Acupuncture Helps Restore Function to Paralyzed Cat’s Legs

acupuncture_for_cats

When a  good Samaritan found a wounded stray cat in her neighborhood and noticed that the cat appeared to be unable to use her hindlegs, she brought it to a local veterinary hospital for humane euthanasia. The cat appeared to be suffering, and it seemed like the right thing to do. After examining the young (barely a year old) cat, a veterinarian at the hospital decided that this little girl deserved a second chance at a good life, and accepted the cat as what is called a “surrender” in order to avoid euthanasia.

X-rays revealed a shattered pelvis, torn diaphragm and collapsed lung lobe. All of these injuries can be life threatening, and were most likely caused when the cat was hit by a car. The cat was named Pretzel, because the lack of funtion in her hindlegs caused an abnormal gait and a twisted appearance. Pretzel underwent surgery to repair her diaphragm and was spayed. Her pelvis slowly healed, and she began regaining some function in her hindlegs.

Dr. Patrick Mahaney, a holistic veterinarian in Los Angeles, donated acupuncture treatments to help Pretzel regain sensation in her previously paralyzed legs. Mahaney considers Pretzel one of his greatest acupuncture successes. “After providing her with a series of needle and electrostimulation acupuncture treatments, I had her walking much more normally and even climbing to her second level crate in her temporary, in-hospital home.”

You can watch the reamarkable transformation in pretzel in these two videos:

Pretzel walking before acupuncture:

Pretzel climbs after her 5th acupuncture treatment:

According to Dr. Mahaney, this super sweet cat was eventually placed in a great home.

I worked with a veterinary acupuncturist for several years, and while I have not seen a recovery quite as miraculous as Petzel’s, I’ve seen some pretty remarkable successes with this modality. Have you used acupuncture for your cats? Share your stories!

Photo of Pretzel by Dr. Mahaney, used with permission.

21 Comments on Acupuncture Helps Restore Function to Paralyzed Cat’s Legs

  1. Pritika
    August 14, 2013 at 9:55 am (3 years ago)

    It is a great releif that there is hope for my cat. My cat “Bubbles” is 7 months old and she just recently met an accident where she fell of from our third floor. Her hind legs has got paralysed and her tail has gone limp. I am trying my level best to get her best treatment coz i just cannot see her paralysed.I would be meeting a physiotherapist who is also specialised in accupuncture. Intially I was sceptical and hopeless that it may not work but looking at these post and the videos, I have really got some hope. I would check out the physiotherapist and would provide updates. Can anyone tell me how long does it takes for these sessions?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 14, 2013 at 3:28 pm (3 years ago)

      It’s hard to predict how a cat will respond to acupuncture and how long it will take to see any results, Pritika. A typical acupuncture session will last 20 minutes to half an hour.

      Reply
  2. Kymmie
    March 21, 2013 at 3:49 pm (4 years ago)

    What a truly remarkable story filled with love and good deeds. I am extremely impressed and wish there were more wonderful veterinarians out there like this one. I am amazed at the impressive results from acupuncture. I have never used acupuncture for myself or for my animals; however, I do have two labs. I have always had big dogs which always inevitably end up with arthritis. Would acupuncture help with arthritis pain? Is the cost reasonable?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 21, 2013 at 5:23 pm (4 years ago)

      Acupuncture can be very effective for arthritis, Kymmie. Cost will vary depending on what part of the country you’re in.

      Reply
  3. Kerry P
    March 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm (4 years ago)

    My 17-year-old cat, Sid, has received two acupuncture treatments for back and hip pain, which was making it hard for him to get around. There was a definite improvement after the first session, he was no longer hunching his back when he walked and he seemed to have more energy. Unfortunately, the second session didn’t go very well. I’m not sure what happened, but where he would usually lay still for my vet until she was done, he suddenly looked at me with big eyes and tried to pull himself away. It was obvious that he was in pain, so we ended the treatment right away. He ended up probably in worse shape than he originally started in. Needless to say, I’m hesitant to attempt another go at acupuncture, but I don’t doubt that it works (as long as the needles are inserted properly).

    Reply
  4. Bernadette
    March 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm (4 years ago)

    I’ll be writing soon about a kitty who was shot with a gun, bitten by a dog, and then fed by a couple under their shed for days who thought he was only scared to come out when he was actually paralyzed. He receives acupuncture and though he uses a donated cart for a good bit of the time, he can get around without it and has more control of his bowels and bladder with the help of acupuncture.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm (4 years ago)

      I’ll look forward to reading your story. Poor kitty, but thank goodness that couple took care of him.

      Reply
  5. sue brandes
    March 11, 2013 at 10:42 am (4 years ago)

    What an amazing story. Wow even was able to climb into the cage.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm (4 years ago)

      Isn’t it wonderful, Sue?

      Reply
  6. Marg
    March 11, 2013 at 10:41 am (4 years ago)

    Wow, that is totally amazing. Well I had no idea that acupuncture did so much good. Sure glad you told us about this. And thank heavens that vet decided to give the cat a chance.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm (4 years ago)

      Acupuncture is an amazing modality, Marg.

      Reply
  7. Lyn
    March 11, 2013 at 6:46 am (4 years ago)

    Tiny Tim continues to amaze me…he was also walking after 4 days only for having the ACU Cat book he would have been put down..he is now running and climbing and playing with his litter mates..though they are three times his size..it noe only allowed him to walk but got his bowels and bladder working! i began teatment on him at 3wks old and he is 5wks now with so much progress and such a happy little man. i would love to be able to share some pics of his progress.. thanks,
    Lyn

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm (4 years ago)

      Feel free to post photos of Tiny Tim on our Facebook page, Lyn.

      Reply
  8. Ann
    March 11, 2013 at 6:21 am (4 years ago)

    None of my cats have ever needed this treatment but I had a four year old Lab/Great Dane mix that developed a fibrin clot in his spinal cord. His entire back end was completely paralyzed. Our vet at the time gave me no reason to hope but I took Daniel to a Veterinary Specialty Clinic. They dissolved the clot but he was still paralyzed. They gave him acupuncture and e-stimulation treatments. To me, it was no less then miraculous. Daniel loved to swim and it wasn’t long before he was climbing the ladder to get out of the pool again.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks for sharing your experience with your dog, Ann – it does sound miraculous.

      Reply
  9. Fisher
    March 11, 2013 at 4:11 am (4 years ago)

    It is great to read about such a wonderful doctor. Dr. Mahaney is definitely special. I see more and more pet hospitals using alternative medicine and I think it is definitely a good way to go. (For people, too!)

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm (4 years ago)

      I agree, Fisher – on all counts!

      Reply
  10. Raine
    March 11, 2013 at 2:06 am (4 years ago)

    What a wonderful story, and great information also. i haven’t used acupuncture for any of my cats but should the need arise it is something I wouldn’t hesitate to try. Thank you for the post!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm (4 years ago)

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Raine.

      Reply
  11. Mr Puddy
    March 11, 2013 at 1:58 am (4 years ago)

    This is really good !
    I hope we have Acupuncture in Melbourne Australia. Many kitties can have a chance back to back to normal.
    Thank you for the good information
    Purrs

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm (4 years ago)

      I would imagine that there are veterinary acupuncturists in Australia, Mr. Puddy.

      Reply

Leave a comment

First time visitors: please read our Comment Guidelines.