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How Acupuncture Saved at least US$2,000

July 11, 2015

Acupuncture Gets Murphy Home 2 Days Earlier than Specialists’ Prediction

The Call for a “House Call” Comes In

Murphy takes a 6 inch rawhide chew and stuffs most of it in his mouth all at once!

Thanks for the treat!

“Is this Doc Truli?”

The phone signal was weak, but we could understand each other.

“Yes,” I said.

“My 9 week-old poodle puppy is in the intensive care unit and they are doing everything they can for him. I was wondering if acupuncture would help him,” asked the apricot teacup poodle’s mom. “Can you meet us at the intensive care hospital in 15 minutes?”

“I’ll meet you there,” I said. I hung up, started up the purrs-like-a-kitten (it doesn’t) 1999 faded burgundy Ford Explorer dog truck and headed for the overnight specialty hospital at 9:30 pm on a Saturday night. I am a holistic house call veterinarian.

A slim steel acupuncture needle goes into a poodle puppy's hind paw in the web between the toes and he falls asleep!

Poodle Puppy Acupuncture for Diarrhea

Doc Truli Meets Murphy the Marvelous

The nurse was just leaving the clean, neat examination room when I arrived.

“He shouldn’t be able to get that collar off,” she said,” as she replaced his wimpy elizabethan “cone” (“satellite dish”) collar with a stronger one. “He already took out 2 intravenous catheters,” she laughed as she adjusted his fit. What a character he is…

Murphy turned his brown-eyed stare in yours Truli’s direction. His wiggled his butt and tried to leap out of his mom’s arms.

“So, what seems to be the problem?” I asked.

“He started with a seizure, and he’s my third poodle so I thought of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) right away. I gave him some of that nutrition stuff you’re supposed to give puppies, but it didn’t help. I rushed him to the vet and they said he has almost no white blood cells, but his virus tests for parvo and distemper were negative. Twice. Oh! And he had 105F fever!” said Murphy’s mom, Mandi.

Wow! What am I going to help that an internist, two critical care specialists, a neurologist, and a radiologist couldn’t figure out? 

Acupuncture for Low White Blood Cell Counts

As it turns out, there are acupuncture points to boost white blood cells and bone marrow function in general.*

“The specialists said they have him on intravenous fluids and antibiotics for supportive care and to cover him in case there’s a bacterial infection somewhere we can’t find” said Mandi. “They said he might be able to go home Tuesday if his white [blood cell] count comes up enough.”

Mandi held Murphy while Doc Truli (yours truly) negotiated some tiny acupuncture needles into the indicated points on the little poodle. He sure was wiggly! We persisted until he had 15 minutes of treatment. (We did not get pictures the first day. The picture at the right and above is Murphy getting a treatment for diarrhea a couple of weeks later. He fell asleep for the needle in the webbing between his back toes!)

Murphy was so distracted by all the new people and the specialty hospital environment, he hardly noticed the acupuncture needles!

“Call me as soon as you get the morning white blood cell count results,” I said.

“Of course I will,” said Mandi.

Results from Acupuncture for Low White Blood Cell Count

This mini poodle is so comfortable during his house call visit, he tries to kiss Doc Truli on the lips!

Murphy loves Doc Truli

“How did the test turn out?” I asked the next morning.

“His white blood cell count was normal. They are sending him home!” said Mandi. “I get to have a second home coming with my new puppy. Thank you so much.”

Just to summarize: a tiny puppy with hardly any white blood cells and without a diagnosis was treated with supportive care (fluids), prophylactic care (antibiotics), and acupuncture.

[A further thought: the pet intensive care unit costs about US$1,000 a day. Acupuncture helped save a tremendous amount of money, too!]


Biographical note: Dr. Sandra Truli Springer, VMD is available for holistic and Western medicine house calls for pets in the greater Tampa Bay, Florida, USA area. She is currently undergoing acupuncture certification through the Chi Institute in Reddick, Florida.

Call 877 Dr Truli  (877-378-7854)



*from Veterinary Acupuncture: Ancient Art to Modern Medicine by Schoen and Wynn

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 20, 2015 7:39 pm

    Bart Springer says, “wow.” What a lucky little dog.

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