Chiropractics, acupuncture and massage have gone to the dogs

Mr. Spud receives acupuncture treatment from Dr. Jennifer Blair at St. Francis Integrative Services. Photo by Lori Hamilton

Mr. Spud receives acupuncture treatment from Dr. Jennifer Blair at St. Francis Integrative Services. Photo by Lori Hamilton

St. Francis Animal and Bird Hospital has been providing veterinary services to pets and their families in Roseville since 1992. A recent expansion into a space between Gold Eagle Dry Cleaning and Fresh Munchiez on Larpenteur Avenue, just west of the original clinic, will allow Dr. Jennifer Blair, DVM, CVA, and her team to offer more extensive and unique services to the beloved pets in our community.

Blair, who purchased the practice in 2006, saw a need that was not being met.

“I see a variety of patients with unique needs and I felt like pieces of the treatment puzzle were missing,” she said. The new clinic will offer acupuncture, laser therapy, massage therapy, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) consultations, and hospice and palliative care, all under the name St. Francis Integrative Services.

The new space was needed in order to provide a quieter, more peaceful surrounding for these specialty treatments, according to Dr. Blair. The new clinic will be one of the few clinics in Minnesota to offer such a comprehensive service line. St. Francis Animal and Bird Hospital will continue to operate as usual from its corner location on Larpenteur and Fernwood Street.

Blair is a certified veterinary acupuncturist and will perform acupuncture services at St. Francis Integrative Services.

“Acupuncture has been practiced in China in both humans and animals for thousands of years,” she said. “It is one of the branches of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. It can be useful for ailments like arthritis, allergies, paralysis and long-term chronic conditions like heart disease and kidney failure. The goal of acupuncture and the other branches of TCVM is to restore the balance in the body.”

Christine Severance, CVT, CMT, director of integrative services at the clinic, recently completed her Canine Massage Therapy Certification. She handles massage therapy for patients.

“Massage can be a valuable component of physical therapy for patients. It is beneficial for our athlete patients for pain, can help with digestive or neurological issues and can also greatly increase quality of life for our geriatric patients by helping with pain management and improving overall mobility,” Severance said. Massage therapy can be used routinely to help muscles stay healthy and may help prevent injuries in active pets. In addition to massage therapy, Severance is also certified as a pet-loss counselor and is involved with palliative and hospice care, as well as bereavement services for grieving families.

Severance, along with other technicians at the facility, also performs laser therapy for pets. “We do a lot of orthopedic surgeries at the St. Francis office and laser is great for post op,” Severance said. Laser therapy is used to reduce pain and inflammation and increase healing by increasing circulation, which leads to increased oxygen and nutrient delivery. This helps reduce pain, stiffness, muscle fatigue, swelling and inflammation, she said.

Dr. Annie Seefeldt, DC, CVSMT and her team at Chiropractic for Every Body (CFE) provides chiropractic services and other integrative services out of the clinic.

Seefeldt is certified in veterinary spinal manipulative therapy and was the first board-registered animal chiropractor in Minnesota, which is a much more complicated achievement than one would expect. Chiropractic care has been officially available for animals since 2008, when the Minnesota Legislature passed a law allowing only specially trained chiropractors to provide services to animals.

“This expansion of our services really highlights the innovation in caring for pets that St. Francis is so well-known for,” Blair said.

St. Francis Integrative Services will hold an open house on Sunday, June 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. Families are invited to tour the facility. There will be prizes and giveaways, and Sarah Beth photography will be on hand, as well.

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