Way of the needle puts the woof back

AMAZING RECOVERY: Roxy the Labrador lost all feeling in her limbs but after undergoing acupuncture treatment she is getting back to her old self.
AMAZING RECOVERY: Roxy the Labrador lost all feeling in her limbs but after undergoing acupuncture treatment she is getting back to her old self.

AN ANCIENT Chinese healing technique is getting tails wagging in Port Elizabeth.

Most popular among people, acupuncture is catching on with man’s best friends. Canines and felines with aches and pains can now woof and purr in delight as an unlikely form of relief is on hand.

But unbeknown to many pet owners, Western veterinary acupuncture has been around for a long time, a Port Elizabeth vet who has a special interest in canine and feline physical rehabilitation says.

Dog owner Dorita Tistelli, of Linton Grange in Port Elizabeth, was introduced to the treatment when her beloved Labrador, Roxy, 6, suddenly lost feeling in her limbs.

“If you lifted her leg, it would fall down. We took her to a Linton Grange animal clinic, where we were told they could not do anything for her. However, a vet at the clinic recommended Southern Cross Veterinary Clinic in Mill Park,” Tistelli said.

Armed with hope and a desire to see Roxy get back to her energetic self, Tistelli and her husband heeded the advice. In mid-March, Roxy was admitted to the Mill Park clinic for a week and assessed by vet Dr Alma Kerr, who has been administering veterinary acupuncture to pets in the Friendly City since 2012.

“The rate of her recovery has been amazing. She started walking after 10 days of treatment. We are in awe of the change.

“We were initially worried for Roxy because she’s a timid dog, but she’s taken well to the treatment – she wags her tail every time she sees Dr Kerr and the staff at Southern Cross,” Tistelli said.

At one point the Tistellis had considered putting Roxy down.

“She’s a six-year-old, which we consider young, and we thought she had many years ahead of her. But her condition was so bad that putting her down did cross our minds.

“There are many people we’ve spoken to who’ve put their pets down and say they wish they knew about this form of treatment ,” Tistelli said.

Although it is early days, the turnaround has been so great that Roxy walks around her owners’ yard barking at their neighbours’ dogs, Tistelli quips.

Kerr said she used acupuncture in addition to other conventional veterinary treatments. She stressed that acupuncture formed part of a holistic treatment regime, which was case dependent.

– Xolisa Phillip 

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