s ? t e p r -fo By ELIZABETH ARAKELIAN
PHOTOS BY ELIZABETH ARAKELIAN/ 209 Magazine
lthough Turlock veterinarian Robert Santos is afraid of needles, he gives shots to his patients every day. In fact, he recently spent some time in China studying the art of needlework in acupuncture courses, but the patients on whom he is performing this progressive practice aren’t stressed adults – they’re animals. Behind Monte Vista Avenue Small Animal Hospital in Turlock is the Center for Pet Longevity where Santos brings animals to a private room to perform the acupuncture practices. “I mainly perform it for pain relief and seizure control,” said Santos, noting that elevating an animal’s quality of life is the predominant reason owners bring their pets to him. Dating back to roughly 5000 B.C., acupuncture is an alternative medicine created by the Chinese who discovered that putting pressure on something created relief. In an effort to expand his services and stay abreast of developments in the veterinary industry, Santos found that the pet community in the Central Valley was receptive to the progressive practice. However, it does have its limitations.
If your leg is broken I’m not going to fix it through acupuncture. I’m going to fix it through Western medicine, but acupuncture could take over for pain control or to help the immune system. — Dr. Robert Santos