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Veterinary Accupuncture

What is veterinary acupuncture?

Veterinary acupuncture is one branch of traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM). Acupuncture is a treatment modality that has been around for at least 8,000 years. It involves the placement of sterile needles in specific locations on the body to stimulate a therapeutic effect.


The other branches of TCVM include herbal medicine, food therapy, and Tui-na (Chinese medical massage).


Does acupuncture really work?

Yes. There is an increasing amount of literature showing its effectiveness. The US National Institute of Health’s National Library of Medicine (www.pubmed.gov) has over 35,000 research papers regarding acupuncture in humans and over 600 papers regarding veterinary acupuncture as of October 2023.


The exact mechanism is still unknown. Modern research shows many of the acupuncture points are found in areas with a high density of nerve endings, lymphatic vessels, and small blood vessels. By stimulating these areas, it can affect pain processing and increase blood circulation to those areas to help with pain relief, immune regulation, promote tissue healing, and other effects.


What are some indications for acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be beneficial for various conditions such as:

  • Musculoskeletal problems: arthritis, muscle soreness, back pain, dental pain

  • Neurological disorders: intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), seizures, weakness

  • Gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea, vomiting, constipation,

  • Allergies

  • Anxiety


What are the risks?

Acupuncture is generally very safe. Potential risks can include mild bleeding and soreness at the needle site. There may be some mild discomfort when the needle is first placed (the needles used are significantly smaller than those used for vaccines), but the majority of patients are comfortable and start to relax with acupuncture.


When can we expect results? 

Like all treatments, it is going to be highly dependent on each individual. Some immediate results can be seen, but some may require multiple treatments. In general, a minimum of 3-6 treatments are required for noticeable improvement for more chronic conditions. 


Depending on each individual’s response, we can determine the length of treatments. Some may require weekly treatments while others may require monthly treatments.

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