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Acupuncture for dogs is an alternative form of medical care that can help with pain, joint stiffness, and more.What is acupuncture?

Commonly associated with traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles through the skin into strategic points on the body to treat pain, specific disease conditions and help the body recover from stress. From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is thought to rebalance a person or pet’s vital energy or, Chi. Recent research and scientific investigation however, have provided strong evidence for acupuncture’s neuromodulatory effects.

How does it work?

Acupuncture has been shown to result in a release of endorphins and enkephalins, the body’s natural pain killers, during treatment. Acupuncture also results in improved blood flow to treated areas, thereby reducing inflammation and improving function to diseased organ systems. Traditional Chinese medicine suggests the beneficial effects of acupuncture are achieved through rebalancing and removal of blockages in the body’s life force, Chi. Therefore, inserting small needles into acupuncture points along the pathways in which Chi flows (meridians) is said to bring that energy flow back into balance, helping to eliminate illness and pain. It is always interesting when Western science identifies the neurophysiological processes contributing to the success and continued benefit of ancient healing practices.

Acupuncture for Dogs & Cats

Veterinary acupuncture is sometimes used to treat pets with hip dysplasia or degenerative joint disease. The treatment can work wonders in alleviating pain and improving range of motion in the animal’s otherwise stiff joints. There are other disease processes that may benefit from acupuncture as a complementary adjunct to mainstream medications and procedures. We do not use acupuncture to replace those procedures, but as a means to contribute additional healing support.

Acupuncture for dogs is available through our certified veterinarians at Longwood Veterinary Center.Some Pros of Acupuncture for Dogs & Cats

  1. Acupuncture has been around for centuries. This treatment has been used for thousands of years as a means to promote healing, stimulate blood circulation, release beneficial hormones, and improve comfort in humans and animals.
  2. The procedure is relatively non-invasive. Acupuncture is generally well tolerated by most animals. Often pets become relaxed and even sleepy during the process. That said, some animals may show signs of discomfort due to the new sensations associated with the treatment.
  3. There’s a low risk of side effects. Acupuncture should only be performed by a certified veterinary acupuncturist, as on staff at Longwood Veterinary Center, but side effects are extremely rare.
  4. Beneficial modality for pain management. Pain management is one of the most common uses for acupuncture. It is generally used in conjunction with more traditional treatment methods such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Acupuncture can be instrumental in helping pets recover from acute musculoskeletal injuries or manage chronic diseases such as arthritis.
  5. Provide palliative care for animals suffering from cancer. Often animals with cancer will be treated with acupuncture while undergoing chemotherapy. Acupuncture for dogs can help to provide relief from the side effects of chemo such as nausea or fatigue.

If you are interested in exploring whether your dog or cat would benefit from acupuncture, reach out to our experienced staff. Your Longwood vet will help you decide if your pet is a good candidate for this unique course of treatment. Learn more about our acupuncture service today.

FAQ

  • What is acupuncture?
    Commonly associated with traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles through the skin into strategic points on the body to treat pain, specific disease conditions and help the body recover from stress.
  • How does acupuncture work?
    Acupuncture has been shown to result in a release of endorphins and enkephalins, the body’s natural pain killers, during treatment. Acupuncture also results in improved blood flow to treated areas, thereby reducing inflammation and improving function to diseased organ systems.
  • What conditions in pets are treated with acupuncture?
    Veterinary acupuncture is sometimes used to treat pets with hip dysplasia or degenerative joint disease. The treatment can work wonders in alleviating pain and improving range of motion in the animal’s otherwise stiff joints. There are other disease processes that may benefit from acupuncture as a complementary adjunct to mainstream medications and procedures.
  • How long has acupuncture been around?
    This treatment has been used for thousands of years as a means to promote healing, stimulate blood circulation, release beneficial hormones, and improve comfort in humans and animals.
  • How risky is acupuncture for dogs or pets?
    Acupuncture is non-invasive and generally well tolerated by most animals. Often pets become relaxed and even sleepy during the process. That said, some animals may show signs of discomfort due to the new sensations associated with the treatment.
  • What is the risk of side effects with acupuncture treatment for dogs?
    Acupuncture should only be performed by a certified veterinary acupuncturist, such as our staff at Longwood Veterinary Center, but side effects are extremely rare.
  • What is acupuncture most commonly used to treat in dogs?
    Pain management is one of the most common uses for acupuncture. It is generally used in conjunction with more traditional treatment methods such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Acupuncture can be instrumental in helping pets recover from acute musculoskeletal injuries or manage chronic diseases such as arthritis.
  • Can acupuncture be beneficial for dogs with cancer?
    Yes, animals with cancer will often be treated with acupuncture while undergoing chemotherapy. Acupuncture for dogs can help to provide relief from the side effects of chemo such as nausea or fatigue.
  • Does Longwood Veterinary Center offer acupuncture services for pets?
    Yes. We have providers at Longwood who are certified veterinary acupuncturists who can treat your pet safely and effectively here at our vet center.
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