As a kitten, Sargie was very slow in developing. While his brothers and sisters were walking around, romping and playing, Sargie wasn't. We wondered if he would ever walk, be able to get to his food, water and litter box. He was about a month behind the others in getting going, but when he finally did, he did what looked like an army crawl. You've seen the movies with the guys at boot camp crawling under the barbed wire... that's how Sargie got around as a kitten. Because he was now able to get to his food and litter box, we decided we didn't care how "normal" he was, he could have a great life in our family. Soon enough Sargie was walking normally. It seems that it just took him some time to gain the strength to walk correctly.
Sargie was a GREAT cat. He was extremely loving (even to the dogs, whom he LOVED to rub up against). He was so laid-back that he even allowed momma-less Humane Society foster kittens to suckle on him! This earned him the nickname "Unkie Sarge."
When Sargie was about 8 years old we started noticing that he seemed stiff and was cranky with the other pets in the house. We took him to our vet to see what was going on. It turns out he had pretty advanced arthritis because of his deformed spine. Upon x-rays, we found that he had missing vertebrae, some that were fused and some that were just deformed. All of these abnormal changes were causing Sargie a lot of pain. It was suggested that we get him started onglucosamine and chondroitin to slow the advance of the arthritis.
The vet also suggested that we let him do acupuncture on Sargie.
This was after our family had had some significant life changes because of acupuncture (see my story here) so this sounded reasonable. However, we never expected the results that we saw!
After going home from Sargie's vet appointment where he received his first-ever acupuncture treatment, he was a new cat! He was once again playing with the other cats rather than growling at them! He was rubbing up on the dogs once more! He was back to normal!
We took Sargie back for acupuncture treatment every week for about a month, then every other week for about 4 more visits, and then as needed for his pain. On average, after his pain was under control, we took him in about every 3-6 months for what we called "Sargie's Tune-Up."
After seeing these results, and my path came clear that I was going to become an acupuncturist, there was no way I was going to miss out on treating pets as well! They respond so much quicker than their human counterparts. Is it because they're more sensitive? Do they have less stress? Do they not internalize the stress? I'm not sure exactly why they respond so well to treatment, it's probably some combination of the above ideas. I do know that I love having the opportunity to help pets be their happiest and healthiest!