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PBS recently aired a special highlighting Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, including veterinary acupuncture. Watch the video by clicking here!
Acupuncture in veterinary medicine has been used in China for thousands of years. Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body, most commonly by means of insertion of a very thin, flexible needle. Acupuncture point locations (acupoints) have been carefully mapped out in humans and in most domestic animals. Acupoints have a high concentration of free nerve endings, arterioles, lymphatics and specific cells. Stimulating these points releases natural chemicals that lead to positive effects on the muscles, tissues and organ systems. These effects include increased blood flow, increased local immune response, relaxation of the muscles and tissues and a decrease in pain and inflammation. Acupuncture can restore a healthy state of balance, promote a healing response and improve the quality of life of your pet.
Below are some common examples of conditions where acupuncture can be used as a treatment either alone or in conjunction with other traditional methods:
·Musculoskeletal problems: hips or elbow dysplasia, arthritis, degenerative joint disease, chronic pain syndromes, and neck or back injuries.
·Nerve disorders: traumatic nerve injury or paralysis, certain types of muscle weakness or paralysis resulting from back or neck injuries, degenerative nerve conditions such as German Shepherd myelopathy.
·Gastrointestinal disorders: inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, vomiting.
·Skin problems: frequent skin infections, ear infections, excessive hair chewing, flea bite allergies, lick granulomas, and chronic mange infestations.
·Respiratory problems: asthma, chronic lung disease, respiratory changes associated with heart failure.
·Urogenital problems: renal failure, cystitis, urinary tract infection.
·Reproductive problems: failure to cycle, uterine infections, stimulate parturition.
·Behavior problems: anxiety, irritability, hyperexcitability.
·Improve quality of life: support cancer patients, cardiac patients and decrease side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
Acupuncture is used in addition to western diagnostics and treatments. The first appointment is a one-hour visit and includes a full physical exam and in depth assessment of your pet. Additional diagnostics may be recommended at this time. An acupuncture plan will be prescribed and may include dry needling, aqua acupuncture and/or electro acupuncture. Follow up appointments last about 15 to 40 minutes depending on your pets condition and response to treatment. The number of treatments varies depending on the nature, severity and duration of the condition being treated. Chronic conditions may take six or more treatments to see a measurable response.
Only licensed veterinarians are eligible to practice acupuncture on animals.