In China, acupuncture is also… for dogs and cats

In China, acupuncture is also… for dogs and cats

Tightly strapped, a poodle watches with concern as a veterinarian sticks fine needles in his back and paws: acupuncture for dogs and cats is attracting a growing number of masters in China.

>> The “the patients” particular of the 89 year old teacher

A dog in the middle of an acupuncture session at a veterinary clinic in Beijing.
Photo: AFP/VNA/CVN

Even rabbits are welcome in this practice of traditional Chinese medicine in Beijing, which sees furry animals of different sizes parade from morning to evening. Main motivation of the masters: to offer their animal a treatment that is less invasive and with fewer side effects than conventional medicine. Even rabbits are welcome in this practice of traditional Chinese medicine in Beijing, which manifests itself from morning to evening. hair of different sizes. Main motivation of the masters: to offer their animal a treatment that is less invasive and has fewer side effects than conventional medicine.

“The advantage of traditional Chinese medicine is that there is no surgery. So the animal’s suffering and convalescence are reduced”says Zhai Chunyu, 38, who came with Duniu, his toy poodle.

Aged 3, he suffers from Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, which affects the head and neck of the femur and leads to their collapse with osteoarthritis, pain and claudication. “He was in so much pain that he could no longer put his paw on the ground” and “had no appetite”said Mr. Zhai, who works in finance. “A doctor had advised me to have this head of the femur removed. But I didn’t want to, because I have another poodle who has been there and he suffered a lot from the operation and the after-effects”.

bamboo flute

A friend then advised him to try acupuncture in this practice, opened in 2016 by veterinarian Li Wen, 68. “After five or six sessions, we saw the results. Duniu manages to walk and even run a little now”welcomes his master.

To establish his diagnosis, the veterinarian examines the corpulence of the animal, his eyes, the color of his tongue, takes his hens and asks questions to the master. He then plants his needles at acupuncture points specific to dogs and cats.

At a veterinary clinic in Beijing.
Photo: AFP/VNA/CVN

“Out of ten animals that I receive on average each day, there are always one or two who rebelsays Li Wen, 46 years in the business. We have to communicate with them, treat them gently, reassure them that we are not here to hurt them.”.

To contribute to their relaxation, it diffuses a soft music of bamboo flute and chirping of birds.

As with humans, once the needles have been inserted, the veterinarian stimulates the points with a heating lamp in which disks of mugwort – a plant have been placed. This is called the “moxibustion”.

It is supposed to allow, in addition to acupuncture, to reduce rheumatism as well as muscle and joint pain. The veterinarian deals mainly with cases of paralysis, limb weakness, epilepsy, pain and urinary retention.

Acupuncture can also be used when no other treatment is available. As for Xiaomei, a 12-year-old male Labrador with nerve compression in the lower back and a single-bone parrot beak.

“Last September, after swimming, he couldn’t get back on his feet. A veterinarian then told us that it was impossible to treat and that he would become paralyzed”informs his mistress Ma Li, 41 years old. “Thanks to acupuncture, he still has difficulty but can walk normally and even run”she congratulates herself.

Average session price: from 360 to 390 yuan (from 52 to 57 euros) depending on the package, which remains acceptable for most Beijing masters.

Cows and hens

“The first time he was scared and just endured for five minutes”assures Yang Lihua, a 65-year-old retiree who came with Niannian, a Beijing son with a herniated disc. “Now he loves it! After the session he is so relaxed that he sleeps in the car on the way home”.

Acupuncture for animals is around six centuries old in China, according to Professor Li. It was first used for cows, sheep, horses, rabbits and chickens. Its application for dogs and cats is more recent. “Traditional Chinese medicine is not intended to replace conventional medicine” car “both have their strengths” and are “complementary”would like to highlight Professor Li.

The animal acupuncture market remains limited at the moment. “But since 2016, he has been winning in prizes, says Professor Li. With the rise in education, living conditions and income, more and more people realize the benefits of this medicine.”.

Next door, Mrs. Ma’s hulking Labrador jumped into the back seat of her mistress’s car after her session, looking delighted and tongue hanging out. “Doesn’t he look happy?”she smiled.

AFP/VNA/CVN

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