Acupuncture is a health care system that focuses more on prevention than our present-day western health care system.
Ultimately it is your decision, no one else’s. It is a decision that comes from the deepest loving place within you.
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Dr. Liz offers straightforward strategies for embracing a perspective of death that acknowledges the devastation that can be experienced and the sacred gifts that are also present.
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Acupuncture is a health care system that focuses more on prevention than our present-day western health care system. Along with food therapy, exercise and herbal supplements, acupuncture is one aspect of the ancient art of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), and has been used in China for over 3000 years. Other aspects of TCVM include herbal medicine and Tui-na, which is Chinese massage.
The Chinese believe that everything (people, animals, plants, the earth, the sky) is connected. They also believe that all the connections have an innate balance between them. The day is balanced with the night, hot with cold, male with female, Yin with Yang (pronounced yahng).
Health, then, is a reflection of balance between all parts of the body, mind and spirit. Illness manifests itself when there is an imbalance between body, mind and/or spirit.
This balance is maintained through the flow of energy between and within these areas. This energy is known as qi, pronounced “chi.”
The Chinese discovered that this qi flows along pathways from the outside of the body (the skin) to the internal parts of the body. If these pathways are stimulated through acupuncture, the flow of energy can be stimulated. Problems arise when there is either not enough energy, deficiencies, at a particular point or if there is a blockage of energy, excess, at a certain point.
ACUPRESSURE – The simple use of manual pressure on a point instead of using a needle.
AQUAPUNCTURE – An injection of saline-diluted Vitamin B12 in an acupuncture point. This is used when there is excess heat in the body.
DIET PLAN/FOOD THERAPY – The Chinese believe food can be used as a major form of therapy in many instances, especially to promote health. Each individual has different needs based on their age, constitution and any underlying challenges.
ELECTRO-ACUPUNCTURE – Electrical stimulation between points to enhance the effect. It is especially useful in musuloskeletal and spinal problems.
HEMO-ACUPUNCTURE – Allowing a few drops of blood to be released from a point. This is used when there is excess heat in the body.
HERBAL FORMULAS – Used extensively in China to reestablish the balance within the body. In China, herbs are more widely used than acupuncture. Unlike acupuncture, which is extremely safe, the use of herbs requires more expertise.
I recommend only high quality formulas. Some are specifically formulated for our animal friends. Some are classical formulas that have been used by people and animals for thousands of years.
It is difficult to overdose an animal with acupuncture or even give a treatment that is detrimental because many acupuncture points can help in both excess and deficient conditions. That is not the case with herbs—one herbal formula is used for excess and a different one for deficiencies. The beauty of herbal formulas is that there is continuous rebalancing of flow because the herbs are in the system all the time. This enhances the effect of the acupuncture treatments and may make the need for them less frequent.
LASER-PUNCTURE – I use an infrared laser to stimulate the acupuncture points. It is painless and effective.
MOXA – The use of an herb that is used to warm the body surface (it does not make contact with the body).
TUI-NA – The Chinese equivalent of physical therapy, chiropractic, and massage therapy. The beauty is that I can teach you these techniques so you can apply them daily.
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine can be used to maintain and promote balance in healthy individuals, as well as to treat a wide variety of conditions. These conditions include, but are not limited to:
Often times the best treatment is a combination of Western and Eastern approaches. I welcome working with your western/allopathic veterinarian to provide an integrated approach to your pet’s health.
On my first visit, I begin by asking a series of detailed questions. These questions may be repeated periodically because the answers may change over time. If your friend has a specific medical challenge, I would greatly appreciate having access to medical records that are available, including lab results, x-rays, patient records, any known allergies, vaccine history, current and past medications, flea control products, and heartworm/parasite control medications.
Next, I examine my patient. This examination is repeated as needed on future visits. Based on the results of the patient’s history and exam, I design a treatment plan. It is vital that you, the client, provide input into the development of this plan and feel comfortable with the plan.
Each treatment lasts between 20-45 minutes. I usually use anywhere from 3 –30+ needles per treatment. If I use moxa, hemoacupuncture, aquapuncture, electroacupuncture or laserpuncture, I will explain those in greater detail at that time. There is no difference in cost for these modalities.
