When Chloe, an 8-year-old corgi mix, fell off a bed and injured her spine over a year ago, she was partially paralyzed. Surgery had a 50-50 success rate so the veterinarian suggested a different approach: acupuncture.
"Before this was an option, you really were just putting them in carts," said Nell Ostermeier, a veterinarian who now incorporates acupuncture into almost all of her treatments.
The treatment option has grown in popularity, according to the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, but some people are skeptical. The treatment has gotten mixed scientific reviews, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
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"Whenever we have such a mixed result we need to be open and explore and would hope that more research would indicate and promote and prove that acupuncture is able to provide what it's intended to provide,” said Dr. Tom Meyer, president of the AVMA.
Chloe, though, has seen results, her owner said. After a month and a half of treatments, which are two to three times a week along with pain medication, lazer, electrical and physical therapy, Chloe started to use her hind legs again. Her owner, Torstveit, believes that the acupuncture helped significantly. She continues with treatments every six weeks or so for her beloved pet.
"I often say we don't have homo sapien children, we have fuzzy children,” Torstveit said. “They're the world to us."