Looking like a furry brown pincushion, eight-month-old French bulldog “Dan Jiao” whimpers nervously as he waits for the end of a Chinese acupuncture session aimed at curing partial paralysis caused by a puppyhood injury.
“Dan Jiao”, would obviously rather be chewing on a bone somewhere than sitting strapped against his will into a harness that resembles a medieval torture device, pricked by several long needles hooked up to a mild electric current. But the Shanghai clinic of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner Jin Rishan at least provides hopeful owners an alternative to putting down the beloved family dog or cat, the typical fate of pets immobilised by severe spinal and nervous-system injuries.
“We’re getting more and more customers,” said Jin, 53, whose Shanghai TCM animal health centre is operating at full capacity of around 20 patients per day, and growing.
Many dogs suffer from tough-to-treat back injuries or spinal deterioration that can render them unable to walk. “Western medical practices can’t do much,” said Mr Jin, adding that acupuncture is “more effective” than modern medicine....