A tumour on Enzo's spinal cord left the nine-year-old boxer paralysed last month despite a series of medical examinations followed by heavy medications. However, after undergoing three acupuncture sessions at a veterinary clinic in Khar, the dog is now able to walk.
An increasing number of pet owners are now opting for acupuncture, an alternative form of medicine, to treat pets suffering from arthritis to paralysis among other medical conditions that result in loss of movement. It is a common method of treatment for animals, abroad.
"It was saddening to see Enzo suffer. Doctors suggested spinal surgery, but when we heard of acupuncture therapy, we decided to give it a shot," said Enzo's owner, Nanadan Chandavarkar, a Bandra resident.
Dr Prathmesh Deshmukh, a veterinary acupuncture specialist, has treated 70 animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses and even some birds, in the past nine months.
"Surgical removal of the tumour would have led to other complications. Acupuncture helps in stimulating the weakened organs helping them function better. Pressure points are identified with physical examination and electrical stimulation is given to the animal, which helps it recover. Physiotherapy and rehabilitation is necessary for better recovery," said Deshmukh, who recently administered acupuncture to a white peacock at Veermata Jijabai Udyan, Byculla.
"The peacock had developed paralysis and this resulted in ulcers. We had put him on a regular dose of medications and after four sessions of acupuncture, he is able to stand and walk a few steps," said Dr Sanjay Tripathi, deputy superintendent at the Byculla zoo.
"Pet owners rarely opt for surgery as the success rate is not very high. Acupuncture is advised only in cases where it can benefit," said Dr Sanjeev Rajyadaksha who runs a veterinary clinic in Khar.