Pets have a way of wiggling themselves into a family, not that the family minds.
They are included in car rides and walks at the park and return love with nonjudgmental devotion.
Because she understands that close bond, Dr. Jaclyn Wolinski is careful when she evaluates dogs and cats in the house call practice that incorporates a holistic approach, with chiropractic and acupuncture as possible treatments.
Wolinski has been a veterinarian 11 years and developed a following at Healing Hands in Salisbury. She left in December 2012 and soon afterward started her own business.
Traveling with vet technician Cary Murray, she sees clients in Salisbury and the area, driving her blue 4Runner to Ocean City, Ocean Pines and Berlin, north to Seaford and south as far as Pocomoke City and Marion Station.
She offers full exams, vaccinations, treatments and blood work. She spays and neuters animals on Tuesdays and refers surgeries to local vets, especially those at the Wicomico Veterinary Hospital on Mount Hermon Road in Salisbury.
“I felt the need to keep up with patients who were devoted to me, and who I was devoted to, so I hit the ground running and started up a mobile business,” she said.
Chiropractic care is used for animals with lameness, older pets who might have hind-end weakness and sports dogs.
Acupuncture can be a treatment for a variety of illnesses and conditions, even allergies, seizures and injuries.
Small needles are used and the animal is prepped by applying pressure to the skin first. Needles remain in place about 15 minutes and during that time Murray tries to keep the animal still and calm.
Wolinski learned acupuncture treatment through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, based in Colorado. She trained for about four months and has found the treatment to be popular.
“There is more philosophy behind it. It is more Chinese-medicine based,” she said.
The idea of acupuncture is to encourage the body to heal itself and it can be remarkably successful, but it takes time “because you’re pulling on the body’s ability to heal itself,” she said.
Generally, a pet will receive three or four weekly treatments to determine if there will be improvement. It can also be used for pain, liver and kidney problems, diarrhea, vomiting and other ailments.
The veterinarian only treats dogs and cats, no ferrets, hamsters or other house pets, but does perform acupuncture on horses.
Treating a pet at home, even euthanizing there, in familiar surroundings, is easier on both the pet and owners, she said, because they don’t have to travel or endure the stress of a hospital atmosphere.
For her services, she charges a travel time fee, but exams and procedures cost about the same as they do at other animal hospitals, she said.
With five cats and a 150-pound mastiff mix at home, Wolinski understands how deeply pet owners love their animals and has a gentle, understanding manner.
“There have been multiple studies done about the therapeutic benefits of having a pet,” she said. “We love them because of their loyalty, their loyalty to us, and their unconditional love.”
Reach Susan Canfora at firstname.lastname@example.org.