Acupuncture for ER and Critical Care 2

Welcome to Acu in Practice! This is Stuart Little Bits, the first rabbit that I ever performed emergency acupuncture on when I first started out over 10 years ago. He was one of the reasons I became so passionate about using acupuncture as a complementary therapy for my patients. Stuart came in because he was bloated - radiographs showed that his stomach was blocked and dilated. I knew that Stuart needed surgery in order to have a chance to survive. After going through the diagnosis, prognosis and the options with his pet parents, they decided to go forward with the surgery. I also recommended acupuncture as an emergency, pre and post op treatment which they thankfully agreed to.


Stuart’s surgery went as well as it could - critical surgery in rabbits is never an easy or relaxing undertaking! He had a huge, thick hairball blocking the exit (pylorus) of the stomach. It was pretty awesome as far as hair balls go! But the most awesome part was how he responded during the recovery period. I had never seen a rabbit eat and poop more quickly following gastrointestinal surgery. It was truly remarkable and the only thing I did differently was apply the acupuncture.

Stuart’s emergency and pre op points:

BL 20, BL 21, PC 6, CV 12, Lumbar BH. I did not include SP 6 and ST 36 as I wasn’t sure how much movement I wanted to cause prior to removing the obstruction. If surgery was not elected, I would have tried these points to try to get things moving. After seeing the size of the hairball, I know it would not have moved. So, without surgery, Stuart wouldn’t have survived.

Post op points: the same as above, with addition of ST 36 + SP 6. I treated him right after I finished closing his surgical site, then hourly for 2 additional treatments.

Stuart was able to go home that night and rest in his own space. He did return for monitoring and treatment the next day. He went on to live a long, full, happy life!


This post is created by Nell Ostermeier, DVM, CVA, FAAVA and is intended for informational use, not to replace medical advice. You can learn more tidbits about integrative medicine and all things animal on her social media pages, people.and.pet on FB and IG