Veterinary acupuncture can be used to address a variety of conditions, from pain and lameness in equine athletes to gastrointestinal and behavioral issues in companion animals. Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with other therapies to improve results, or on its own as an alternative to conventional medicine. Acupuncture is often combined with other Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) therapies, such as herbal medicine, food therapy, exercise, and Tui-na (a specific type of massage).
Acunpuncture involves the use of thin, flexible, sterile needles in specific locations to stimulate the body to heal itself. These acupuncture points have a high density of free nerve endings, arterioles, lymphatic vessels, and mast cells.
During an acupuncture appointment, we will take a detailed history and perform a physical examination to reach a TCVM diagnosis. Once the needles are placed, the acupuncture treatment itself can take up to 30 minutes, depending on what we are treating and how well the patient tolerates the treatment. Most patients tolerate acupuncture very well and will often fall asleep during treatment – sedation may be used on highly sensitive patients, if necessary.
Acupuncture treatments may include electro acupuncture, which can be very beneficial for painful or neurologic conditions, and aqua acunpuncture, which is often very helpful in weak or geriatric patients.
Results are typically seen after 1 – 3 treatments, which are typically performed 1 – 2 weeks apart.