Despite One Reporter’s Claims, Acupuncture Is Not An ‘Alternative’ to Spinal Surgery

I am a great proponent of animal acupuncture. That’s why after 10 years of practising as a Veterinarian I went back to the books and studied Veterinary acupuncture.

So it is quite disappointing when newspaper articles like the one below promote pure nonsense about acupuncture:

‘To give her four-footed friend relief, Schubert was looking at a bill of at least $10,000 for an MRI and surgery. 

“I was very upset because my dogs are my children, but I’m a full-time student and I only work part-time so the money was something I just couldn’t come up with,” said Schubert, 34, who is studying at Messiah College to go into pastoral ministry. “But by then, I pretty much had to carry Captain Chaos around because he would trip and fall whenever he tried to walk.” 

Whalen suggested a much less expensive alternative to help manage the dog’s condition — acupuncture. 

“People are starting to use acupuncture more for themselves and then thinking about it for their pets,” Whalen said. “Sometimes their acupuncturists actually refer them to me for their pets.” 

Wow. Here is a great way to save $10,000 – just use acupuncture instead! If only it worked like that. Acupuncture is a wonderful modality to enhance and supplement conventional medical treatments. It can definitely increase the rate of healing of an injured spine but it definitely can’t put a torn spinal disk back together or mend a broken bone. To do that a surgeon would have to cut the dog open and fix the problem.

Articles like that don’t just mislead pet owners. They give people false hope and a promise of something acupuncture can’t do. In the olden days we have witch doctors doing that, today we have newspaper reporters instead.

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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

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