The response of my patients to the needles varies from complete acceptance to complete rejection. Over 90% will tolerate the needles to the extent that they are effective. There are other acupuncture techniques that I use when my patients are less than cooperative, such as aquapuncture, moxa, and laser. In addition to the acupuncture, I may suggest using an herbal supplement. It is important to understand that Chinese herbal supplements are typically combinations of herbs, and as such are very well tolerated.
Some acute problems respond within 1 to 4 treatments, some may require more frequent or more total treatments to see resolution. Some chronic conditions may require at least 4 treatments before any response is seen at all. Remember, however, I will be treating the whole patient, not just one symptom. In Chinese medicine, it is believed that an underlying weakness may be the reason behind an acute problem. If I detect such a weakness from the history or physical exam, I will explain and treat this as well.
Most of my patients prefer to be petted and remain quiet once the needles are placed. Many like a focus of human energy on them. A few prefer a little less focus on them. The patients are very clear as to their preferences. I take my cues from them. Often times I may included energy work during the treatment.
From my own experience with acupuncture, I found it a wonderful time to meditate. I suspect this facilitates healing, and the innate intelligence within the patient knows this and this is why they prefer the quiet. It has been said that you cannot help another and not also help yourself at the same time. I believe this and know that I am blessed by each of my patients in ways that continue to astound and humble me.
Finally, I may make recommendations regarding diet and acupressure or massage type exercises you can continue between treatments.
Most of my patients and their people like the idea that I do house calls. They tell me they feel far more comfortable in their own home. I also prefer home visits, for a couple of reasons:
I can also arrange treatments in my home if your friend is comfortable traveling, is not upset in unusual surroundings, and does not have any contagious diseases or parasitic infestations.
This is one of life’s most challenging decisions. There are many factors that enter into this decision. Trying to sort through the facts, emotions, other peoples opinions, etc can be frustrating, confusing, and, or overwhelming. There are a few basic guidelines that have been developed to help you get a sense of your loved ones quality of life. These rarely tell the whole story. The decision is much more nuanced than adding up a score to indicate if there is “sufficient quality of life” to continue.
Ultimately it is your decision, no one else’s. It s a decision that comes from the deepest loving place within you.
If you live in Ventura County and are considering in home euthanasia please contact me through the “in home euthanasia” tab on the contact page.
If you live outside Ventura County please Use the “Personal Consulting Page” as a template to discuss any end of life questions or concerns you may have.
This is obviously one of the most difficult aspects of loving a pet.
My goal is to partner with you to the create the most peaceful environment for your loved one and you.
Most importantly I want you to feel that you are in control of the events. I will not proceed with any step until it is clear everyone present is ready.
The first step is to give an injection under the skin that will lightly anesthetize your pet. During the entire event I encourage all who wish, to stay close to and talk to your furry loved one. After about 10-20 minutes the second injection can be given. This injection is given into a vein and will stop the breathing, usually before I finish the injection, and stop the heart within a minute or less of finishing the injection. They are lightly anesthetized before starting this injection so they do not feel anything.
I invite you to call my office. I will spend as much time as is needed answering any questions or concerns you may have. Since this is such an intimate journey I appreciate having the opportunity to get to know a bit about you and your pet too.
Dr. Liz is available to perform in home euthanasia days, after hours, holidays and weekends as needed. ***
Euthanasia services do not include care of remains. Dr. Fernandez does not offer care of remains.
Below is a list of crematories that will provide caring and compassionate pick up at your home (or the option of you bringing your pet).
Guardian Animal Aftercare (my # 1 preference)
Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park (SOPHIE) (they do burials too)
Cal Pet Crematory
Peaceful Pets Aquamation
Precious Pets Memorial Service
Rainbow To Heaven Dignified Pet Cremation
If you would like professional support for bereavement and compassion fatigue:
Dr. Kathleen Ayl
Carrie La Jeunesse, DVM, CT, CFE
Learn how to be emotionally prepared and spiritually present Get access to Dr. Liz’s step-by-step online program and learn how you can offer your pet the level of comfort and support your fur babies deserve.