Dr. Dhaliwal: holistic approach to veterinary service

Swaran Dhaliwal with her kitten Flash. He and his brother Lightning were adopted from the Orcas Animal Shelter.



Ancient Eastern wisdom enhances conventional veterinary medicine at Orcas Veterinary Service with the addition of veterinary acupuncturist Swaran Dhaliwal, born and raised in Singapore.

“I never imagined that all these years later I would end up on an island again,” says Dhaliwal, or “Dr. D” as her clients call her. “Orcas Island is quite a change, but definitely for the better! My colleagues and the support staff [at Orcas Veterinary Service] have made the transition remarkably easy.”

Dhaliwal was hired by Orcas veterinarian Dr. Ron Schuler early this spring, and her husband Bruce Dalusio and kids, Skylar (11 years) and Taurin (8 years) joined her soon after.

A 10-year veteran, Dhaliwal loves her work. She earned her veterinary degree at the University of Florida, backed by an undergraduate degree in medical microbiology from Scotland.

Dhaliwal studied acupuncture at Florida’s Chi Institute and after completing an internship at Ancient Arts Holistic Veterinary Practice, Seattle, earned her national certification as a veterinary acupuncturist in 2012.

Her last job was at a mixed animal practice in Tillamook, Ore. that included organic dairy cattle.

Dhaliwal recalls being asked to treat a 1,500-pound postpartum Holstein dairy cow during her time there. She said the cow had been “down” for a few days despite conventional treatments but was on her feet just an hour after an electro-acupuncture treatment.

“Many people think it’s inexplicable, but there has been a lot of research and studies behind acupuncture,” Dhaliwal said. “Acupuncture has been useful for managing arthritis, musculoskeletal pain, seizures, asthma, behavioral problems, gastrointestinal issues, nausea, incontinence, etc.”

She adds that several scientific studies have shown that analgesic acupuncture points activate specific pain-associated brainstem regions that release natural endorphins and boosts