What is veterinary acupuncture?
In Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), acupuncture is used as a way to promote the healing process for cats and dogs by renewing the balance of energy throughout their body.
Acupuncture for pets is performed by a trained TCVM veterinary professional and aims to treat and manage the symptoms of illnesses and disorders by inserting ultra-thin needles into specific points on the body where nerves and blood vessels intersect.
TCVM, which also includes other therapies beyond acupuncture, can be combined with conventional veterinary care to provide a more holistic, full-body approach to treating medical conditions in animals.
Animals at any stage of life from puppies and kittens to adult and senior pets can undergo acupuncture treatment for a range of health conditions. These treatments are considered a safe and effective therapy that may provide relief from the pain or discomfort associated with injury and illness.
What are the different types of pet acupuncture and how are they performed?
Acupuncture involves inserting tiny needles into an animal's body at precise points called meridians, where the blood vessels converge with the nerves.
The needles help guide vital energy along these meridians, supporting the nervous system and promoting circulation while enhancing the body's healing abilities.
The three main types of acupuncture used are:
Dry Needle: Dry needle acupuncture is the insertion of needles by themselves.
Electroacupuncture: With electroacupuncture, electrical leads are attached to specific acupuncture needles to stimulate the points at varying intensities and frequencies.
Aquapuncture: If your pet has aquapuncture, the specialist will inject the acupuncture points with liquid solutions (typically saline, diluted vitamin B12, or Adequan).
At Brentwood Veterinary Clinic, we believe that by incorporating acupuncture into your pet's treatment plan, along with other therapies, we can help address all systems within their body. This helps us to ensure that your furry friend has the best possible outlook during recovery.
What are the benefits of animal acupuncture?
If you are looking to help manage your pet's pain while avoiding any side effects that can occur with traditional medicines and treatments, acupuncture may be a good option. Some of the typical benefits that a pet may experience with acupuncture are:
- Stimulating the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory substances.
- No negative side effects on internal organs, as can occur with some prescription medications.
- There are no adverse interactions with other medications or supplements, making acupuncture a safe treatment for animals undergoing conventional treatments.
- Acupuncture treatments are believed to create elevated blood flow and increased oxygenation as well as improved metabolic and toxic waste removal.
- Localized pain relief may be achieved at the site of needle insertion due to the relaxation of the muscles in that area.
How can acupuncture be used as part of a complete treatment plan?
Prior to your pet beginning a treatment plan that includes veterinary acupuncture, your vet will perform a comprehensive exam and diagnostics to ensure that acupuncture will be beneficial to your pet's recovery.
Acupuncture can either be used on its own or as an integrated part of a complete treatment plan to reduce acute or chronic pain. The frequency at which your pet attends acupuncture sessions will depend on the particular circumstances related to their rehabilitation program.
If you have any questions about acupuncture or whether it may be a good option for your pet, please speak with one of our veterinary team members.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.