QLD pet owners turn to Chinese medicine
Queensland pet owners are turning to Chinese medicine to restore the yin and yang of their furry friends.
Acupuncture, massage, food therapy and herbal medicine are increasingly being seen as viable options for ailing pets, says Cindy Tan, Queensland's representative for Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Group.
Ms Tan, 37, from Meadowbrook owns Vetpoint, a mobile vet van that offers holistic health practises to pets in Brisbane, Logan and the Gold Coast.
Ms Tan graduated from The University of Queensland in 2005 with a masters degree in veterinary science. But after two years in general practise, she saw a need to provide more holistic care and studied Chinese vet medicine through the Chi Institute. She now offers alternative medicine mainly to dogs and cats, but was once asked to give acupuncture to a pet sheep.
Ms Tan says Chinese medicine and physical therapy can help improve a range of health conditions in dogs - from skin disorders and arthritis to psychological dysfunctions. Recently she treated a "sweet staffy" named Chloe that was diagnosed with heart failure with Chinese herbs and acupuncture.
"She had a good whole year of life ... which usually in her condition the best predicted life span is about 1-4 months," she said.
Ms Tan believes that Chinese medicine is providing a critical third option for owners with sick pets who only see surgery or euthanasia as options.
"We don't have the belief that we will cure them forever, but we can help prolong their life and give them a better quality of life."
The Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Group has 120 members nationwide and in QLD 19 members.