LSU vet school adds acupuncture, herbs, more

Dr. Rebecca McConnico practices equine acupuncture at the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The process, which involves sticking long thin needles into pressure points around the body of the hourse, takes 15 to 20 minutes and is repeated every four to six weeks as needed. (Photo provided by the LSU Vet School)

The LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, part of the veterinary school, has broadened its services to include acupuncture, massage therapy and herbal treatments for animals — the large ones for now and dogs and cats soon.

Rebecca McConnico, associate professor of veterinary medicine, said the combination of traditional medicine and newly adopted treatments are referred to as “integrative medicine.” She studied equine acupuncture at the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine in Reddick, Fla., last year before earning her large animal certification.

“For me and my understanding and experience, (LSU) integrates with — not instead of,” she said, stressing the use of integrative therapies as a complement to traditional Western medicine.

McConnico works mainly with horses — the most common animal to receive this type of treatment. She said horses can benefit from the Eastern-inspired practices, particularly acupuncture.