letter to the editor

Clarifying article’s inaccuracies

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 3:00pm

Dear Editor:

After reading the article covering Dr. Jennie Marvelle and her new service to provide alternative medicine, acupuncture, to the local pet population, I felt compelled to respond and clarify a few inaccuracies put forth in the article.

From the first sentence, the article portrays Dr. Marvelle and her services incorrectly. Stating that she treats “older patients with it instead of medicine” is a gross misrepresentation of her skills as a trained veterinarian, and her drive to offer comprehensive care to all her patients. She is trained to use her skills as an acupuncturist on young and old patients, often in conjunction with traditional Western medical therapies, not “instead of” them. Acupuncture is used by those trained in its methods to treat maladies the same as traditional doctors do. The philosophy behind acupuncture, however, is completely different and is not quickly or easily explained. It took extensive, intensive, training on Dr. Marvelle's part to become competent in its applications.

A gross misstatement in the article states that “acupuncture is not based on science and is often called pseudoscience because its practices are not based on scientific knowledge.” While acupuncture is vastly different from traditional medical therapies, it is grossly inaccurate to label it a pseudoscience. Acupuncture is an organized system of diagnosis and treatment that has been used in China for more than 3,000 years.

Dr. Marvelle uses acupuncture as a tool to help pets manage a variety of conditions, not just geriatric pain. It does, however, have great use in managing pain especially in animals who have medical issues that make traditional drugs either risky or downright dangerous.

Dr. Marvelle treated my own dog Kiah in the last year of her life for degenerative age-related issues and I am convinced it increased her well-being and gave us significantly more time with her before it was time to let her go. I am extremely grateful for the care she was given.

In closing, I would like to convey that the services offered by Dr. Jennie Marvelle at the Boothbay Animal Hospital, are not “pseudoscience” but instead a skilled alternative therapy now available to the beloved pets of the region.

Dr. Dean Domeyer