Orthopedic Physician Assistant
Help Doctors treat patients with bone and muscle conditions.
Pets don’t have to go to day jobs, type on computers, or whack at golf balls on weekends. But that doesn’t mean they don’t experience pains, sprains, and strains. That’s why—just as sore humans have Acupuncturists —aching pets have Animal Acupuncturists who use needles to help alleviate pain. As an Animal Acupuncturist, you’re a Veterinarian who incorporates standard Western veterinary medicine with Eastern medicine (sometimes called Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM).
At the first appointment with a new patient, you begin by talking to the pet’s owner about how long the pet has been experiencing discomfort. You then perform a standard physical exam. Before you begin the actual acupuncture session, you turn the lights down a bit and may ask the owner to leave the room. You massage the pet’s muscles for a few moments to help it relax and get comfortable. Once the pet seems calm, you insert needles into its skin. Unless you are working with a very large animal, like a horse, the acupuncture session will last less than an hour.
You don’t just work with animals who have aches and pains. Acupuncture can help treat a wide variety of other medical issues, including allergies, digestion problems, seizures, and more. Acupuncture can even be used to keep athletic animals in top condition for competitions or performances. However, acupuncture can’t cure everything. So at the end of a session, you may also prescribe regular medication (like anti-inflammatory drugs), Chinese herbs, or other treatments like massage or physical therapy.
No matter what combination of treatments you offer, you can go home at the end of the day knowing you’ve improved the lives of the animals that came into your office. And that’s a pretty good feeling.