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Now, Acupuncture for Canines in Pain

NEW YORK: Captain gets it to ease his arthritis and it helps Mishaka’s bad back, but with fangs and claws they are not your typical acupuncture patients – they’re dogs.

The ancient Chinese system of therapy that has helped to soothe the aches, pains and ailments of people for thousands of years is now doing the same for canines.

“She is so happy, she relaxes, her tail wags and she just plops herself down to get her treatment. She likes it,” said New York resident Sissy Stamm, about 12-year-old Mishaka.

The Caucasian Ovcharka, who tips the scales at about 120 pounds and was bred to guard sheep, doesn’t seem to mind having needles inserted into her limbs during her weekly acupuncture sessions in Stamm’s apartment. The traditional medicine treats a wide range of illnesses, from skin problems to heart conditions, according to Vikki Weber, the executive director of the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in Fort Collins, Colorado.

At least 2,000 vets in the United States practice acupuncture, although no official statistics exist on how many animals undergo the procedure. Prices for the average visit for a cat or dog run around $50 to $85, added Weber, whose group runs courses for vets around the world. The treatment, which vets can study at schools such as Colorado State University and the Chi Institute in Gainesville, Florida, is also very popular in the horse racing industry.

Captain, a 10-year-old Dalmatian, enthusiastically greeted Dr Jeffrey Levy, the New York vet who treats him for arthritis. His owner turned to acupuncture for her pet after two anti-inflammatory drugs and a cortisone shot failed to help. When scheduling problems halted his acupuncture treatment Captain grew worse, she said.

Sources: The Times Of India

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