Last week when Michelle Elgersma gave acupuncture treatments to Lakota and Emeraude (then Jojo), the change in Emeraude was immediately apparent and has lasted since then.
Acupuncture, a form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and one of humanity’s oldest healing practices, involves stimulating recognized spots in the body, most often with needles, in order to balance the flow of “qi” through natural pathways in the body known as meridians. If you think of how the blood physically flows in the body you can also visualize how qi virtually flows, and the consequences to the body’s health and vitality if the flow of blood or qi is blocked. Points around the body are each associated with individual organs and the functions of those organs and bodily processes. Veterinarians are certified for Veterinary Acupuncture because the meridians and points in animals are, as you would expect, different from humans.
Emeraude had been shy and timid from the beginning and obviously deferent to Lakota, who had the stronger and more outgoing personality of the two. She was never frightened or aggressive, but she was certainly not going to put herself in a vulnerable position by trusting me until more time had passed, not like her attention-seeking fur brother. She’d been known to vomit frequently in the past though once she’d been eating a grain-free food she’d stopped. When they arrived I began feeding them canned food with water and pumpkin added for extra hydration and also for Lakota’s constipation and Emeraude’s loose stool issues she’d vomited a few times, then adjusted, and about four weeks went by.
Four or five days before Lakota began to show lethargy I noticed, though he was excited at mealtimes and even got up into the sink where I was preparing it for them, he didn’t stay with his food as long and wasn’t eating as much. Emeraude began to have stool with a lot of smelly liquid that same weekend, but still ate her food with gusto. I changed foods and the conditions persisted, and Lakota began to show signs of failure. Neither condition seemed to be food related.
After her exam last weekend at the Frankie’s Friends clinic she came home more trusting and affectionate, but still the diarrhea persisted.
Dr. Michelle explained about “rebellious qi” that was flowing in the wrong direction, and “liver qi anxiety”, so Dr. Michelle chose to treat Emeraude for spleen qi deficiency, commonly seen with diarrhea. She explained that in TCM the spleen causes the pure fluids that are absorbed from the stomach/intestines to raise up where it is then spread throughout the body. When Spleen Qi is low, then the fluids are not raised and instead flow downward causing more fluid in the stool, i.e. diarrhea. The spleen is responsible for digestion and in general any Qi deficiency causes lethargy and dullness. In treating Emeraude Dr. Michelle tonified the spleen and also tonified qi. By tonifying the spleen, she explained, we helped it do its job better. By tonifying qi, we helped her have more energy and be brighter. She also did one point for the kidneys because in geriatrics, kidney energy declines.
The change was immediate, both in Emeraude’s diarrhea and in her personality. She began talking to me at that point and still does, giving me face rubs and even licking my hand. For most of Lakota’s last two weeks he was sleeping in the litterbox, so I had to add another for Emeraude to use, in the tub. Now that he is gone she didn’t want to use it, it had been his bed, but we cleaned it out today and reintroduced her to it and she seems to be fine. Even through Lakota’s loss she has maintained her wellness. So in treating the symptom, the diarrhea, we actually treated the whole system, readjusting things. I’ll be keeping watch on the situation but hopefully we have it resolved for a good long time.
This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to try acupuncture for my cats though I’ve considered it through the years for other conditions. I hope to encourage others to consider as well.
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Help a rescuer spay/neuter 13+ kitties and get something from me
You’ve seen the “Motley Crew” of kittens for adoption. Now this rescuer has found a new colony in the same place and six kittens half with “mega eye issues” and URIs. The kittens are covered but there are 13 adults, all of whom need to be spayed and neutered. However, this rescuer just did five this past Wednesday, and all of the kittens and cats vetted so far out of her own pocket.
As you’ve seen she finds homes for the kittens and as many friendly adults as possible, using an adoption contract, and is very careful where they adopt to.
She has her spay/neuter surgeries done through the Animal Rescue League here in Pittsburgh ($30 per cat) and donations for the surgeries can be made under her name, “Pam Roudebush Amicarella”, using your debit or credit card to rush to get these done ASAP. It’s quickest if you call 412-345-7300 and give the information verbally, but you can also use the donation form on the website.
When you’ve done this and get a receipt, private message her on Facebook or send a message to me and send along your receipt so she can thank you. For every $30 donation to cover a spay or neuter I’ll send off to you an 8″ x 10″ signed print of “Three Cats”, a pencil sketch of three of my cats cuddled together on the bed, ready to frame. You’ll just need to give me your address.
Thanks for helping cats!
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
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