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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Pathways to Wellness Veterinary Clinic-Whole Health for Animals

Mar 31, 2022 09:00AM ● By Sheila Julson

As people seek healthier lifestyles for themselves, they want the same for their pets. For more than a decade, Lori Cobb, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and founder of Pathways to Wellness integrative veterinary clinic, has combined the best of alternative and conventional modalities to treat dogs and cats.  

Holistic modalities used by Pathways to Wellness veterinarians include acupuncture, Chinese herbs and spinal manipulation, which treat a range of conditions in canines and felines. “Acupuncture is known as an excellent modality to treat musculoskeletal disorders, like lameness or arthritis. But it can also treat kidney, liver, heart and other organ diseases,” Cobb explains. “Chinese herbs can be used for anything you can treat with conventional medicine. Depending on the condition, a combination of conventional and holistic approaches often works well.” 

As with humans, spinal manipulation can be used on animals to treat musculoskeletal, back or neck problems. Cobb has seen dogs with limited mobility due to a slight subluxation rebound after one adjustment. “They wag their tails and go bounding out of the office. It’s a fun tool to be able to have at my hands,” Cobb says. While spinal manipulation cannot be considered a miracle treatment, Cobb says it’s effective to treat many conditions for pets. She also does chiropractic adjustments for sporting dogs that compete in agility contests. 

Most pets tolerate alternative treatments. Cobb says she uses two types of acupuncture: needles, or a laser beam to stimulate acupuncture points on an animal’s body. She will often begin with the laser, which is a quicker procedure, and move onto needles if the condition needs further attention. For dogs and cats, the needles are placed at specific acupuncture points and the animal has to stay still and quiet for about 20 minutes.  

“Most dogs are tolerant of acupuncture—some even fall asleep,” Cobb says. “Cats are less so, but with cats we pick whatever is the least bothersome to the cat, and use laser for the rest.” 

Herbal medicine is used in conjunction with acupuncture. Herbs can treat an array of conditions. One condition that responds particularly well is urinary incontinence issues. Cobb will try herbs first, as some conventional medications can raise blood pressure. 

Creating a friendly, personable atmosphere is of upmost importance to Cobb.  “Life is too short to be stressed out every time you visit the vet,” she affirms. “I pride myself in keeping a friendly office where people can access modalities such as animal acupuncture and spinal manipulation that are uncommon elsewhere.” 

Cobb is in the process of installing a veterinarian-specific computer program that will allow patients to build a portal to access basic services online, such as refilling medicine. In addition to Pathways to Wellness, Cobb also operates a low-cost spay and neuter clinic, Ace of Spays, also in Hainesport. 

In retrospect, Cobb never would have pictured herself practicing alternative medicine on pets. “But it’s great. I love my job, and I feel blessed.” 

Pathways to Wellness is located at 1485 Rte. 38, in Hainesport. For more information or to make an appointment, call 609-267-6770 or visit 



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