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Frequently Asked Questions

We hope the following answers most of your questions.  Please don't hesitate to call Elizabeth McKinstry or e-mail at if there are any questions or concerns.

Warning Signs of Illness

Unintentional weight loss

Loss of consciousness


Change in appetite - eating more or less

Acute vomiting (several times a day)

Chronic Vomiting (more than twice a week)


Increased thirst

Straining to urinate or defecate

Urinating large volumes or urinating more frequently

Inappropriate urination or defecation


Heavy breathing (breathing with an open mouth)


Runny eyes or nose

Sudden changes in attitude or personality

Inability to move back legs

Weak, wobbly, or uncoordinated movements

Drooling and bad breath

Bloated abdomen

Hair loss

Weight loss

Muscle wasting/prominent backbone


What are some common chronic diseases? 

Renal Insufficiency


Diabetes Mellitus

Irritable Bowel Disease

Periodontal Disease


Urinary tract issues

Pancreatic disorders

Dermatitis - itchy, flaky skin

Ear Infections - discharge, debris in ear, odor

What constitutes an emergency?

Uncontrolled bleeding

Struggling to breathe

Blue tinged gums

Sudden weakness/inability to walk

Inability to urinate

Loss of consciousness

Seizure, excessive vomiting (vomiting for more than 24 hours)

Vomiting all food or water consumed

Vomiting blood

Known ingestion of any medication not prescribed for your pet

Suspicion of broken bones

What is Chinese Medicine? 

Chinese Medicine is a science that has been practiced for more than 5,000 years.


In Chinese Medicine, one treats the pattern of symptoms with acupuncture, herbs, diet, massage, and lifestyle changes.

To visit the Chi Institute Web site Click Here

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting very fine needles into the superficial areas of the body (the skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles) along acupressure points to improve the flow of qi (life energy or life force).


Acupuncture is commonly used to relieve pain and treat various diseases or disorders.

Electroacupuncture is when a mild electric current is applied to the inserted needles to further stimulate the acupuncture points. For more information, please visit the: Veterinary Acupuncture site

Is acupuncture painful?

The needles used in acupuncture are very fine and their placement is virtually painless.  In fact, most animals become relaxed once the needles are in position.

Is acupncture effective?

Many scientific studies have demonstrated the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of medical ailments such as chemotherapy-induced discomfort, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, chronic back pain, hypertension, allergies, and numerous other conditions. The World Health Organization recognizes roughly one hundred diseases, symptoms, or conditions for which acupuncture is effective.

What is Tui Na?

Tui Na is a type of massage which stimulates acupressure points to treat musculoskeletal conditions.

Can you treat my pet's chronic condition?

Dr. McKinstry employs a wide variety of alternative and conventional medicines and techniques that allow her to effectively treat many chronic conditions.  Feel free to call her at 610-368-3387 if you would like to know more about treating your pet's particular condition.

Do you accommodate clients who only

want certain forms of treatment?

Yes.  If a client wants to limit treatment to just acupuncture, or just western medicine, or just xyz; the doctor can almost always accommodate that.  However, it should be noted that for many conditions the doctor can provide better care with an integrative combination of healing modalities.

Do you make house calls?

Dr. McKinstry generally only makes house calls for large animals, such as horses.

Do you treat other species beyond cats, dogs, and horses?

Yes, Dr. McKinstry treats a variety of animals.

Where is your veterinary practice located?

550 Schoolhouse Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348

The veterinary practice is located on a beautiful horse farm on Schoolhouse Road.  The practice is the white building at the end of the long

straight driveway that has 2 rows of evergreens along it (keep going straight down the driveway past the sign that says 'McKinstry').

Helpful Health Web Sites:

Cornell University Vet School

American Animal Hospital Association  (AAHA) - Healthy

Hill’s Pet


College of Veterinary Medicine Indoor Pet Initiative


Loss of Pet: 

Veterinary Hospital University Of Pennsylvania (VHUP) Grief Support


Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement



Paws to Heaven Pet Crematory



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