Acupuncture for Pets
Acupuncture for Pets
Acoaxet Veterinary Clinic offers acupuncture treatments for your pets. Acupuncture has been used for centuries for various human medical conditions and the use of acupuncture has been growing in popularity as an adjunctive treatment for many conditions in pets.
Veterinary acupuncture is very safe when performed properly by a trained veterinarian. The needles are sterile and thin making the risk of infection extremely low. Other side effects are extremely rare. The majority of our veterinary patients tolerate treatment very well and quite often become relaxed and sleepy during their treatment.
We believe that dogs and cats benefit from acupuncture similarly to the way humans benefit from this treatment. Acupuncture can assist the body to heal itself by affecting certain physiological changes. Acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasm, and cause the release of hormones, such as endorphins (one of the body’s pain control chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid).
We would be pleased to discuss whether your dog or cat would benefit from acupuncture. Please give us a call to arrange an appointment for your pet. Also, please feel free to read more about acupuncture below.
Conditions That May Be Treated With Acupuncture
Acupuncture can help many conditions your pet may be experiencing, including:
- musculoskeletal diseases—soft tissue injuries, neck and back pain, arthritis
- chronic and acute pain
- neurologic diseases (seizures, intervertebral disk disease, nerve injuries/paralysis)
- gastrointestinal problems (diarrhea, vomiting, constipation)
- minor sports injuries and to keep muscles and tendons resistant to injury
- behavioral problems
- renal failure
- hormonal diseases (Cushing's, diabetes, incontinence, hyper/hypothyroidism)
Common Questions About Acupuncture
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture points are located in areas of concentrated nerve bundles and/or in close proximity to major blood vessels which themselves are surrounded by a rich nerve supply. Placing a needle at these points creates both local and systemic (widespread) effects. Local effects include: stimulation of nerve fibers inducing reactions that modulate pain signaling from the local area, dilation of blood vessels increasing blood supply to the area, and release of chemical substances that can work to repair damaged tissue. Stimulating a nerve at an acupuncture point will also affect the spinal cord segments from which the nerve originates. Often this will decrease the amount of pain signaling transmission that occurs through the local region. In some cases, other body structures whose nerve supply originates in this same spinal cord segment can be positively influenced. Finally, acupuncture has been demonstrated to cause increased serotonin and endorphin levels, creating a widespread reduction in pain sensation.
How Many Treatments Will My Pet Need?
The number of treatments your pet may need before resolution or improvement of clinical signs depends upon his or her medical history and condition. Acupuncture usually does not work alone. A combination of therapies is usually necessary to achieve the desired goal.
Animals undergoing athletic training can benefit from acupuncture as often as twice a week to once a month. The frequency depends on the intensity of the training and the condition of the athlete.
What will my pet feel during an acupuncture treatment?
Like humans, most dogs and cats feel very relaxed simply because of the release of endorphins soon after the first acupuncture needle is inserted. They may experience a brief moment of sensitivity as the needle penetrates the skin in certain sensitive areas. Once, the needles are in place, however, most animals relax and, often times, they fall asleep during treatment. Some pets with high levels of anxiety or fear may take longer to reach a relaxed state but often become more relaxed with subsequent treatments.
Questions? Please ask! Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have or call us to schedule an evaluation if you feel acupuncture may benefit your pet.