Acupuncture for Pets
Vets who administer acupuncture for pets (and other complementary treatment modalities) need to be seen as an integrated part of your pet’s veterinary team. You and your pet still stay with your primary care veterinary practice. A referral from your vet is needed as history notes should be seen for acupuncture or other complementary treatments. Especially x-rays or blood tests. For example, with a lameness we must rule out serious acute or invasive conditions such as orthopedic problems or even bone cancer.
Let your primary care vet refer you to PinPoint Veterinary Services. We then contact your veterinary practice and request your pet’s medical history, contact you and book an appointment that suits you. At the beginning we recommend a block of 6 sessions in a weekly interval. Depending on your pet’s individual requirements, sessions can usually be spread out to longer intervals.
Acupuncture for Pets as Part of Integrative Veterinary Treament
Over the past few years acupuncture has become well accepted in both human and veterinary medicine. For example, a number of vets are now embracing acupuncture as part of their everyday practice. Acupuncture can easily supplement conventional treatments. Integrative vet medicine is the best approach in chronic health problems. To treat pain, different angles and levels must be approached. You as the pet parent just need to know about the options!
Which animals can Acupuncture treat?
Most patients tend to be dogs and cats. However, horses and cows also respond exceptionally well. To not much surprise, birds do too!
Does needling hurt?
Around 95% of my patients do not mind acupuncture needles being inserted into acupoints. Most pets fall asleep.
Some animals are more excited or sensitive and will at first not want a needle to be inserted for long, which is okay. In some instances a needle is inserted once and removed immediately, but this stimulates the acupoint enough to elicit a response to treatment. Acupuncture has an opioid effect due to the body’s own endorphin release, which works as a pain relief and overall feel-good chemical.
Types of Acupuncture
Dry needling – Insertion of acupuncture needles into acupoints.
Electroacupuncture – Regular acupuncture needles hooked up to a device with wires. This works with specific frequencies for acupoint stimulation. On the device, frequencies are regulated and tailored according to each individual patient.
Aquacupuncture – Injection of sterile saline or vit B12 solution subcutaneously into acupoints.
Moxibustion – Setting dried mugwort (herb) to glim on top of a metallic acupuncture needle, giving a warming sensation. (Not recommended in animals with longer fur/wool or nervous animals.)
Gold bead implantation – Requires sedation/anaesthetic for implantation of the beads in acupoint area. Made of pure gold or metal wrapped in gold, they remain there permanently. Afterwards, the treating vet must know about this if performing an X-ray or MRI.
- Neuromuscular problems
- Post orthopedic surgery after Op. wounds have healed to speed up functionality
- Neurological problems
- Inner medicine
Rarely, there could be non-responders to treatment. Sometimes an individual animal is simply not responding to needle stimulation of acu points.
Advantages of Acupuncture Treatment for Pets
- No organ damage often seen in long term treatment such as NSAID painkillers (liver, kidneys).
- Almost no side effects, when done by a qualified veterinary professional.
As mentioned already, multiple levels with multiple treatment modalities, from different angles and with avenues that don’t cause side effects tackle pain management most effectively.
Besides pain killers and additional oral nutraceuticals such as Green Lipped Mussel extracts, Omega-3-supplements, hyaluridone capsules; you should consider an adequate nutritional plan, additional herbal therapy, acupuncture for pets, veterinary chiropractic, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy as additional treatment options for your pet.