In striving to keep things merry and bright and this holiday season, I've decided to feature the top five photos of my veterinary acupuncture patients from 2013.
Not many people get the chance to see what it's like for pets to have acupuncture, so I frequently photograph my patients during their treatment process. Actually, quite often I'm in a room by myself with my patients (after having been let in by an assistant or housekeeper), so I like to share the images of my canine and feline acupuncture recipients in a very relaxed state with my clients.
Little Man is a Chihuahua with a tendency to exhibit inappropriate urination:
As we’ve ruled out medical causes of urinary problems via diagnostic testing, Little Man’s propensity to pee in less-than-desirable places is occurring as a result of disturbed shen (heart, emotions, etc.) energy. This stems, in part, from mild muscular discomfort he experiences along his back in his Bladder meridian (energy channel). The areas of discomfort along the bladder channel interrupt the proper flow of qi (chi) throughout his body, which contributes to his occasions of inappropriate urination, according to traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM).
Fortunately, Little Man is doing better with regular needle/laser acupuncture treatments, nutraceuticals, Chinese herbs, and behavior/lifestyle modifications.
Happy Face is a Boston Terrier who suffered trauma from being hit by a car during his younger years:
The accident led to the amputation of his right front limb. As a result of carrying his weight in an imbalanced fashion on his remaining front left leg, Happy Face experiences discomfort between his shoulders extending into his mid back. His discomfort occasionally even manifests with him exhibiting mild to moderate behavior changes like aggression.
Providing consistent needle and laser treatments along with pain-relieving medications, nutraceuticals, Chinese herbs, a whole food based diet, and behavior modification has led to a happier Happy Face, who is now more comfortable and less prone to exhibiting undesirable behaviors.
Maggie was a sweet senior pooch who had discomfort in her back that limited her ability to comfortably navigate her home environment:
Stairs and hardwood floors were a challenge during Maggie’s senior years.
Although Maggie is no longer with us (a quality of life choice was made), she led a more comfortable and better quality of life as a result of the regular administration of needle/laser acupuncture treatment, joint supporting medications and nutraceuticals, and environmental modifications.
Riley is a Golden Retriever who has outlived the expectations of the numerous veterinarians involved in the regular management of his care:
I began working with Riley in 2010 when he was experiencing issues causing him chronic pain while also being afflicted with a lifelong history of severe allergic skin disease. The medications Riley needed to control his skin issues prevented him from taking common anti-inflammatory medication, so I was called in to help manage his bodily discomfort. Ultimately, Riley developed liver cancer which has been managed (along with his pain) on an ongoing basis through the use of needle/laser acupuncture treatment, whole-food diet, medications, and nutraceuticals.
Riley leads a great day-to-day quality of life and enjoys swimming with his canine companion on a daily basis despite his severe diagnosis.
Finally, I have to include my own have dog Cardiff:
You may well know that Cardiff suffers from a chronic and often fatal disease called immune mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA). Fortunately, Cardiff’s IMHA has been in remission and he’s been symptom-free for four years. Unfortunately, Cardiff was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. Yes, my own dog who lives the most toxin-free life I can possibly provide has cancer.
Cardiff’s condition occurred in a discrete area of his small intestine that caused the mild clinical signs of decreased appetite, lethargy, and intermittent regurgitation. After discovering the intestinal mass via ultrasound, Cardiff had surgery to remove the affected section of intestine and to biopsy an adjacent lymph node.
Although the diagnosis is severe, the situation is relatively best-case as he’s healed great and is nearly back to being himself.
He’ll be starting six months of chemotherapy in early January 2014. So, the steps I'm taking in treating Cardiff’s cancer and the story of dealing with my own dog’s illness will be revealed through my petMD Daily Vet articles throughout the next year (stay tuned).
Dr. Patrick Mahaney
Image: Dr. Patrick Mahaney