Cat-upuncture! Windsor Terrace vet does Chinese medicine on pooches and pussies

Holistic kitty: Brooklyn Heights Veterinary Hospital offers alternative medicine for its furry patients. Tigger loves releasing energy through acupuncture.
Community News Group / Lauren Gill

Don’t call her a quack — she only deals in meows and woofs.

A Windsor Terrace vet is using acupuncture and medicinal herbs to treat ailing borough pussies and pooches. The alternative cures are controversial in the animal-healing world, but the dog doctor claims she has seen enough proof in her own surgery to have faith that they work.

“I get really excited about it because I know it works,” said Dr. Suzy Ryan, who operates out of the newly reopened Brooklyn Heights Veterinary Hospital on Cranberry Street and Alison Animal Hospital in Windsor Terrace.

Ryan — a licensed veterinarian who learned her less-conventional methods from a school dedicated to Chinese medicine for animals in Florida — has been feeding pets herbs and sticking tiny needles in their scalps and for a year and a half, and says they are an increasingly popular option for owners who have exhausted conventional drugs and surgeries.

The science behind the fauna folk remedies are hotly debated — several studies have found little evidence that they work, but a growing number of vets believe they do, and Ryan’s clients say they are converts, too.

One human says she brought in her 13-year-old German Shepherd with a muscle injury last year, expecting she’d have to put her beloved pet down. Instead, Ryan suggested acupuncture — and she was flabbergasted when her canine got better.

“I just can’t shut up about it,” said Kensington resident Maria Sandomenico, who still brings her dog Madra in for restorative jabs twice a month. “I wasn’t expecting my dog to still be around at this point.”

In another act of dog, Ryan says she treated a huge tumor in a hound’s mouth with herbs when all else had failed, and even she was astounded when the growth disappeared within months.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.

But the vet says she prefers a mix of the holistic and realistic — one of her pup patients takes a combination of calming herbs and Prozac to deal with anxiety.

The four-legged folk healing doesn’t come cheap — Ryan charges at least $85 for each acupuncture session — but she says Brooklynites are forming closer bonds with their furballs these days, and they are willing to shell out for more than just a patch-up when things go wrong.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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