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Schatzi's Journey




From the moment proud pet parents bring home their new canine family member, they must prepare for the life stages to come: puppy teething and potty training, teenage boundary pushing and rebellion, adult friendship and trust, and old dog loyalty and (eventually) heartbreak. 


The Brown family has experienced the puppy drama, the teenage shenanigans, the adult-dog sweet-spot, and have entered the senior stage with their old dachshund, Schatzi. Schatzi has spent the last 15 years stealing hearts in the Brown family, so when she went down on her hind end on Christmas of 2023, her pet parents were heartbroken as they watched their wonderful dog struggle to move around their home using just her front limbs, her back limbs dragging behind.


On two occasions, Schatzi has experienced major spinal surgery and the extensive recovery that follows the procedure. Considering Schatzi’s age and comorbidities, Schatzi’s family understandably decided putting their dog through another major back surgery wasn’t the right option. Instead, they poured their time and resources into ensuring Schatzi has the best quality of life possible. A canine wheelchair was purchased, the dog beds were fluffed, and the family began preparing their home (and themselves) for this new life stage.


Dr. Delfelder is in the process of receiving her acupuncture certification from Chi University. A lot of studying goes into earning the certification, but professors at Chi University stress the importance of practicing the skill throughout the certification process. Since she started accepting acupuncture patients, Dr. Delfelder’s passion for Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine has grown.


Acupuncture is a journey – a journey that requires a leap of faith for those unfamiliar with Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. In March 2024, Schatzi’s owner, Bailey, allowed Schatzi to take that leap. Dr. Delfelder got to work completing a pre-acupuncture examination and forming a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine diagnosis. A treatment plan consisting of weekly dry-needling sessions was initiated; Schatzi received her first needling on March 13, 2024. That evening, Schatzi was voluntarily moving her feet while using her wheelchair. A week later, Schatzi returned for her second treatment. During that treatment, Schatzi pushed herself up on all fours and took a couple tentative steps. The dog that showed up to Schatzi’s third treatment on March 29th was full of activity! Schatzi’s eyes and actions were saying, “I’ve got four working legs and I’m going to use them!” Dr. Delfelder had to be much more aware of Miss Schatzi’s movements on the acupuncture table, as it was clear the dog that was diagnosed with non-ambulatory hind limb paresis just months prior was plotting to jump off the table to escape into the spring sunshine.


Schatzi’s journey is just beginning but she is well on her way! Over the next months, she will have a few more weekly treatments, at which point Dr. Delfelder will conference with Schatzi’s family to extend the interval between treatments to 10-14 days. Dr. Delfelder’s goal being to get at least 2 weeks in between each treatment.


Acupuncture holds countless benefits and can treat or manage a variety of conditions, including acute and chronic pain, allergies, diarrhea and vomiting, behavior modification and anxiety, and numerous geriatric conditions. If you’d like to set up an acupuncture consultation with Dr. Delfelder, please contact Candlewood Veterinary Clinic at 785-537-0537.



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