Combining world-class traditional veterinary medicine with proven holistic approaches to provide the best care for pets.
Acupuncture has been used in medical practice to treat humans and animals for more than 3,000 years. The body of research showing its scientific effects for relieving pain and reducing inflammation is steadily growing.
Western research has shown that the placement of fine, sterile needles under the surface of the skin stimulates the body’s nervous system. Acupuncture can work on the local area, the spinal cord and the brain to change the blood flow, inflammation, and pain patterns of the body.
Acupuncture is carried out by our Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist as an adjunct to traditional veterinary treatment. At your first appointment, our Acupuncturist will provide a Chinese diagnosis for your pet, which is a combination of your pet’s personality, preferences, Western medicine diagnoses, and a few other factors. This can change throughout your pet’s course of illness or healing as well.
How Will I Know That it is Working?
Increased energy, mobility, appetite, and comfort and a reduction in clinical signs may also be noted. This may only be for a short period after the first treatment, but should be for increased amounts of time with each subsequent treatment. For some animals, and for some conditions, acupuncture may have minimal or no effect. A minimum of three treatments are recommended before deciding if it is right for your pet, as effects increase with each treatment.
Different Methods for Treating a Patient
- Dry needling involves placing needles in special acupuncture points with or without manual stimulation.
- Electroacupuncture incorporates electrical current into treatment.
- Aquapuncture entails injecting a small amount of liquid (commonly saline or B vitamin solution) into acupuncture points.
- Acupressure is the simple act of putting manual pressure on an acupuncture point (this can be done by you for your pet at home).
For chronic conditions, three initial treatments are recommended about two weeks apart each. For more acute conditions, the three initial treatments can be as frequent as twice per week. Following the initial three treatments, acupuncture can be performed as frequently as needed. Generally, treatments will be needed less frequently as time goes on.
What to Expect at My Pet’s First Acupuncture Appointment
Your first appointment will be a bit longer (about 45 minutes) as the doctor gets to know your pet to make a Chinese diagnosis and make an acupuncture plan that best fits your pet. Electroacupuncture (using electrodes to conduct electricity between two points to increase mobility) or aquapuncture (injections of B12 for extra energy) may also be discussed. If your pet is in hospital for the initial appointment, a Chinese diagnosis and recommendations for a future course of acupuncture will be included with your discharge. Subsequent appointment will be about 20-30 minutes in length.
Common Diagnoses that Respond to Acupuncture
- Hip Dysplasia
- Post-operative pain control
- Intervertebral disk disease
- Skin Allergies
- Lick Granulomas
- Traumatic nerve injury
- Irritable bowel disease
- Pain Control
- Increases Circulation
- Enhances Immunity
- Increased Energy
- Minimal Side Effects
- Helps to speed recovery and strength in combination with Physical Therapy
- Provides additional analgesia (pain control) in combination with general anesthesia
Side Effects of Acupuncture
Side effects of acupuncture are very minimal. Sometimes, when an acupuncture point is stimulated, it produces an effect called “de qi”, or arrival of energy, which creates a sharp pain response. This treats chronic pain in a similar way to rubbing a sore, or itching a mosquito bite. The day after acupuncture is performed, you may notice that your pet is more relaxed, sleepy, or somewhat lethargic.