Acupuncture For Your Pets
Would you like to try a treatment for you pet’s condition that does not utilize drugs?
Would you like to improve your pet’s quality of life as he or she ages?
Have you ever thought about Acupuncture for yourself?
How about for your pet?
Acupuncture can be safely used to strengthen your pet’s immune system, relieve discomfort from arthritis and other painful conditions, reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and sometimes even allow you to lower the dose or discontinue certain medications.
We know that there are often multiple treatments that help a particular condition. Depending on the patient, one or more therapies may be used together (medications, surgery, acupuncture, physical therapy) for the best outcome and reduced side effects. A relatively new form of medicine is being utilized for humans known as “Integrative Medicine” which is exactly that, the integration of multiple treatments for the best outcome and fewest side effects.
In my years of performing acupuncture on pets as a veterinarian (I have been utilizing this skill in my practice for over 13 years.), I have seen many wonderful benefits. But before I go into some of the truly amazing things I’ve seen in my patients I would like to be clear that acupuncture is not a miracle, it can’t cure all ailments. What I have seen it do is resolve a prolonged case of mega-colon in a middle aged cat, resolve an asthmatic attack that had gone on all night (with 1 needle!), turn a slow, arthritic geriatric Labrador into a dog wanting to play after dinner (He had stopped doing this part of the family routine years earlier.) Take a cat with severe spinal pain that made him a grumpy housemate, into a playful cuddly companion. And that is just to name a few. I have used acupuncture to effectively treat arthritis, hip dysplasia, muscle spasms, behavioral disorders, and skin conditions.
Here’s how it works:
Acupuncture in general:
Acupuncture is the placement of needles at particular locations along the body. The pinpoints are on a series of channels or meridians that have been mapped on the body centuries ago. These meridians corresponding with body organs or systems. Placement of these hair like needles stimulates endorphins and neurotransmitters and is quick and often painless. Many pets rest very quietly fall asleep after placement of their treatment. Some pets show signs of improvement after the first treatment, and some pets require several treatments to see the benefit. I always recommend we commit to 3-4 treatments before deciding that it may not help.
The first acupuncture session lasts approximately one hour and consists of me taking a detailed history of your pet’s life and who they are today. After this history and a physical evaluation, I will put together a treatment plan or “Prescription” which is the map of where the needles will be placed. Your pet will be with you during the entirety of the visit, and we usually leave the needles in place for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes I use and electrical unit that gives tiny electrical impulses to the needles that are placed.
The next 2 appointments are about a week apart, and are usually 30minute appointments. You and I discuss how you feel your pet responded, and I do another brief exam followed by needle placement. The next appointments are spaced out further, and for chronic cases, I usually see my patients every 8 to 12 weeks. Most pet owners I work with know when they need to bring their dog or cat back in by this point, they see the treatment effects begin to wane. You see, with acupuncture we are placing these needles on the lines or meridians and trying to open the channels, painful conditions are a result of stagnation of the vital life force or energy, often called “Chi.” Placement of needles in these channels frees the stagnation and allows the energy or chi to flow and relieves or reduces the discomfort.