An Edmonton veterinarian dedicated to providing holistic medicine for his four-legged clients is earning a reputation worldwide for his unorthodox approach to animal care.

Dr. Steve Marsden operates the Edmonton Holistic Veterinary Clinic, which provides alternative treatments usually reserved for humans, such as acupuncture and chiropractic care.

Marsden has been practicing holistic medicine on animals for 25 years. It was rough early on, he said, because there were no holistic certification courses. He ended up writing many of the books used to train other vets.

“I went to human medical school to learn this because there was nobody teaching it for animals,” he said. “Then I just adapted the human information to animals.”

Veterinarians from Australia, the United States and England have come to the clinic to study Marsden’s techniques.

Marsden has even helped a police dog from Oregon that had lost feeling in his hind legs due to a degenerative disease. Marsden helped get the dog, named Bronko, back on active duty.

Barbara Peter has been bringing her Airedale terrier Logan to the clinic for acupuncture treatment with Marsden, who is trying to stop the atrophy in the dog’s brain.

Peter is a believer in the holistic approach despite skepticism from friends, family, and the wider medical community.

“They often comment on the money I’m spending on him,” she said.

But Peter said she noticed an improvement in Logan after his first treatment.

“It only lasted for … three days and then he slowly started to go back to where he was,” she said.

Marsden said his treatments are another option for people seeking help for their pets.

“We’re not relying on just doing one thing and hoping the problem goes away,” he said.

With a report by CTV Edmonton’s Kim Taylor