So what is acupuncture? It is traditionally defined as the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to cause a desired healing effect.
This technique has been used in veterinary medicine in China for at least 3000 years for the treatment many ailments. Chinese veterinarians also use acupuncture as preventive medicine against such problems as founder and colic in horses. Acupuncture is used all over the world, either by itself or in conjunction with Western medicine, to treat a wide variety of functional problems such as noninfectious inflammation in every species of domestic animals and in exotic animals.
Musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis, spinal disc pathologies and skin problems, such as lick granuloma, have all been treated successfully using acupuncture.
Acupuncture therapy can assist the healing process by stimulating nerves, increasing blood circulation, relieving muscle spasms and causing the release of hormones, such as endorphins (one of the body’s pain control chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid.) The treatment is not painful and most animals become relaxed and even sleepy during therapy sessions.
Stimulation of an individual acupuncture point may take as little as 10 seconds or as much as 30 minutes. A simple acute problem, such as a sprain, may require only one treatment, whereas more severe or chronic ailments may need several or ongoing treatments.
Modern veterinary acupuncturists use solid and hypodermic needles, electricity, heat, massage and low power lasers to stimulate acupuncture points. Acupuncture is not a cure-all, but can work very well to enhance your pet’s health and comfort when it is indicated. If you think acupuncture might be beneficial for your pet, please call us and we will be happy to schedule an appointment for you.