East Meets West on Johns Island, South Carolina
A Glimpse into Integrative Veterinary Medicine at Sun Dog Cat Moon Veterinary Clinic
Meet Dr. Kim Wilson.
She is no ordinary veterinarian. She has a PhD in ecology. She is a certified veterinary acupuncturist and is on her way to becoming a certified veterinary food therapist. Her approach to integrative veterinary medicine is simple: treat every patient as an individual because there is no cookie-cutter approach to helping patients live long, healthy and happy lives.
Dr. Wilson practices “integrative” veterinary medicine, which means integrating both traditional/Western and Chinese/Eastern medicine to provide high-quality veterinary care for pets. “I like to call myself ‘integrative’ because I pick from the best of both worlds of medicine,” says Dr. Wilson. Relying on her expertise in traditional medicine as well as her extensive knowledge in Chinese medicine and acupuncture, she examines the whole pet to determine a treatment plan that best fits the needs of your pet.
Dr. Wilson’s treatments include:
Although Dr. Wilson has performed acupuncture on squirrels, rabbits, and yes, even a snake, her primary focus these days are healing dogs and cats.
Acupuncture involves placing small, fine needles in locations called “classical acupoints” and/or acupoints along channels that run the length of your pet’s body (or sometimes simply along the front or back legs). In Chinese veterinary medicine, these meridians are channels of energy called Qi (Chi) and affect different parts of the body including the internal organs, brain, immune system, limbs, skin, and nervous system.
Frequently, small electrical leads can be connected to some of the needles and a mild current is sent through the needles from an electroacupuncture unit. This is called electroacupuncture, which can enhance the treatment effects.
An additional technique to boost acupuncture efficacy is through aquapuncture, where saline solution or vitamin B12 is injected with a tiny syringe needle into acupoints which stimulates that point (s) for a period of time.
All three techniques can be incorporated into a single acupuncture session.
How can acupuncture benefit my pet?
Acupuncture helps your pet’s body re-establish balance or homeostasis to resolve chronic problems. “For most pets where I’ve used acupuncture alone or in conjunction with other treatments, I see a really good response. It’s rare I don’t see a response,” says Dr. Wilson.
For example, a group of acupoints on the back, front legs and back legs can help with gastrointestinal upset and vomiting. Pain can be managed with local points at the site of the pain, as well as on the front and back feet, and back. Many conditions can be managed with acupuncture such as osteoarthritis, chronic kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, some endocrine diseases, intervertebral disc disease, cancer and other situations or conditions.
Can acupuncture be used in pets of all ages?
Yes! Dr. Wilson welcomes the opportunity to treat patients of any age.
How long does an acupuncture session last?
A session is usually 45 minutes in length because Dr. Wilson takes time to get to know your pet, inside and out. She says, “I’m doing a very thorough diagnosis during the visit, and I have to think through it. It’s not like using a cookbook with a recipe. I have to think about what the best way is to approach this patient.”
Chinese/Eastern Medicine and Traditional/Western Medicine
Acupuncture is almost always used in conjunction with other Chinese medicine modalities. It also often accompanies traditional/Western medical diagnostics and treatments. Integrating both worlds of medicine helps to achieve the best outcome for your pet.
You may be familiar with traditional/Western medicine, but Chinese medicine may be a bit unfamiliar. Dr. Wilson explains: “Chinese medicine is fantastic at identifying global or whole body problems and imbalances and it allows us to address them by treating the whole body with acupuncture, diet and herbs.”
Fun fact: Dr. Wilson can tell a lot about your pet’s health by looking at the tongue.
In Chinese veterinary medicine diagnosis, Dr. Wilson says she examines the tongue and its color, texture, appearance, among many other observations, because “these give us a window into the whole body balance as well as some specifics on inflammation, weakness, and pain.” Who would have known that your pet’s tongue could reveal so much!
Dr. Wilson’s primary focus is to help your pet enjoy a lifetime of good health, comfort, joy and wellbeing. She continues to enthusiastically pursue integration of Western and Eastern medicine with an interactive view of a pet’s whole body and life.
Learn how Dr. Wilson can give your pet the care they need and deserve by scheduling an appointment with her by calling (843) 437-0063 or visiting Sun Dog Cat Moon Veterinary Clinic to request an appointment today.