Acupuncture is a traditional treatment method stemming back 2500 years ago before modern day medicine was even an option to help our patients. This method involves inserting a small, sterile needle through the skin to stimulate a series of free nerve endings, lymphatics, white blood cells, blood vessels, and skeletal muscle fibers. Needles are placed all over the body, but most commonly in the limbs and back. Treatment times vary from 5min to 45min depending on what is being treated and the animals disposition to handle the needles. Most animals handle treatment very well and relax significantly during the time the needles are in place. This treatment is not a one-time fix, but rather needs to be performed in a series to be therapeutic and maintained. Some pathologies can be curative, but not all.
What it works well on:
• Pain relief (neck/back, limb, wound)
• Vaccine reactions
• Musculoskeletal pain (soft tissue/muscle)
• Non-healing wound
• GI disease (repetitive colic, gastric and colonic ulcers)
• Chronic disease (Cushing’s disease, kidney disease, etc)
• Photic head shaking
• Overall quality of life
**This list is not inclusive. Acupuncture is inappropriate to use in emergency situations although it can aid in pain relief. Please do not recommend it as a first line of treatment.
We can also treat using this same thought process but with medications that can be injected or other forms of acupuncture such as electroacupuncture, hemoacupuncture, aquapuncture, and pneumoacupuncture. These modalities will be decided based on primary ailment along with personality of the animal.
Changes in heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure can all be seen during a treatment course. These are generally not regulated, but can be used to determine treatment length. The acupuncture treatment can be used in conjunction with conventional medicine and/or chiropractic (spinal manipulation) treatment. Herbal therapies can also be used with these patients to prolong time between treatments.