Many owners turning to acupuncture for pets


HOUSTON – With the growing popularity of alternative medicine, many pet owners are turning to acupuncture needles to relieve their animals' pain.

Dr. Timothy Harkness uses acupuncture on animals at the Houston Humane Society and says he sees big improvements after treatment.

"If you have a dog with arthritis, we will treat him and let him loose about two hours later and the dog is walking, so I know I have improvement. I haven't used any drugs, all I have used is needles," said Dr. Timothy Harkness, Houston Humane Society's Chief Veterinarian.

He says the reason he likes acupuncture is because there are potentially no negative side effects in comparison with pain medications.

"Nausea, overdosing, dogs become ataxia, can't walk -- that doesn't take place with the use of acupuncture," said Dr. Harkness.

A Chihuahua named Lauren was hit by car and broke her pelvis bone. Dr. Harkness used acupuncture to help her heal and she is now ready to be adopted.

"It will not cure everything but it will help arthritis I have used acupuncture in conjunction with herbs, as far as treatments of tumors, you can actually suppress it, release the heat from the tumor and the tumor will dissipate and fall off," said Dr. Harkness.

An animal acupuncture session will run you anywhere from $50 to $80.