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Pets in motion


Veterinarian Rebecca Staple has a slogan. It's written on her wall.

GOOD MEDICINE Veterinarian Rebecca Staple offers rehabilitation and acupuncture for SLO residents’ furry companions at Coastal Veterinary Rehabilitation and Acupuncture in Los Osos. - PHOTO COURTESY OF REBECCA STAPLE
  • GOOD MEDICINE Veterinarian Rebecca Staple offers rehabilitation and acupuncture for SLO residents’ furry companions at Coastal Veterinary Rehabilitation and Acupuncture in Los Osos.

"A body in motion stays in motion."

In this case, the bodies aren't those of SLO residents, but of their beloved pets. Staple recently opened Coastal Veterinary Rehabilitation and Acupuncture in Los Osos. There, she offers a range of animal rehabilitation treatments (think of physical therapy, but for animals instead of people). That rehabilitation includes an array of therapies such as stretching, passive range of motion exercises, and medical massage. Her Los Osos center also sports physioballs, wobble boards, and even a canine treadmill.

While the animals might see them as toys, they are actually tools to help them stay healthy and heal. Staple works with pets recovering from surgeries, senior animals with mobility issues, and pets that suffer from spinal injuries, neurological diseases, and other conditions.

"I love working with my patients," Staple told New Times. "I get to be much more hands-on with them and focus on their quality of life and giving them more time with their owners."

In addition to providing rehabilitation services, Staple's new practice also offers acupuncture for pets. The practice, based on traditional Chinese medicine, works pretty much the same way it does for humans—by placing very small needles on specific points on the animal's body to stimulate a cellular response. The use of veterinary rehabilitation and acupuncture is becoming more common in larger cities, and Staple is now brining it to SLO County.

She is the first veterinarian on the Central Coast to hold certifications in both canine rehabilitation and veterinary acupuncture. She said that acupuncture can help pets with pain issues, gastrointestinal diseases, and arthritis as well as anxiety, allergies, and other issues.

"Veterinary acupuncture has actually been practiced for thousands of years. In China, they started doing acupuncture on animals before humans," Staple said. "In the Western veterinary world it's becoming more common because more people have explored it in human medicine and now they are looking at it as an option for their pets too."

Staple said that both the acupuncture and rehabilitation were also good options for pets that are unable to take pain medication.

Owners are seeking out such services more often, in part, because changing attitudes pet owners have toward their animals.

"They are viewed more as family members now," Staple said. "Their owners want to do whatever they can to make them more confortable."

For more information about Coastal Veterinary Rehabilitation and Acupuncture, call (805) 439-4641 or visit

Fast Facts

• Verdin announced two finalists for its fifth annual 24-Hour Give. This year's finalists are GALA (Gay & Lesbian Alliance) and the Central Coast Salmon Enhancement. Voting began Oct. 12 and will continue through Oct 22. You can vote once every 24 hours at The nonprofit with the most votes wins an all-inclusive rebrand from Verdin and a group of community partners valued at nearly $125,000.

• The Association of Fundraising Professionals of San Luis Obispo will honor Howard Carroll, trustee of the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust, and Cuesta College's recently retired Superintendent Gil Stork at the AFP's fourth annual celebration of National Philanthropy Day. The event will take place on Nov. 15 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 333 Madonna Road in SLO. Tickets are $50 per person. For more information, visit

Staff Writer Chris McGuiness wrotethis week's Strokes. Sent tidbits to [email protected].

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