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Pet Acupuncture is Growing in Popularity

Needling change: Acupuncture for dogs goes mainstream in NJ

Part Labrador, part pitbull, with two searching brown eyes, the dog stares up from her position on the floor. A foreign object shoots out of the top of her head — a short lavender rod, right between her floppy ears. More of them run down her spine, from shoulder to tail, like ski flags on a slope of fur.

The dog’s owner, Trish Klucharits, sits in a chair at the corner of the room, waiting.

"This is like life-saving for her, it really is," says Klucharits of the dog, named Freckles, possibly because of the specks of white on her face (she’s a rescue). Minutes earlier, veterinarian Aleda Cheng had slipped tiny, wiry needles into her back.

Before Freckles started acupuncture at Crown Veterinary Specialists in Lebanon, Hunterdon County, she could hardly walk, due to severe arthritis and spine issues. Klucharits tried to give her muscle relaxants and steroids. But the effects of medicine proved fleeting. Freckles wouldn’t eat, and she had to carry her upstairs. "She couldn’t go on the couch, which is her favorite place to be," says Klucharits, 53, of Randolph.

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