WOOLMARKET, MS (WLOX) - An ancient form of Chinese medicine is gaining popularity among South Mississippi pet owners - acupuncture.
On Thursday, 2-year-old maltese poodle Brees received his monthly acupuncture treatment for a brain disorder. The rescue dog was born with hydrocephalus, a debilitating condition that causes fluid to build up and put pressure on his brain.
"If he runs too fast he'll hit his head, which can trigger a seizure. The only other option was an expensive surgery," said his owner, Robin Bush.
Bush heard about Dr. Connie Clemons-Chevis, who specializes in Chinese veterinary medicine.
"I had seen many animals that I felt we got to a certain point and then we couldn't help them anymore," said Dr. Chevis. "I thought there might be another alternative to help animals with pain or chronic conditions."
Dr. Chevis inserted sterile, half-inch needles into Brees' body to stimulate certain points and to balance his energy; also known as Chi. Chevis focused on areas that could reduce his seizures and clear fluid in his brain.
Dr. Chevis says the furry patients feel little to no pain.
"Sometimes, it feels like a very fast electrical shock," said Dr. Chevis.
The veterinarian combines acupuncture with Chinese herbs to treat ailments like arthritis, kidney failure and skin conditions.
"When the seizures first started they were closer together. Now, they're further apart. He wouldn't be alive without it," said Bush.
Dr. Chevis has clinics in Woolmarket and Bay St. Louis. She has used acupuncture on horses, reptiles and marine mammals such as whales and sea lions.