As with humans, horses have meridians. Redfield treated Pronator not just in the affected area, but along his rump as well. The needles, she explained, stay in for 20 minutes. Pronator visibly settled into the treatment as he began to feel relief.
Using a chart to demonstrate, Redfield pointed out that these are not random holes made by pins; rather, the needles are placed where there is a concentration of nerves, a vein, and an artery, and a high concentration of mast cells, a type of inflammatory cell.
“I believe in an integrated approach,” said Redfield. “I want to use the best of both western and eastern medicine. There is evidence of acupuncture being used in China 8000 years ago, and there are an increasing number of empirical studies which confirm acupuncture’s effectiveness. It can be used to treat pain, kidney diseases, inflammatory diseases, cancer; it’s commonly thought of as an adjunct treatment or a last resort for arthritic or neurological pain.”
I asked Redfield about soothing music, which often accompanies human treatment. She said she’s treating a Great Dane who enjoys his acupuncture with soft background music.
Redfield’s practice is widening, and her days are filled with appointments for acupuncture, wellness examinations, and hospice consultations. But there will always be the calls for euthanasia.
She says, “When euthanasia is done for the right reasons, it is a gift that offers an animal a dignified and peaceful passing. When it’s performed in their own home, there is an invaluable element of comfort and familiarity.”