When Luca was adopted, her human family never guessed that anything might be amiss with their adorable puppy. But as she grew, it became evident that something was wrong when she started having trouble walking.
Eventually, Luca was diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), which causes compression of the spinal discs and nerves, causing pain and paralysis.
She ended up having neurosurgery, and afterwards, had to relearn how to use her hind legs. Luca was weak, listless, and unable to walk and play on her own.
So her owners decided to try something a little different to boost her health. They opted for acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a medicinal practice started thousands of years ago in China, and involves stimulating certain points on the body to promote health. It’s the same idea behind acupressure, which involves pressing on those special points.
Acupuncture, though, actually involves poking the skin with tiny needles. But it doesn’t hurt, and many people swear by it.
And just like it works on humans, it works on dogs, too, and Luca and her humans learned firsthand!
[H/T: The Dodo]
Luca was born with a spinal disorder that compressed the nerves in her spine and caused pain and paralysis in her back legs. After a surgery required her to learn to walk all over again, her humans decided to try something a little different: acupuncture.
They turned to New York City-based Animal Acupuncture, where Dr. Rachel Barrack treated Luca, using tiny needles to stimulate specific points on Luca’s body.
Sticking needles into your skin sounds scary, but it doesn’t hurt. Luca’s fur had also been shaved for her surgery.
Also, as with humans, the needles can be hooked up to a mild electrical current that stimulates the nerves and muscles.
Luca’s owners weren’t sure what would happen when they signed up for an acupuncture appointment.
“In all candor, I was a doubter that this treatment would make any difference,” said owner Lou. But they were also desperate for Luca to live a healthy, comfortable, and normal life.
But they were more than pleasantly surprised when after just one visit, Luca seemed more comfortable, and able to move more fluidly and easily.
And of course, it’s always easier to go through any kind of ordeal with a friend by your side.
Luca’s pug brother, Merlin, stayed by her side the whole time, making sure she was safe and comfortable.
And soon, Luca was able to stand and walk on her own.
While there are still some skeptics who don’t believe acupuncture can work for animals, many people see it as a great supplement to traditional veterinary medicine.
And how’s Luca doing today? Well, check out the video below to see her (and Merlin) in action.
You can see all of the other animals that Animal Acupuncture has helped by checking out their website and Facebook.
If you have any experience with acupuncture, either for you or a pet, let us know about it the comments, and SHARE Luca’s story to show that sometimes the solution is thinking outside the box.