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Monday, April 13, 2015

Would Acupuncture Help My Dog?

BY:  Laurie Brzostowski, President, Snaggle Foot Dog Walks and Pet Care-Round Lake, IL

I have been hearing a lot of news lately regarding giving acupuncture to dogs.  In fact, a friend of mine actually did do this for her doggie when he was having problems with his back legs.

I find this very interesting so I thought I would do some research on it and pass on the information to any of you who may considering this for your dogs.  Here is some information I found.  If you are interested, it is always a good idea to contact your veterinarian for more information.

What Can Veterinary Acupuncture Do for My Dog?
  • Veterinary acupuncture stimulates the release of the body’s own pain relieving and anti-inflammatory substances. 
  • Relaxation of muscles at the site of needle insertion and more distant locations body is achieved with veterinary acupuncture treatment, creating both a local and generalized pain relieving effect. Veterinary acupuncture improves tissue blood flow, oxygenation, and removal of metabolic wastes and toxins.
  • Unlike prescription and over the counter pain medications, veterinary acupuncture lacks potential adverse side effects for your pet’s internal organs.
  • Your pet’s medications or supplements will not adversely interact with veterinary acupuncture treatment; therefore it can safely be used to treat a variety of illnesses.
How Does Veterinary Acupuncture Work?
The goal of acupuncture is to promote the body to heal itself. From a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) perspective, veterinary acupuncture encourages healing by correcting energy imbalances in the body. Acupuncture enhances blood circulation, nervous system stimulation, and the release of anti-inflammatory and pain relieving hormones.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles into body tissue where nerve bundles and blood vessels come together. These collections of nervous and vascular tissue are termed acupuncture points, which course over all aspects of the body’s surface on meridians (energy channels). The meridians permit a cycle of energy to occur throughout the entire body over the course of the day’s 24 hours.

Besides needle insertion, other acupuncture treatments are also available.  Check with your vet to get information on the other acupuncture options.

What Conditions Can be Managed with Veterinary Acupuncture?

Veterinary acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of conditions, particularly those that involve inflammation and pain.
  • Arthritis
  • Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)
  • Trauma
  • Cancer
  • Metabolic Disease

What Environment is Best for Acupuncture?
House call based veterinary acupuncture alleviates the physical and behavioral stress associated with transportation to and from a veterinary facility. Additionally, as animal hospitals are traditionally places of illness, the potential for exposure to infectious disease is reduced when a pet is treated at home.

How Frequently Does My Pet Need Veterinary Acupuncture Treatment?

Dogs and cats start with more frequent treatments then are tapered off to a less frequent interval for maintenance. Most patients benefit from one to three sessions per week during the initial few weeks. The goal is to achieve the greatest duration of time where a pet’s condition appears improved or has resolved.

The effects of veterinary acupuncture treatment are cumulative, so consistent treatment is more beneficial than intermittent.

If you are thinking about this type of treatment it is always best to talk to your veterinarian.  He or she may already have some contacts in your area you can call upon.  Either way, anything we can do to help our pets is always worth checking out.

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