Veterinary hospital offering therapeutic services for pets

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Who: Folsom Veterinary Hospital
What: Full dog and cat veterinary service and boarding, as well as acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy
Where:  803 Reading St., Folsom
Info:  Call (916) 985-4700 or visit http://www.folsom

With acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine increasing in acceptance in the field of both human and animal medicine, it is not surprising that acupuncture for your dog and cat friends can be found in Folsom.

Nine-year-old miniature dachshund Sara Belle came in to Folsom Veterinary Hospital in August with paralyzed hind legs. Margg Schafer, Sara Belle’s owner, is a long time client of the hospital, and Sara Belle has been going there for her veterinary needs since she was born. Schafer has two other dachshunds, as well.

When Sara Belle began having the problem with her legs, Schafer, a long time resident of Orangevale and now of Rancho Cordova, said that Dr. Jodi Van Tine at the hospital suggested trying acupuncture.

“I mean, it works marvelous for people,” Schafer said. “I said yes, I’ll try anything.”

Van Tine received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, or DVM, in 1994 from UC Davis and began working at Folsom Veterinary Hospital in 1997. She earned her certification in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in 2006 through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.

“I came back here in 2007,” Van Tine said. “I integrate everything; it’s given me a lot more tools in my tool bag.”

She said that the miniature dachshunds seem to be most of her back patients.

“They’re kind of made for it; they have short legs and a long back,” Van Tine said. “There’s a lot of wear and tear on the back.”

Van Tine said she starts them out weekly, or twice a week for a couple of weeks for the paralysis cases.

“The effect lasts about two to three days, then you build a foundation,” she said. “By four weeks you’re usually up and running so that the effect will last out to a week.”

The treatment is then tapered to every two to three weeks, then monthly, and then can usually be taken to every other month.

On this day, Van Tine and head technician Alla Makovsky lifted Sara Belle to the treatment table, and Schafer petted her while her two other dachshunds observed amiably from the side of the room. Sara Belle relaxed as Van Tine inserted the acupuncture needles and attached the low current electro-acupuncture wires. The dog appeared comfortable during the treatment.

When the therapy was completed, the dog trotted out of the office with her two canine companions and her owner.

Sara Belle began electro-acupuncture treatment in August 2012.

“After two (treatments) she started walking really good,” said Schaefer. “She even gets feisty sometimes and goes out and plays.”

Folsom Veterinary Hospital is the only Folsom veterinary office that offers acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, according to Genie Cobb-Hamilton, owner of the hospital.

Her father opened the practice in 1945. Her parents began taking her to work with them when she was 4 years old, and she began working with her father in 1980. She has been the owner since 1995, when he passed away.

The business is a full service veterinary hospital, with two-and-a-half doctors, and seven days a week service. Dr. Heidi Tijsseling is the head surgeon, and Dr. Van Tine also does surgery and western medicine in addition to acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy. They have a complete lab, and also do low fee spay and neutering, which is one of the services on which her father built the practice.

“Over the last 30 years, veterinary medicine has changed,” Cobb-Hamilton said. “The doctors are providing the kind of medicine that the owners really want, because they want to know what’s wrong with their dog. They don’t just want a treatment.”

For more information, see or call 916-607-3450.