Acupuncture is used mainly for functional problems such as those involving noninfectious inflammation, paralysis, or pain. For dogs and cats, acupuncture has been used for treating:
- Arthritis and other joint problems (eg, hip or elbow dysplasia)
- Back pain and associated leg weakness
- Lick granuloma and non-healing wounds
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Skin allergies
- Palliative care when serious disease is present (eg, inappetence and malaise associated with cancer)
What does treatment entail?
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).1 The various techniques performed here are Dry-needling, Aquapuncture (injection of vitamin B12 or other liquids) and Electrostimulation. Treatment sessions are performed in our office on an appointment-only basis by Dr. Sparks, who is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA). The first session includes a comprehensive history and “eastern medicine” exam, requiring approximately 45- minutes; subsequent treatments are shorter in duration. Acute problems may be treated and “cured” with only a few sessions; more chronic problems typically require maintenance treatments with the goal to achieve the longest interval of time where a pet’s condition appears improved or resolved.
1. Mahaney, P. (2016, February 15). Acupuncture for Pets. Retrieved from http://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_multi_veterinary-acupuncture-for-dogscats