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Home / World News / In Pics: Chinese pet owners turn to acupuncture to treat cats and dogs

In Pics: Chinese pet owners turn to acupuncture to treat cats and dogs

Pet owners in China are turning to acupuncture to help soothe the aches and pains of their beloved cats and dogs. An increasing number of pet owners are now opting for acupuncture with surgical removal of tumours often leading to complications.

world Updated: Aug 22, 2017 15:54 IST
REUTERS
REUTERS
Shanghai
A dog and a cat receive treatment at an animal health centre in Shanghai, China.
A dog and a cat receive treatment at an animal health centre in Shanghai, China.(Aly Song/REUTERS)
         

Traditional Chinese practitioners believe acupuncture which involves inserting long, fine needles at specific places known as meridians of the body can stimulate blood circulation to promote healing and relieve some aches and pains.On its website, the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society said acupuncture has been used in veterinary practice in China “for thousands of years to treat many ailments.”

A cat receives treatment at a neurology and acupuncture animal health centre which specialises in acupuncture and moxibustion treatment for animals in Shanghai, China.
A cat receives treatment at a neurology and acupuncture animal health centre which specialises in acupuncture and moxibustion treatment for animals in Shanghai, China. ( Aly Song/REUTERS )

In a new trend, pet owners in China are turning to acupuncture to help soothe the aches and pains of their beloved cats and dogs. An increasing number of pet owners are now opting for acupuncture to treat pets suffering from ailments ranging from arthritis to paralysis among other medical conditions that result in loss of movement.

Acupuncture needles are seen at an Animal Health Centre which specialises in acupuncture and moxibustion treatment for animals in Shanghai, China.
Acupuncture needles are seen at an Animal Health Centre which specialises in acupuncture and moxibustion treatment for animals in Shanghai, China. ( Aly Song/REUTERS )

Jin Rishan, a specialist at the Shanghai TCM Neurology and Acupuncture Animal Health Center, said they have treated more than 2,000 cats and dogs since the clinic opened four years ago.

Surgical removal of the tumour  leads to other complications. Acupuncture helps in stimulating the weakened organs helping them function better.
Surgical removal of the tumour leads to other complications. Acupuncture helps in stimulating the weakened organs helping them function better. ( Aly Song /REUTERS )

Wang Xijuan, 74, took her cat to a session at a Shanghai clinic and said, “China is famous for acupuncture. I took the cat here immediately to have a try.” A single session costs 260 yuan ($39) and last for about 45 minutes.

During the process pressure points are identified with physical examination and electrical stimulation is given to the animal which helps the pets to recover.
During the process pressure points are identified with physical examination and electrical stimulation is given to the animal which helps the pets to recover. ( Aly Song /REUTERS )

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, about 7% of Chinese urban households now have a dog while nearly 2% have a cat prompting strong growth in the local pet industry in recent years.

A cat receives treatment at Shanghai at an animal health centre in Sanghai,China.
A cat receives treatment at Shanghai at an animal health centre in Sanghai,China. ( Aly Song /REUTERS )

With increasingly busy lifestyles and growing stress at work and home, more and more consumers are adopting pets as companions as a means of relief. According to research firm Euromonitor, the pet healthcare industry is expected to grow by more than 50% by 2019.

A dog walks with a wheelchair attached outside an animal health centre in Shanghai, China.
A dog walks with a wheelchair attached outside an animal health centre in Shanghai, China. ( Aly Song /REUTERS )

Jin said about 80 percent of their patients have shown some improvement after treatment while adding,“Making a paralysed and dependent dog stand up is our ultimate goal.”