The Roundup -

Veterinary Acupuncture Helps Heal Injured Animals


Dr. Jacobs gives Bella a shot to alleviate her pain.

Dr. Jacobs of the Interlaken Centre, Waconia, MN was at Williston Saddlery mid August treating a Great Dane and a barrel racing horse using the ancient practice of acupuncture. The Interlaken Centre is probably the oldest veterinary practice devoted solely to acupuncture according to Dr. Jacobs. It was opened in 1983 by Dr. Ralph Johnson, a pioneer in animal acupuncture. Johnson was excited about the fact that he could heal an animal instead of just providing a “band aid”. Johnson’s son Blake joined his father in 1990. Dr. Jacobs, who was a classmate of the younger Johnson at the University of Minnesota veterinary school, joined the practice in 1999 after practicing conventional animal medicine for10 years and then attending the International Veterinarian Acupuncture Society (IVAS).

The practice cares for cats, dogs, horses, some show cattle and handles some reproductive issues for breeders in the area. Dr. Jacobs has also treated a bearded dragon, an elephant and a goat. He has had some dramatic successes such as a Great Dane with nerve damage, that was recommended to be put down. As a last ditch effort, the owners brought the dog to Interlaken. Two years later, the dog is still doing very well.

Acupuncture can also be more affordable than traditional treatments. Diagnosis involves palpations, and going over points on the animal. “It’s a reasonable cost compared to running a lot of tests,” Dr. Jacobs explained.

The two vets are very well known in horse circles, providing their services at major horse events all over the country, as well as at private locations. Dr. Jacobs had just attended the Arabian Youth Nationals before coming to Williston. He explained that he treats a lot of performance horses which are no longer performing well. Eight out of ten do very well after treatment.

Vets from the Interlaken Centre have been making a huge circle encompassing North Dakota and eastern Montana for over twenty years treating whatever animals need their help. In Williston, it was a 4 year old Great Dane named Bella which was suffering from arthritis and some kidney and liver issues. After a thorough examination, Dr. Jacobs strategically placed injections of almond oil with a touch of iodine (to prevent infection) into Bella’s knees, hips and other areas as needed.

Dr. Jacobs checks pressure points to help diagnose this barrel racer’s problems.

Dr. Jacobs explained that when doing animal acupuncture, he injects the points to provide a stronger stimulation. “We only get one opportunity,” he said. “It’s a bigger poke with a hypodermic needle and it’s not fun for the animal, but it’s faster and more effective.” The almond oil also continues to work, acting like a new shot every time the animal moves. Bella took most of her shots like a champ, even the ones Dr. Jacobs thought might be touchy.

The second patient of the day was a barrel racer on which Dr. Jacobs performed chiropractic treatments to alleviate pain in the poll which is the area immediately behind the ears. In this area are many nerve endings and acupressure points which can cause pain but also allow for effective treatment.

Williston Saddlery will have details on Dr. Jacob’s next visit. Call them at 701-527-2267 or call the Interlaken Center at 1-952-442-4421 to make an appointment.


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