By Roger Deeringer
Yes!! Acupuncture has been performed on animals since 600BC in China. Eastern, or Chinese medicine has been a growing alternative medical option for the past 50 years here in the United States and Western Europe. Acupuncture on humans has been effective in relieving pain and stress, and similar results have been observed in animals. The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) will be holding acupuncture certifications in San Diego starting in October and CalGAP Volunteers will be helping by volunteering our Greyhounds as teaching aids.
The students attend a week long seminar to learn the acupuncture procedure and needle points. The Greys allow the students to see where these points are located and give them the opportunity to identify the points as part of the learning lab. There are no needles used during this lab, just fingers or coffee sticks or even a pen or two. Most of the hounds become relaxed and a few just lie down and snooze. Of course there are a few who don’t want to have strangers poke at them, so those get to socialize in an X-pen holding area. I think a few of the restless ones object just enough to go into the pen for some snooze time and dream “Ha, got one over on him this time!”
A session lasts about 30 minutes and the Greys get an Acupressure treatment out of the whole deal. During the 2005 sessions, Neo, my big White and Black, had his back problem relieved by the training exercise. As the instructor and then the students worked through the nerve points, Neo became more and more relaxed. When he got down from the table, his back twitch was less pronounced and he did not try to scratch as often as he had before. A few dogs went to the actual needle demonstration and the results were very good.
There were 4 training seminars, in October, November, January and February. At each of these seminars there have been 20-25 Greys. Each dog does one to four 30 minute sessions during the 4 hour lab. The lab schedule is below. The IVAS makes a donation to the CalGAP and then CalGAP matches the funds and distributes it to the rescue groups that each volunteer Greyhound was adopted from.
In my opinion, the greatest benefit came from the vets themselves, as many of them had never worked with Greyhounds. Comments such as “They really are the most docile dogs I have handled” are very common. A few of the vets have taken our literature so they can follow up when they get back home. The students come from all over the US, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. Most have only a rudimentary idea of the plight of the Greyhound, so we get a chance to educate the vets on Greyhound rescue.
If you have interest in volunteering your time and Greyhound(s), please contact Roger Deeringer, email@example.com or 949-888-5389 or Mike Bushnell, DaLizard@ix.netcom.com or 619-469-3170. As mentioned above, we will need 20-25 Greyhounds per session. Visit the CalGAP IVAS Clinic page for clinic dates and times.