuitive, old soul ... it was meant to be.
This past January, she came into the living room whimpering and breathing heavy. I didn't sleep at all that night, she was lethargic and her breathing remained labored. I scheduled an appointment with my vet the next morning, who took x-rays. I was absolutely crushed when he delivered the news; though she had an extremely strong heart, fluid had filled her lung cavity and around her heart as she had a cardiac hemangiosarcoma that had a slight tear and it was inoperable.
Having unexpectedly lost my dad just the month before, I was determined I wouldn't lose Gracie, too. My vet said there were two options - either chemotherapy or TCM. One would make her comfortable and the prognosis was a few weeks to a few months, the other had the potential to 'kill' the tumor and she would live several months to years.
I spent the entire weekend online scoring through everything I could find about her tumor. For every strong pro, there was an equally balanced con pertaining to her diagnosis. However, the more I read about TCM, the more it became clear that would be the best option. I contacted Four Paws Holistic and we made an appointment to see Dr. Lord.
I arrived with my folder of info and already knew what much of the protocol would involve. Dr. Lord was very honest, there was the potential this could stave off growth and stop the tumor from metastasizing, but being realistic, it could just extend her life several months. We discussed all of the options, but I was determined. The following week, we began a one time, aggressive 3-day Vitamin C drip and a long list of supplements and TCM - including the ones I had read about, yunnan baiyao and a mushroom formula. In addition to this, I stopped serving her commercial dog food and prepare a specialized diet of all organic meats and vegetables. Next was a month long waiting period to allow the TCM and supplements to do their magic and another few weeks to take new films
When we returned, Dr. Lord checked her blood, listened to her lungs and took new xrays. She said her heart and lungs sounded great and it no longer sounded like she had fluid around them. Additionally, after comparing before and after films, there were no new metastasization and ... the tumor was no longer visible in the films! She was more than delighted by the result and couldn't have expected better!
Gracie is still doing GREAT and I couldn't be more grateful to Dr. Lord, Amber and Alexis at Four Paws. Gracie absolutely LOVES them and gets excited when we pull into the parking lot. I'm a huge supporter of TCM and chemo will never be considered for anything again.
My journey with Four Paws started over 3 years ago with my Capone. Capone was diagnosed in kidney failure at my regular vet. His only option for treatment was prescription dog food and pills, with not much hope. I had currently been feeding Capone grain free and raw food. I just couldn't imagine regressing to a prescription food after reading the ingredients in it. I kept telling my vet there had to be other options. He then suggested I talk to Dr. Lord.
Dr. Lord not only changed his diet to something that didn't involve prescription dog food, she added herbs and acupuncture to Capone's routine and introduced me to "eastern medicine". Capone thrived !!! And so did I. Not only does Dr. Lord treat the dog, but the human as well. She suggests treatment options, and gives you her honest opinion. She evaluates the dog at every appointment and changes the treatment as necessary. She gave me an extra 2 1/2 years with Capone and I will be forever grateful.
She is currently treating my 10 year old boxer, Timmy. Timmy started limping and favoring his rear leg in May. I did anti-inflammatory pills and laser treatment initially, and it just didn't seem to be helping, so I made my appointment with Dr. Lord. And just as she did with Capone, she listens to what his problem is, evaluates, and recommends options. Timmy falls asleep during his acupuncture. She coordinates with my regular vet and any specialists to get all of Timmy's results. Timmy has a neurological degeneration. There is no cure for Timmy, but I have seen positive changes in his ability to move around again since May. Timmy had his first chiropractic adjustment at his last appointment and seemed to feel so much better afterward. I have recommended Dr. Lord to people and will continue to do so without hesitation. I have no doubt that Timmy will have a longer and better life because of Four Paws.
I need to also tell you about Amber and Alexis .... I have never met such caring people. Alexis let Timmy (55 lbs) of him sit on her lap to keep him from sliding on the floor, as his legs are his issue. Amber always makes Timmy feel like he's her favorite patient. She sits on the floor with him, accepts his kisses, and truly cares about him. I never feel rushed and always feel like they listen to my concerns. I couldn't imagine 2 better people to be helping take care of Timmy now and Capone in the past.
Several months ago our very active Border Collie mix, Dodge, developed a severe limp after running into some metal poles. Our vet did several X-rays but could not find anything wrong with him. Rimadyl was ineffective and his limp became progressively worse and his walks became shorter and shorter.
A secretary at the vet's office suggested that we take him to Dr. Lord who practices veterinary acupuncture. I was skeptical but I made an appointment. On our first visit, when Dr. Lord inserted the needles, Dodge became totally relaxed and started to drool. It was hilarious to watch.
On the second visit, his limp went away and our walks got longer and longer. He was back to his hyperactive self. We are extremely grateful to Dr. Lord and her caring staff.
Based on Dodge's very positive response to acupuncture, I made an appointment to see an acupuncturist for my back issues and have been very happy with the results of my treatments.
Many, many thanks
Just before New Year’s my 11 year old beagle, Jerry, began showing troubling symptoms. He started having spasm episodes that looked like mini seizures. He was panting in distress from these spasms and they were happening frequently and not stopping so I took him to the local 24 hour emergency vet. The vet there offered a couple of possible explanations (back spasms) and pumped him full of drugs to stop the episodes and we went home and he was fine for the rest of the night.
