Veterinary Acupuncture: Alternative Therapies to Benefit Your Pet
In order to provide pets with outstanding veterinary care, it’s essential that we pursue not only Western medicine, but also Eastern medicine as well. There are many alternative therapies available that offer relief to pet patients that don’t respond to traditional treatments.
Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital is pleased to offer acupuncture and holistic veterinary medicine services to our pet patients. Let’s take a closer look at these therapies and how they could be useful in helping your pet!
Since its origins in China more than 3,000 years ago, acupuncture has been used to provide relief to people suffering from a myriad of health disorders. In more recent years, it has evolved into a standard treatment for pets as well.
Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s own defenses against pain and inflammation. Needles are inserted into points that are located along pathways of nerves and blood vessels and which are closely tied to nerve endings. Stimulation of these nerve endings increases the body’s production of endorphins and other helpful hormones, such as cortisol.
Determining which acupuncture points to activate will depend upon the pet’s particular illness or malady. For example, acupuncture may be used in treating pet arthritis, chronic pain, allergies, cancer, irritable bowel disease, intervertebral disc disease (back problems), and other musculoskeletal injuries.
Pet owners are often surprised to learn that the application of acupuncture needles does not hurt. Frequently what pets experience is an immediate prick of the skin, followed by a sensation of heat or tingling. Usually, patients feel rather relaxed after a short while, and they may even feel tired for the rest of the day.
Acupuncture treatments typically last about 30 minutes. In the case of simple, acute problems, one treatment may be enough. Chronic conditions usually require several treatments, administered about a week apart.
Ensuring Proper Care
In order to properly diagnose and treat pets’ conditions, veterinary acupuncturists should be licensed veterinarians who have received extensive training and passed a rigorous certification process. At Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital, our acupuncture treatments are administered by veterinarians who have been certified by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS).