San Antonio Komodo dragon gets acupuncture therapy

SAN ANTONIO (AP/NBC/WOAI) — Bubba the Komodo dragon at the San Antonio Zoo is receiving some unconventional medicine to treat his degenerative bone disease. The Zoo’s Herpetology and Veterinarian departments recently began using acupuncture to treat Bubba.

Veterinarians have turned to acupuncture to treat Bubba’s aching joints. The San Antonio Express News reports the 20-year-old reptile named Bubba has received the treatment the past several weeks to treat degenerative bone disease in both knees.

Officials say Bubba is getting acupuncture not to heal his problem but rather to help him deal with age-related pain and discomfort in his knees. The zoo’s senior veterinarian says the dragon is receiving acupuncture, in addition to traditional medicine, to ease his movement.

Bubba’s treatments are weekly and last about 15- to 20 minutes. The vets use both traditional acupuncture, as well as electroacupuncture, which sends electric pulses through the needles. The treatments are designed to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue.

So far, Bubba is showing positive signs from the treatment. Officials say he’s moving around a lot easier and more frequently.

It’s unclear how long the zoo will continue the sessions.

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