Health and Client Services


Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into specific points that are located over areas rich in vessels and nerves on the body. The needles stimulate the underlying tissues and activate the pain inhibitory system. Messages are sent up to the brain resulting in the body's release of neurotransmitters, which temporarily block pain. Changes in blood flow occur, which regulates circulation and so the body's immune function is enhanced.

Occasionally, animals may react to the small jab of the needle, but in general they do not respond at all and actually become relaxed during the treatment.

Acupuncture has minimal risk and complications are easily avoided when a trained veterinarian is performing the treatments.

Dr. Shinn provides acupuncture services.

Acupuncture can treat:

  • Arthritis (hips, shoulders, elbows, back)
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Seizure disorders
  • Soft tissue injuries such as sprains, muscle strains, and neck pain
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS or "dry eye")
  • Lick Granulomas
  • Neurological conditions
  • Pain and nausea related to cancer
  • Chronic digestive disorders (IBD, diarrhea, constipation)
  • Spinal cord disorders
  • Other medical conditions, such as: immune-mediated diseases and chronic liver or kidney diseases.

An acupuncture exam often involves an in-depth health history analysis, including a discussion of what environmental and emotional situations may be affecting your pet's condition and overall personality. The physical exam involves palpation of certain acupuncture points and can include evaluation of tongue color and pulse quality.

Since it is a complement to western medicine, all animals should have a complete and thorough workup and be treated medically or surgically, as appropriate, before seeking acupuncture.

Nutritional Counseling

Pets are living longer, healthier lives than ever before and part of that success is due to our expanded knowledge of the importance of proper nutrition. Nutrition is one of the biggest health variables controlled by a pet's caregiver.

During your pet's comprehensive physical examination we evaluate his or her body condition and give recommendations based on what we see.

Pet DietsFor most pets, our recommendations will include information on proper serving size and other feeding strategies to maintain optimal body weight and nutritional health. We will also help you wade through the claims made by pet food producers so you can make the most informed choice.

Prescription Diets

Some pets have more serious nutritional challenges or chronic conditions that can benefit from a special diet. If we identify an issue in your pet we will offer advice and provide information about diets that benefit specific medical conditions, such as: liver disease, bladder and kidney stones, renal failure, food allergies, diabetes and other conditions.

Pitman Animal Hospital carries a diverse inventory of prescription foods and high-quality nutritional products. If your pet requires a prescription diet that we do not carry, we can easily order it for you.

Puppy and Obedience Classes

Obedience training doesn't solve all behavior problems, but should be the foundation for appropriate behavior. Training can also open communication between you and your puppy.

Our classes encourage appropriate behaviors while helping you establish a strong bond with your young pet.

Dr. Fite and Dr. LaFerriere provide in-depth behavioral counseling at Pitman Animal Hospital.

Key topics can include:

  • Introduction to simple cues, such as sit, come and stay
  • Basic manners
  • Socialization with people and other dogs
  • Relationship-forming games
  • Problem prevention
  • Tips on puppy health, grooming and nutrition

Laser TherapyOur goal is to enrich your relationship and make living together more enjoyable. A well-trained dog is more confident and can more safely be allowed a greater amount of freedom than an untrained one.

Therapeutic Laser

We also use a Class IV therapeutic laser for variety of uses, including the treatment of infections, disc pain and in accelerating healing after surgery.

Because the Class IV laser can also reduce inflammation, improve blood flow and release natural endorphins, a growing number of practitioners are using it to relieve the chronic pain of aging and arthritic pets.

Difficult Choices, Compassionate Answers

Euthanasia and tending to your pets' remains are two of the most difficult issues for many people to consider. Asking the question means confronting fear, grief and even guilt.

Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal pain and distress. Talk to us about pet euthanasia long before it becomes an issue. Find out about your options, make some key decisions ahead of time, and ask us to add this information to your pet's chart.

Taking the time to plan, as challenging as it may be, will lessen the pain and discomfort for you and your pet in the event this option ever has to be considered. Ask us about our crematory services.

All of us at Pitman Animal Hospital will help you prepare for these important issues with the compassion and sensitivity they deserve.