The Moose Miracle


Fighting Thrombocytopenia With Acupuncture

Moose, as his name implies, is a large 100 lb. yellow Labrador Retriever owned by Mr. and Mrs. Najlis, all well-known by the staff of the Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital. Moose's friendly, rambunctious personality changed suddenly when his life was threatened by a serious condition called immune mediated thrombocytopenia. This condition caused Moose's immune system to attack itself and destroy the platelets which allow his blood to clot. Moose's energy level became extremely low and he began to lose his quality of life, barely able to climb stairs as his muscle mass began to deteriorate. 


Dr. Joanne Healey, Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital's Assistant Medical Director, immediately used a traditional medication to suppress his immune system and, although life saving, this medication can have unwanted side effects as well. Moose's bloodwork showed improvement with the medication, but his platelet count was still very low. Moose is an important part of the Najlis family, and everyone wanted to use everything possible to aid in the recovery of their beloved dog. Dr. Healey, a trained supporter of Integrative Medicine, medicine which uses every modality available to help patients, recommended acupuncture for Moose. For most dogs, a normal platelet count ranges from 170,000 to 400,000. Moose started with a count of 10,000 and, after his first treatment of acupuncture, the number skyrocketed to 170,000. Additional treatments raised his platelet count to over 400,000 and Dr. Healey was able to begin to taper off Moose's medication. Moose went from a weakened dog with wasted facial and back muscles, who couldn't climb stairs and was exhausted after a little activity, to a happy, shiny coated dog with vitality, strength, and endurance. 


Today Moose is not taking any medications and the only treatment he receives is maintenance acupuncture by Dr. Healey. Moose now bounds into the office pulling his family and has the strength of six elephants with the size and muscle tone to challenge the strongest competitor. His zest and love of life prove that he is feeling better, and when Moose arrives, everyone can't help but smile, thanks to the love of his family and Dr. Healey's talent to chart new territory. "We should be open to using every healing modality available for the best medicine possible for our furry friends," says Dr. Healey, and Moose agrees with kisses all over her face. 


"To this date Moose continues to receive acupuncture treatments. Fully recovered and healthier than ever, his energy level is something to behold!
Undoubtedly, the effectiveness of the acupuncture was vastly enhanced by Dr. Healey's warm, loving and expert care. She healed Moose and was also extremely supportive for us. Dr. Healey always had time to send us an update on Moose's condition. This was sometimes a message relayed through a receptionist, ‘Tell Mr. and Mrs. Najlis that I will call back with good news.' We can't put into words how much it helped us to know that good news was on its way! She helped us all get through this very difficult time in her own special way. Thank you so much, Dr. Healey!"