Acupuncture For Your Pet
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine, sterile needles into specific points on the body, causing a biochemical reaction within the tissue that stimulates healing and/or pain relief. Recent studies have proven that acupuncture in pets increases circulation, stimulates the body’s immune system, endorphin levels, and serotonin levels. We employ current knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathology, all in keeping with evidence-based medicine.
How Acupuncture Works
The main effects of needling begin with activation of nerve fibers near an acupuncture point. These stimuli then activate nerve signaling and neurotransmitter activity from the acupuncture point to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and autonomic nervous centers (gland activity, digestion, immune stimulation, etc). Acupuncture also releases tension from the muscles and enveloping fibrous network called fascia.
- Musculoskeletal problems – arthritis and joint disease
- Gastrointestinal problems – diarrhea, constipation, nausea
- Heart and respiratory conditions – sinusitis
- Dermatology ailments – allergies
- Urinary tract problems – kidney failure
- Neurological issues – neuropathy, disk disease, back and neck pain
Most pets tolerate and even enjoy acupuncture. Many pets fall asleep or obtain deep relaxation during treatment.
Your First Acupuncture Visit
The initial exam includes a physical exam with myofascial palpation that allows the doctor to help determine the source of discomfort. Usually the first 2 to 3 acupuncture points are used to aid in producing a calming effect on the animal. Once the animal is calm and comfortable, we will begin to place needles to treat the problem. The needles are left in place for a therapeutic time period of 10-20 minutes, depending on the points selected. At the end of the time, the needles are removed. Many times, Western veterinary medications may be administered as well to help the patient until the benefits from acupuncture can be fully achieved and appreciated.
Some animals will need 4 to 6 visits before the owner can recognize any change in the pet, however, it is not uncommon for results to be noticed as soon as the first visit.