See that handsome guy in the photo? That’s Willy, a 13 year-old cat who was diagnosed with a sarcoma (a.k.a. cancerous tumor) affecting his front leg. Unfortunately, Willy suffers from joint discomfort and (at times) lameness due to his condition.
To help combat his symptoms, Willy visits Dr. Barkley at our vet clinic every 6-8 weeks for acupuncture treatments in combination with some at-home pain medication. For Willy, acupuncture is a great stress-free (and pain-free!) therapy to help relieve his chronic pain. In fact, acupuncture can help a wide range of conditions in cats including stress, pain, gastrointestinal issues, kidney disease, and many more!
In a typical acupuncture session for Willy, we begin by sprinkling catnip over a fluffy towel and offering him several enticing treats. Now, you may be thinking, “There is no way my cat would tolerate acupuncture.” Most cats, however, are quite accepting of the experience (and some even take naps during the treatment!).
Each session lasts about 20 minutes, and Dr. Barkley inserts up to 8-10 super tiny pins at various points near Willy’s right leg with the intention of reducing swelling and improving function in his elbow. Then, she focuses on points over his kidneys and lower back both to promote wellness and support the areas that could be negatively affected by pain medication.
Despite Willy’s cancer diagnosis, he has been responding well to acupuncture for over a year, and it has helped him maintain a better quality of life. In a recent e-mail update from Willy’s mom, she wrote, “He is still doing pretty well, slowing a bit, but still eating and playing! Amazing…”
At Cat Care Professionals, we want the best for both our clients and our patients which is why we love being able to offer an alternative therapy like acupuncture which has positively impacted the lives of many of our patients. If you think that your cat might benefit from such therapies, then we welcome you to contact us and speak with our veterinarians about whether treatments like this could improve your cat’s life like it has for Willy!