Acupuncture Therapy in Pets

Acupuncture has been around for almost 2500 years in human history. Acupuncture in pets has only just begun over the last 40yrs or so. The benefits for humans are obvious and of course, we can tell if we feel a difference. For our pets, the results can be obvious or it can be very subtle.

Understanding Acupuncture Techniques and Benefits

Acupuncture uses “points” in the body to stimulate changes in the nervous system and release certain hormones. These hormones stimulate the areas that are targeted for treatment to bring relief and healing.

Considerations for Acupuncture Treatment

When looking into having acupuncture performed to ensure the person performing the acupuncture is a licensed veterinarian and has taken certified courses. Certification takes a long time to receive and most courses take years to become qualified.

Process and Conditions Treated

First, let’s discuss the process of having an acupuncture appointment with your veterinarian. Most veterinarians will do a consult with you to discuss the condition your pet has and how you will go about treating them. Whether they need treatments weekly, monthly, and how long the treatments will last. After that, you will be scheduled in for the treatments which usually last anywhere between 10-30 mins depending on your pet and what kind of condition is being treated.

There are many different conditions that acupuncture can help treat, the main reason it is used is for pain relief and healing. One of the main conditions acupuncture is used is for musculoskeletal concerns. Problems like arthritis, back pain (IVDD) and even after major surgeries like a TPLO or CCL repairs. The acupuncture can help with pain from surgery, pain and inflammation from arthritis and can help stimulate blood flow to those areas to encourage healing. Most pets after having a couple treatments come to enjoy it and look forward to their treatments.

Skin conditions are also an area where acupuncture can be used. It can help stimulate blood flow to areas like hot spots, wounds and give the body a boost to heal faster. Especially with skin conditions, acupuncture is a joint treatment with other medications and treatments. It’s not to be used as just one solo treatment. Conditions like feline asthma, gastrointestinal and some reproductive conditions can also see benefits from having acupuncture done.

If you’re interested in having acupuncture performed on your pet it’s always best to discuss with your veterinarian or veterinary technician. Your veterinarian knows your pet and knows what medications and treatments have been performed, they can tell you who to go see and what you can expect. Acupuncture is a great tool that can be used in veterinary medicine to help our pets and their quality of life! Please contact us if you have any questions about acupuncture for your pets.

Written by Taylor, RVT