I get paid to be an animal acupuncturist

Kevin May's clients are furry, four-legged, and full of needles by the time he's done with them.

May has been a veterinarian for 35 years. His passion for animal acupuncture started in college when he himself felt the benefits.

"One of my professors at Texas A&M gave us a new type of seminar on acupuncture and I've always had a problem with heartburn. He taught us a certain point to push in your throat, I did and my heartburn went away. That's when I put down my sandwich and started listening and I've been interested in acupuncture ever since," May said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch."


Animal Acupuncturist Kevin May treating a horse.
Source: Kevin May
Animal Acupuncturist Kevin May treating a horse.

He mostly treats dogs and horses but has seen more exotic animals. His largest client to date is an elephant, his smallest—a lizard.

"A little lizard that had arthritis in its back so we had to use really fine needles. He just woke up one morning, was stiff and painful in his back, and X-rays were clean. So we did some acupuncture, did that a couple of times and he was good to go," May said.

Arthritis, sore muscles, and back pain are some of the common ailments May treats with acupuncture. He said it's also beneficial in animals that either can't take certain medications or are not responding to them.

Animal Acupuncturist Kevin May treating a dog.
Source: Kevin May
Animal Acupuncturist Kevin May treating a dog.

"Someone asked me one time if you could get anything done without acupuncture, and I'd say yes, but that's like sending me into a bar room brawl with one hand tied behind my back. I'd be about half as effective," he said.

"It's just like any other medication or tool that you have in your arsenal of treatments. There's a time and place for everything."

When asked what he likes most about his job, he said, "Well, the day that I go to work I'll let you know. I just get to get up and play with everybody's animals and go home with a smile on my face," May said.