However the next morning when the drugs wore off the episodes started again. So this time I took him to the local vet who suspected possible neurological problem and advised me to go see the closest vet neurologist in Richmond, VA, a two hour drive away. The vet also did an xray before we left and found a large mass in his chest area. That day I drove Jerry up to Richmond to a facility that included a neurologist, as well as a 24 hour emergency care, a surgical center, and many more specialists under one roof. Jerry stayed overnight and the next day I met with doctors to discuss what they had learned in their examination. The neurologist found nothing wrong with his CAT scan and suspected that the large mass in his chest may be pressing on certain veins causing those spasm episodes. I met with a surgical specialist because it was determined this large mass was the biggest area of
The surgeon informed me that the large mass was a lung tumor and they needed to do surgery to remove it and diagnose. Jerry made it through the surgery where the tumor was found to be cancerous and the doctors told me they weren’t able to remove the whole thing cleanly meaning there was still some cancer cells in his blood and now we needed to go see an oncologist for continued care.
When I met with the oncologist it was very discouraging. She did not give me much hope and told me that these types of tumors in dogs if not removed cleanly do not have much success of being cured. She told me that even if I started chemotherapy my best case was extending his life by a year.
I saw a second oncologist for another opinion and his diagnosis was even worse. He told me that even with chemo I’d get maybe 6-9 more months with Jerry and if I did nothing he would be gone in 2-4 months.
Let me pause to say that anyone who doesn’t know Jerry personally needs to know Jerry is a survivor. When we first adopted him he had heartworm and even then many vets didn’t give us great hope but we luckily found a great vet in New York who had experience. It was a long recovery including one episode where Jerry was coughing up blood which led to another overnight stay at a emergency clinic where doctors weren’t looking at us with much hope. But Jerry proved them all wrong and survived and recovered.
So even after his surgery and his spasm episodes he didn’t look like a sick boy. He’s a fighter and I didn’t like the odds the oncologists had given him. Also I didn’t see the point of
putting him through the pain of chemo if a cure wasn’t possible just to extend his life for a short period but the quality of that period would be questionable given the chemo treatments. Even though the oncologists made everything seem so final, I believed there had to be another way to
Thankfully at the facility in Richmond where we ended up spending many days was a Holistic doctor. I made an appointment for Jerry and there we met Dr. Lord. Dr. Lord is nothing short of a God send. When every other doctor was preparing me for the worst and making me think my time with Jerry was coming to a close with no hope, she took the time to sit on the floor with Jerry and really get to understand what was going on with him. As far as I could tell the oncologists spent little time actually examining Jerry and only looked at this charts. Dr. Lord took the time to examine Jerry before she even spoke with me.
After meeting with her I decided not to do chemo but instead do an intensive holistic treatment including completely changing his diet. First thing we did was a three day Vitamin C
detox shortly after his surgery to flush his system of all the bad cells that may still be in his blood. Most importantly we immediately stopped feeding him his regular dog food and began cooking all his meals from natural foods. Jerry went from eating dried dog food to eating ground beef, chicken, salmon, kale, sweet potatoes, brown rice, apples, strawberries.
Almost immediately I noticed a difference. He looked bouncy, healthier. He also began a series of herbal supplements to balance his nutrition and to help support his immune system. We also started monthly accupuncture treatments. The plan was to keep him on this new diet and monitor him with xrays every month and as soon as we saw the cancer return (which the oncologists assured me it would) we could then start the chemo but ideally buy a few extra months.
That was nine months ago as of this writing and Jerry’s xrays have come back clean every month with no signs of the cancer returning! He’s reverted back to acting like a younger self in many ways. If I had listened to the Oncologists I’m not sure I would be able to say the same thing or still be enjoying my baby boys company today.
Dr. Lord and the staff at Four Paws Holistic Vets saved his life and opened my eyes to the benefits of feeding your dogs real food which is just as important to health as it is for us humans.
Jerry is the proof and I’ve convinced family and friends to switch their dogs over to homemade meals as preventative measure so they don’t have to go through what Jerry and I went through. We hope other dog owners can learn from his story and find success with holistic care for their loved ones.
As my cats, Kirby and Christophe, entered their senior years, I noticed that they were both less mobile and suffered from arthritis. I had known for many years about the benefits of acupuncture on animals, and after speaking with my vet, I decided to give it a try. I am so glad that I did.
Not only did the acupuncture help significantly with their mobility, but also it helped with stimulating Kirby's appetite. In the year and a half that I have been going to see Dr. Lord, I have always noticed that she understands the changing needs of my cats and addresses these needs during each session. As a result, my cats always look forward to their next appointment. Thank you, Four Paws for helping my cats maintain a strong quality of life.
"Daisy and I started coming in almost 4 months ago. Our young puppy, Daisy, had a limp. Conventional veterinarian medicine didn’t find anything wrong. Dr. Lord and her staff spend tons of time with us doing a full examination, looking at conventional methods and added in chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture. Daisy is on the mend. She LOVES going into Four Paws, and starts whining when we get close with joy.
I come from a Chiropractic family, my wife is a retired Chiropractor. I have seen how much it has helped people and certainly see how much it has helped Daisy. Dr. Lord reminds me of what I would call a Country Dr, she spends time with us, treats the entire dog, not just the specific issue. She also treats us as animal care takers in educating us. I use Dr Lord, our daughter uses Dr. Lord, and our trainer uses her."
Hurley was a happy 3 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi who lived on a small horse farm with his human and other four-legged family. One evening while running around the barn, Hurley was completely run over by a car. Hurley had multiple serious injuries, including a badly broken pelvis.
After his surgery and lengthy recovery, Hurley couldn’t fully use one of his hind legs, and his bladder was not functioning at all. It was obvious time wasn’t going to heal these lingering problems, so Hurley started acupuncture treatments with Dr. Lord. Hurley loved his sessions with Dr. Lord and staff. He actually fell asleep while being treated. Now, Hurley is happily running around with his friends, and controlling his bladder and using it like a male dog should.