acupuncture needlesWhen it comes to our pets, there is likely nothing we wouldn’t do to keep them from experiencing pain or discomfort. That is why new healing modalities are being embraced, as the benefits of pet acupuncture and other complementary treatments are offering exciting and noninvasive ways of enhancing recovery and managing pain.

While acupuncture for animals is gaining a stronger level of acceptance within veterinary medicine, there are still very few clinics that offer this treatment option. At Whole Pet Vet Hospital and Wellness Center, we not only offer acupuncture for your fur friend, we have four on-site veterinarians certified in veterinary acupuncture.

We believe this modality is effective for a number of chronic and acute conditions, and want to champion the advantages of acupuncture for our pet patients and their concerned guardians.

An Overview of Pet Acupuncture

Although acupuncture has been practiced for over two thousand years, it has only been used in veterinary medicine for the past few decades.

While clinical studies have shown the efficacy of acupuncture to treat a number of different illnesses and deficiencies, there is still some speculation about how it works. This is because the premise of acupuncture relies on an ancient practice that targets acupressure points along the energy pathways or meridians of the body.

By stimulating these points, certain physiological changes take place, which include the release of endogenous opioids (the body’s natural pain relieving chemicals like endorphins) and enhancement of the immune system.

How Does It Work

Acupuncture for pets works in the same way as in humans. Through the application of very fine needles into the top dermal layer, healing is enhanced through increased blood flow, pain reduced through endorphins, and, in many cases, issues of anxiety or fear are also assuaged.

Since each pet’s needs are unique to the condition(s) being treated, along with other factors like age, an acupuncture treatment plan will vary. In most cases, pets begin to feel relief within the first few sessions.

Typically, a treatment plan will encompass an initial consultation and examination, and subsequent sessions with a specialist that last between 10-30 minutes. Many clients worry if their pet will be able to handle the needles or the duration of the session, but in most cases pet patients find these sessions very relaxing (and some even fall asleep).

As an adjunct treatment, acupuncture is a wonderful option for pets experiencing chronic pain due to arthritis and joint degenerative diseases or recovering from surgery or injuries, among several other health conditions affecting four-legged friends.

Benefits of Pet Acupuncture

One of the greatest advantages of acupuncture is that it can provide relief in the place of or in conjunction with pharmaceutical and/or surgical procedures. As a noninvasive, relatively pain free modality, it can be a better choice for many pet guardians who want to minimize discomfort for their pets.

Pet patients with the following conditions can often experience tremendous healing benefits:

  • Arthritis
  • Lameness
  • Spinal injuries or conditions
  • Reproductive problems
  • Allergies and asthma
  • Chronic pain
  • Recovery from injuries, such as fractures
  • Recovery from surgical procedures
  • Gastrointestinal disorders

Given the advantages of pet acupuncture, we hope to see this effective modality continue to grow in acceptance as an important component of modern veterinary medicine.

To learn more about pet acupuncture and how it might be helpful for your pet companion, please contact us.