Acupuncture helps heal pain in animals - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Acupuncture helps heal pain in animals

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Dr. Elena Shirley performs acupuncture on a horse at the Hunters Glen Animal Hospital in Tulsa, OK. (Source: KOTV/CBS) Dr. Elena Shirley performs acupuncture on a horse at the Hunters Glen Animal Hospital in Tulsa, OK. (Source: KOTV/CBS)

TULSA, OK (KOTV/CBS) - Acupuncture is a centuries-old treatment for lots of things, but veterinarians are using them more frequently on animals.

Dr. Elena Shirley believes in using acupuncture. It's not useful in all cases, but it can replace drugs that might have unwanted side effects.

Show horses and barrel racing horses are subject to injuries like any other athlete, and traditional painkillers might not be appropriate.

Sometimes Shirley attaches small electrodes to the needle for additional stimulation.

"It's a tool in the tool kit," Shirley said. "It doesn't replace all of my education. I keep the whole tool box."

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