What is acupuncture?
Veterinary acupuncture has been used to treat animals for nearly 4,000 years in China. It is one of a variety of therapies your veterinarian may use to treat your pet. Acupuncture is the stimulation of selected points on the body in order to balance the Qi (energy) of the body. This can alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to produce a healing effect. Acupuncture is often used when conventional therapies are not working or are having undesirable side effects or when surgical treatment is not an option.
How does acupuncture work?
Traditional Chinese medical philosophy comes from the belief that the body has an inborn ability to balance and heal itself. Disease results when there is an imbalance of energy in the body. In Western medicine terms, acupuncture assists the body’s efforts to heal itself by causing certain physiological changes. Acupuncture stimulates nerves, increases blood circulation, relieves muscle spasms and causes the release of hormones, such as endorphins (one of the body’s natural pain control chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid).
What are some of the uses of acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of conditions in dogs and cats. Pain modification is one of the most common and effective applications of veterinary acupuncture, but there are many other conditions for which acupuncture can be therapeutic.
- Musculoskeletal conditions
- Hip dysplasia
- Intervertebral disk disease
- Dermatological conditions
- Chronic allergic dermatitis
- Chronic ear infections
- Gastrointestinal conditions
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Chronic diarrhea or vomiting
- Respiratory conditions
- Neurological conditions
- Traumatic nerve injury
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Urogenital conditions
- Chronic urinary tract infections
- Urinary incontinence
- Behavioral conditions
- Separation anxiety
Evaluation and Treatment
Before acupuncture therapy can begin, a full history and physical assessment are done. A traditional Chinese medical exam looks different from a Western medical exam. It involves acupuncture point analysis as well and tongue and pulse diagnosis. This thorough evaluation will result in a traditional Chinese veterinary medical diagnosis and serves as the basis for planning and prescribing acupuncture therapy.
After this initial consultation, your pet’s therapy can begin. Acupuncture points are selected to balance your pet’s specific energy excesses or deficiencies. The first treatment session is approximately 60 minutes in length.
Because each animal is unique, heals at a different rate, and will tolerate therapy differently, the frequency and duration of acupuncture treatments are tailored to each individual. Follow-up sessions typically require 30 minutes and are usually scheduled weekly to start and then decreased in frequency after 2-4 weeks.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Current clients: Please call the clinic to set up a consultation. After this initial consultation, your pet will be scheduled for its first acupuncture treatment. Follow-up treatments will be scheduled based upon the condition(s) being treated.
Referral clients: Please ask your regular veterinarian to call us to initiate a referral. You may also call us directly and we will initiate the referral process with your veterinarian.