The most common among these ailments are pneumothoraces that impair breathing, and bacterial and viral infections. This is not meant to scaremonger, but rather to illuminate the fact that acupuncture can and does go wrong, a fact that is not often mentioned.
It also serves us to point out that while many humans will readily attest to feeling better following an acupuncture session, it is unlikely other animals can glean the same placebo benefit, and whether other animals experience the placebo effect and to what extent is a subject of ongoing research.
Nor is there any evidence beyond the anecdotal that shows there is a medical benefit for animals subjected to acupuncture, and this includes those applications such as in cases of canine arthritis and equine health.
With that in mind, we have to ask whether subjecting other animals to this unproven practice is really worth it.
Could Acupuncture Risk More Harm Than Good?
If we accept that Pedang’s treatment was administered without risk of medical complication, and it appears it was, it will not directly harm the animal, so what’s the big deal?
Here’s the thing: in order to administer acupuncture to a 220 to 310 lb tiger you must, for obvious safety reasons, first anesthetize it. Anesthetic carries certain risks, and Pedang is 14 and approaching his twilight years.
It is unclear whether the team specifically sedated Pedang to administer the treatment as they may have needed to clean his infected ear anyway, but certainly this is a concern. Regardless, the main point is this: Pedang may now recover marvelously from his ear infection but given that he has already had presumably several courses of antibiotics, this attempt to “prove” the efficacy of acupuncture, as Mosinzon is quoted as saying she intends to do, is flawed.
What’s more, waiting to treat the infection and withholding further rounds of medical treatment as Mosinzon has said will now happen could undermine Pedang’s recovery and ultimately seriously compromise his health.
This is something that, for anyone concerned with animal welfare and regardless of their position on holistic medicine, should be a serious point of protest.
Image taken from YouTube video, no infringement intended.
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