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Bonita & Estero Magazine

Finding Your Pet’s Energy Flow

Jun 17, 2015 08:23AM ● By Corinne Moore

Man with his yellow labrador retriever

Can the ancient practice of acupuncture help your dog or cat feel better?

By Ann Marie O’Phelan

Molly and Sammy both receive acupuncture treatments for ailments like arthritis, disc pain and megacolon. Small thin needles are inserted in strategic points to balance the flow of energy, known as qi or chi (CHEE). The idea is that by balancing energy a body can better heal itself.

What’s different about Molly and Sammy is that they are elderly pets. Molly is a Boston terrier being treated for a muscular/skeletal issue, and Sammy is a cat suffering from megacolon and arthritis. They are both receiving acupuncture treatments from Dixie Brown DVM, a veterinary doctor at East West Veterinary Care Center in Cape Coral, who is certified in veterinary acupuncture.

“The pets are sometimes nervous the first day of treatment but they then relax,” says Brown who determines the type of treatment needed when the pets first come in, and then adjusts the treatment as the process moves along.

In addition to traditional acupuncture, the clinic also offers laser treatments, where a light energy is used instead of needles, and electronic acupuncture, where electric current is applied into the body between the needles that are inserted into acupuncture points. The price varies according to treatments used at the center, often starting at $75 a session.

The practice of acupuncture has roots in China with a recorded history going back at least 2,000 years; however, some claim it dates back even further. Many say that acupuncture has been used on pets as long as it has been used on humans.

Although it is widely popular in China, veterinary acupuncture in the United States is not as common, though growing awareness may change that. The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) offers an extensive certification program for veterinarians. Currently, more than 150,000 vets and 700,000 paraveterinary assistants use acupuncture in their veterinary practices for everything from epilepsy to kidney disease to digestive problems.

“I really notice the difference after her treatment as Molly gets around noticeably better than before the treatment,” says Kay Henrion, Molly’s owner, who has worked in the healthcare industry herself for more than 20 years. “She just ran a half mile down the road,” comments Henrion on the results of Molly’s treatment.

Sammy also responded quite well to the treatments. “He seems to be better than ever and enjoys his visits to the center,” says Darlynda “DJ” Arnold, the cat’s owner.  “He’s a very social little guy.”

When it comes to acupuncture treatments, pets can attest that it’s one office visit that they actually look forward to.

Ann Marie O’Phelan is a Southwest Florida resident and regular contributor to TOTI Media.


Learn More East West Veterinary Care Center 3625 Del Prado Blvd, Cape Coral 239-945-2800,