Anyone who has heard a cat mournfully bellow during a car ride to the vet’s office or watched it cower from the terrors of the vacuum cleaner probably wouldn’t choose felines as suitable candidates for acupuncture. But to one California veterinarian, squirming animals pose no problem in the practice of a treatment she believes can reduce stress and prevent disease in pets.
Dr Hilary Wheeler practices veterinary medicine in a California town appropriately named Los Gatos. Wheeler insists that a combination of acupuncture and herbal remedies can control pain in animals with joint and bone problems and reduce the side effects of allergies, inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disorders, the Weekly-Times reports.
In her practice, the vet focuses on preventing, rather than treating, diseases through exercise, diet and stress management. Acupuncture has become her favored technique to limit stress and promote pet health.
"Surprisingly, cats do very well with acupuncture," Wheeler told the news source. "It causes endorphin release and it relaxes them. Some fall asleep and some just become very relaxed."
One pet owner, Joyce Taylor, noticed that her dog Dewey could move significantly better after a single acupuncture treatment administered by the California vet.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the average veterinary expenditure per households with pets in 2006 was $366.