A group of students in China who claimed a paralysed cat they found was cured by medical students using traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have become a trending story on mainland social media.
The cat was found by a group of students at the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Sichuan province, southwestern China, at an entrance gate in late August, reported Shaanxi TV.
Unable to move its body below the neck, the cat was reportedly so weak that it could not miaow or hiss.
Veterinary surgeons at a nearby clinic said the injury suggested it had been hit by a vehicle on the road and most likely an abandoned pet because of signs of ownership like trimmed claws.
Unable to pay the vet fees, the students planned a fundraising drive and decided to keep the feline in their dormitory until they could pay its medical expenses.
When a curious senior medical student came to ask why the cat was staying in the dormitory, he realised the cause of the cat’s paralysis, and when he patted the cat and gently pinched part of its back, it could move below the neck slightly.
“Just after we heard a crisp sound, the cat could move its back legs. I can’t believe it!” said one student in the video.
The student who correctly diagnosed the cause of the cat’s paralysis said its backbone had been dislocated during the road accident and was now pressing on its spinal nerves.
The cat’s condition continued to improve throughout the day after its backbone was moved back into place.
A few days later, another medical student at the campus gave the cat an acupuncture treatment with needles normally used for injections.
A short time later, the cat was able to stand and walk.
Bone dislocation treatment is applied in TCM with practitioners pulling, revolving or pinching the limbs of patients with disjointed or fractured bones, while acupuncture is a well-known treatment where thin needles are inserted into the patient’s body.
The story of the cat’s recovery after simple TCM treatments has kicked off widespread discussion on mainland social media.
“Wow, so amazing!” said one person on Weibo.
“I am deeply moved when seeing the cat finally stand up,” said another.
Many pet owners in China have been seeking out TCM treatments from vets as an alternative to Western medical practices.
Acupuncture is particularly effective at easing pain for pet cats or dogs and can help with bone, skin and digestive system problems, according to Liu Houfang, a veterinary researcher at the South China Agricultural University, in an interview with SZ News. – South China Morning Post