Would you be interested in a non-pharmaceutical/nonsurgical treatment option that is very safe, administered once or twice weekly, and can help to reduce pain, reduce anxiety, promote balance and improve immune function for your pet?

What is Acupuncture?

corgi-14858_640Acupuncture is a method of treating your pet using their own internal processes – essentially tapping into your pet’s own pharmacy – releasing healing influences and pain-relieving substances.

Medical acupuncture is a form of acupuncture that is based on the physical anatomy of your pet. Knowing the physical locations of nerves, muscles, and blood vessels, we are able to determine areas of importance for certain conditions. Similarly to a person having a heart attack and experiencing pain along the length of the arm, nerves that innervate the heart also have impacts in other areas of the body. Using this knowledge and a wealth of research done all over the world, medical acupuncture was developed. Veterinary Medical Acupuncture uses a truly integrative approach by merging a traditionally Chinese treatment technique with a more Western-guided approach.

What does Acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture helps with more than just pain. It works by increasing circulation; reducing inflammation; releasing chemicals in the brain (some of which are endorphins – the body’s natural pain killers); relieving muscle spasms; stimulating nerves; helping to improve the body’s defense systems – all to promote a healthy, balanced, and well pet.

  • Musculoskeletal and Neurological – arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease (IVDD), nerve injuries/paralysis, back pain, lameness, tendon injuries
  • Skin Problems – lick granuloma, allergies, wound healing
  • Urinary Tract Disorders – feline lower urinary tract disorder, cystitis
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders – diarrhea, vomiting, chronic conditions, pancreatitis, IBD
  • Respiratory Disorders – asthma, chronic upper respiratory tract infections/disease, bronchitis
  • Ocular Disorders – KCS (Dry Eye), corneal ulcers

What will happen? Is it painful?

golden-retriever-1059490_1920On your first visit, a full history, physical examination and myofascial palpation will be performed. To your pet, this should simply feel like a gentle full body massage. Acupuncture treatment plans are created based on the full traditional physical examination coupled with “myofascial palpation” which is a gentle, hands-on, systematic evaluation of soft tissues to identify patterns of strain or discomfort indicating underlying disease or injury. We will place some acupuncture needles to see how your pet responds to the needling itself, as well as to the stimulation the needles cause. Some pets may react to the skin penetration with the needle initially but many will then visibly relax. Often pets will actually fall asleep during treatment.

What can I expect after the treatment?

With some chronic conditions, your pet may sleep more in the few days after the first couple of treatments. This is simply because your pet may have been painful and not sleeping well prior to the treatments. Afterwards, we expect to see improvement in how your pet is acting and in the general health and wellbeing of your pet.

Are there any side effects?

is one of the safest treatment modalities available, if performed by a certified acupuncturist. Very rarely, a pet may seem to worsen after the first treatment or two but this effect should be short lived – 24-36 hours. This is similar to our feeling sore after a deep tissue massage. Acupuncture works to bring your pet’s body systems back into balance without the use of drugs or chemicals, therefore complications will be very rare, if ever.

How long does it take?

Each treatment session may last from less than 5 minutes up to 30-45 minutes depending on the condition being treated, your pet, and the stage of treatment your pet is in. Each treatment session is performed after full examination and palpation of your pet, so each treatment involves stimulating different points and for differing lengths of time. Frequently, we will perform treatments 1-2 times per week for 4-6 weeks. Improvement should be seen after the first 5-6 treatments.