Abandoned dog diagnosed with clinical depression nursed back to health with acupuncture
- Mastiff cross Amber was emaciated and missing patches of fur
- Rescue centre staff called for help of acupuncture expert Jennifer Williamson
- Amber ‘reverted to puppy-hood’ after six sessions with specialist
By LUCY CROSSLEY
PUBLISHED: 16:12, 5 December 2013
An abandoned dog diagnosed with clinical depression has been nursed back to health – thanks to a course of acupuncture.
Amber, a six-year-old mastiff cross, was emaciated and missing patches of fur with her eyes and ears covered in sores when her owner handed her to an animal rescue centre.
Staff at K9 Crusaders in Bissoe, Cornwall, managed to treat her visible wounds but found the dejected pet’s acute anxiety and depression far harder to fix.
To the point: Abandoned mastiff cross Amber was treated for clinical depression with acupuncture by specialist vet Jennifer Williamson
They then decided to call on the services of vet Jennifer Williamson who specialises in animal acupuncture.
Amber improved immediately with the first treatment and just six sessions later was a changed animal.
Sanctuary volunteer Sue Smith said: ‘Amber was in a bad way when we first took her to the vets and we were told she would need costly care for the rest of her life.
‘That which meant it would have been difficult to re-home her so we decided to try acupuncture.
Treatment: Amber, shown here receiving treatment, responded well to her course of acupuncture and her carers had seen a vast improvement after six sessions
Recovery: Following her acupuncture sessions, Amber no longer needs to take steroids or anti-depressants
‘Amber thankfully responded instantly, so much so in fact that when the first needle went in she dropped like a stone to the floor.
‘Me and my colleague were so shocked we thought something was wrong – but she just relaxed immediately.
‘From the first session she has continued to pick up and she is no longer on steroids or antibiotics.
‘Not only did we see a vast improvement in her skin condition, but also in her demeanour and wellbeing.
‘She’s almost reverted to puppy-hood. She’s gone from being a completely sad and dejected lost soul to a happy and excitable dog.
‘She has the most gorgeous personality. She’s a sensitive soul who craves affection.’
Amber’s acupuncture cost the charity £300, which was paid for with money from a grant from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust donated to help with vet’s bills.
The remainder of the money went to pay fees relating to the other 50 dogs in the centre’s care.
Sensitive soul: Staff at K9 Crusaders said Amber had a ‘gorgeous personality’ and craves attention
Animal acupuncture has been popular for years in Japan and is just starting to take off in the UK.
Ms Williamson, of AcuVets in Redruth, Cornwall, says she uses the traditional Chinese treatment to cure depression in animals, and has also been successful with cats and horses as well as other dogs.
She said: ‘Amber was depressed, itchy and miserable. I recommended acupuncture as a way of boosting her immune system and calming the painful itching.
‘I put one fine needle into the back of her neck and she immediately relaxed – so much so that she fell asleep for the rest of the session.
‘Within four treatments Amber was off the drugs, her system supporting itself.
Firm friends: Sue Smith of K9 Crusaders watches as animal acupuncture Ms Williamson treats Amber
‘By six treatments her skin and coat were beautifully healthy, and Amber herself, no longer so depressed, was having a second puppy-hood – lively, playing, running.’
K9 crusaders, which looks after around 50 dogs at any one time, are now looking for a new home for Amber.
Mrs Smith added: ‘Amber’s the first dog we’ve treated with acupuncture but the results have been fantastic.
‘We get many dogs coming in who suffer from depression or psychological damage so we’ll definitely be using acupuncture as a treatment more often.
‘Amber’s a one person dog – when someone shows her affection or kindness she gets exceptionally clingy. She would make a lovely dog for someone.’
Following her dramatic recovery they plan to regularly use acupuncture which can only be carried out on animals by a qualified vet.
The treatment has evolved from the ancient art of placing needles into special locations on the body and is used to alleviate pain, improve recovery rates and increase resistance to disease.