Welcome to Wellness on Wheels, an integrative pet practice. We offer house call visits for Eastern Medicine (acupuncture and chinese herbals) as well as end of life appointments.
Please search the website for more information or contact me for more questions.
Dr. Sarah Beechler
I grew up nearby in Plainfield, IL back when it was a small farm town. Looking to expand my horizons, I went to veterinary school on the island of St. Kitts at Ross University. I finished my veterinary education at The Ohio State University following by an internship in Los Angeles. Despite all of my travel, I decided to settle back near my hometown in Lockport, IL.
My veterinary career has included emergency medicine, specialty hospitals, and general practice. In 2017, I was looking to go back to school and felt that pain management could improve in patients. This is when I found acupuncture. I studied at the Chi Institute and have become certified in acupuncture, trained in food therapy, and am currently working on my herbal certification. Learning and practicing Eastern medicine has been fulfilling.
In addition, I have also become certified by CAETA, the companion animal euthanasia training academy. I believe that every pet should have the benefit of a peaceful passing in the comfort of their home.
In January 2019, I established my mobile practice, Wellness on Wheels, Inc. My practice offers an integrative approach to wellness using both Eastern and Western philosophies. In my free time, I can be found spending time with my husband, a fellow veterinarian, and my three children. We love to be outdoors or can be found doing projects around the house. We share our home with 2 dogs and 2 cats.
Intervertebral disc disease
What is acupuncture? Acupuncture is the placement of very thin needles into specific points in the body to elicit a healing response. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to treat many conditions. The goal of acupuncture is to restore the body to a balanced state.
How does it work? When a point is stimulated, it stimulates nerves, increases blood circulation, and causes the release of hormones such as endorphins and serotonin (our body's feel-good hormone). These hormones have anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects.
Will my pet tolerate acupuncture? Most pets tolerate acupuncture very well and never react to the needles. I will sometimes use treats as a form of distraction, especially in the beginning when pets are not familiar with the process. Usually pets become very relaxed during the treatment and some will even fall asleep.
What form of acupuncture do you practice? There are different forms of acupuncture which include:
Dry needle: The placement of the needles into specific points
Aquapuncture: The placement of a liquid (usually saline or Vitamin B12) into specific points
Electroacupuncture: The attachment of electrodes to the needles and then a mild electric current passes between the needles.
Moxa: The use of heat over the needles to warm a patient
I will use any of these forms and it is determined by the condition I am treating and the patient.
How long does a session last? Most treatments will last 30-45 minutes. The frequency of the treatment depends upon the condition. Typically I recommend a series of 3 weekly treatments to start.
Is it safe? Acupuncture is considered very safe when it is administered by a trained veterinary professional. As with all treatments, there are occasional side effects. The most common side effect is that the pet's condition may appear worse or the pet may be lethargic or sleepy for the first 24 hours after a treatment. This is usually followed by an improvement in the condition.
When do you know it's time?
Making the decision to euthanize a pet is never an easy one. There are many factors that go into making this decision but it typically comes down to quality of life. I recommend starting with two categories. First, does your pet still do the things that are required to sustain life? This includes eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, etc. When your pet stops doing these things, it is sometimes easier to know it is time. But your pet's quality of life may be declining before these things occur. The second thing I recommend is to identify 3-5 things specific to your pet that you can monitor to know when his or her quality of life is starting to decline. Some examples may be greeting you at the door, running for dinner, wagging his/her tail, etc. This discussion is more than what can be included in a website so if you have questions or concerns regarding your pet's condition, please do not hesitate to call or schedule a home visit to assess your pet's condition.
What to expect at the visit?
Your pet will first be given an injection that is a sedative or an anesthetic. This is similar to them receiving a vaccination and effects are usually seen within 10 minutes. Once your pet is sleeping soundly and you are comfortable with proceeding, a second injection of medication is given that will numb the mind and let your pet pass peacefully over the rainbow bridge.
Once you have said your good-byes, I will transport your pet to the crematory unless other arrangements have been made. If your pet is over 40lbs, a stretcher will be used for transportation and I will need assistance getting your pet to the vehicle.
Prior to the appointment, I recommend finding a quiet place in the home or outside (weather permitting) for the euthanasia to take place. Consider who you want to be present. Other pets and/or children are welcome but this decision is personal and you know what is best for your situation. Other than that, just spoil and love on your pet as much as possible.
Quality of Life Assessment
Unsure if it is time?
Wellness on Wheels does offer quality of life assessments. Making this decision is difficult and often times people need some guidance as to whether or not it is time. We are able to come examine your pet and help walk through things to watch for. Recommendations can also be given regarding pain control, alternative modalities, and nutrition support.
These appointments are not intended to take over your pet's care. You will need to continue a relationship with your primary veterinarian.
Quality of life assessments
Appointments typically last 45-60 minutes. Additional fees incurred if over 1 hour. Please inquire if you have concerns regarding this time frame.
(Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine)
(includes first acupuncture treatment and herbal/food recommendations)
(without acupuncture - $150)
*Fees listed include house call and exam/consultation.
**Servicing the following towns:
Lockport, Homer Glen, Lemont, New Lenox, Plainfield, Romeoville, Bolingbrook, Crest Hill, Orland Park, Joliet, Mokena
*** Additional travel fee ($30-$50) for services provided outside of a 15 mile radius from Lockport
(includes complimentary clay paw)
**$50 extra charge for pets >100lbs
Private Cremation (ashes returned)
**specialty urns available for an additional cost
Communal Cremation (ashes scattered, not returned)
Each additional Clay Paw- $30
Transportation provided to crematory
Forms of payment accepted:
Cash, Check, Credit Card
We understand that your pet's condition may change requiring you to cancel your appointment. Please understand that last minute cancellations prevent us from helping other pets and families in need. There will be no charge if cancelled within 12 hours of the appointment.
Cancellations within 12 hours of appointment = $50
Cancellations within 2 hours of appointment = $125