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Animal Acupuncture Helps Pets in Pain

Lindsey Theis

Animal Acupuncture Helps Pets in Pain

CREATED May. 7, 2013

Lincoln, NE- It's not just a trendy treatment for humans anymore. Acupuncture has gone to the dogs. Well, and cats and horses too.

Dr. Pat McInteer and Dr. Kelly Stitch, a husband and wife vet team, use chiropractic treatments, massage, and acupuncture to treat animals. Stitch sees up to about 20 patients a week.

"I see about 4 patients a day I would estimate for acupuncture. Dogs, cats, horses. Hardest are probably the cats, it's tough to get some of them to sit still," she said.

The procedure lasts a little more then 20 minutes. Stitch puts about a dozen needles into nerve rich areas. Sometimes, the needles are paired with electricity to further stimulate and soothe. Stitch says the she distracts the dogs by lining plastic cups with peanut butter. She also plays relaxing music to make the pets feel like they're more at the spa then a vet's office.

"They {the needles} don't hurt a lot, a little bit of a burn going in but usually not much of anything," Stitch said.

Treatments cost 75 to 120 dollars a session. New patients start at 3 sessions a week, then will span out. For dogs that have recurring aliments like epilepsy, they might have a session once a month or every six weeks. Mimi Harvey, a dog owner, says it's worth it.

"With the pain, you want to see the dog walking better, moving better. But you can't fake a seizure. They have them or they don't. There's nothing really in between. So that kind of made me a believer," she said.

"I make animals feel good and I tell everybody I have the best job in the world," Stitch said.