Dog Veterinary Acupuncture
We are proud to offer integrative medicine to help dogs have longer, more comfortable lives at our practices. Our Certified acupuncture veterinarians have added pain control, anxiety relief and appetite stimulation to many dogs' regimens, in conjunction with traditional medical treatments.Acupuncture originated more than 2,000 years ago. In Eastern medicine, acupuncture is based on the theory that all living beings have an energy force called “chi" that circulates along invisible lines known as “meridians” in the body directly tied to a different organ system. Wherever blockages develop that restrict the flow of energy, illness, and disease begin to develop. By stimulating certain points on the meridians using thin needles, these energy blockages are cleared, the natural flow of energy is restored and, in this way, the body is able to heal itself.
From the perspective of Western medicine, these SAME meridians also happen to arrive at points in the body with high concentrations of nerve endings that trigger the release of naturally occurring substances to alleviate pain and induce healing, as well as other antiinflammatory responses.
Regardless of an individual's view of Western or Eastern medicine, perhaps the most important perspective is that of patients who have experienced improvements in quality of life after receiving acupuncture treatments.
Acupuncture for Dogs
While acupuncture isn't appropriate for every dog or every situation, it can safely be used to treat dogs with a variety of health conditions, especially those suffering from pain or inflammation. Dogs with arthritis, digestive problems, kidney disease, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, asthma, and certain neurological disorders can all benefit from acupuncture.
Method of Action
Acupuncture stimulates certain areas of a dog’s body that contain large numbers of nerves and muscle myofibrils. This can enhance blood circulation, decrease muscle spasms and cause the release of pain-relieving hormones (endorphins) in the brain.
What Will An Acupuncture Session Be Like For My Dog?
Dog acupuncture sessions generally last between 15 minutes and one hour, depending on the dog’s particular needs. Thin, flexible needles are inserted at certain points along the dog’s body and left there for several minutes before being removed. Depending on the need, electrical stimulation may be added. No anesthesia is required and the dog remains conscious during the entire process.
Is Dog Acupuncture Painful?
Acupuncture is typically a painless experience. A tiny prick may be felt when needles are inserted, and sometimes a duller, deeper sensation when the needles engage the acupuncture points. Most dogs relax and actually seem to enjoy this experience after the needles are inserted. Many dogs are so relaxed during their sessions that they will drift off to sleep. We also offer treats during acupuncture to train pets that it is not to be feared.
How Soon Will My Dog Experience Results?
Positive improvement is typically seen within a matter of days. Some dogs may appear to feel worse for a day or two after treatment, initially. Others may become lethargic or sleepy as their body produces endorphins. These effects are an indication that physiological changes are occurring, and they are most often followed by an improvement in the dog’s condition and commonly includes increased appetite and better movement.
Frequency of Dog Veterinary Acupuncture Treatment
The veterinary acupuncture treatment frequency will depend on your dog’s specific condition. Typically, dogs begin by receiving between one and three weekly sessions. Once the problem is under control, the number and frequency of sessions typically taper off to the minimum necessary to maintain quality of life.
At our hospitals, our veterinary staff is here to help ensure that you and your dog are able to enjoy a long, healthy and happy relationship and we believe that starts with compassionate health care. Make an appointment to discuss how veterinary acupuncture may be able to improve the quality of life for your dog. One of our caring staff members is available at (210) 496-1315.