Colleen O'Brien, DVM, CVA
Doggone Good Treatment for Your 21st-Century Pet
Acupuncture for humans has been a mainstay of Chinese medicine for centuries, but now pet owners are increasingly recognizing the value of this integrated treatment for their furry friends.
Used as a complement to traditional medicines and procedures, and unlike some medical treatments, animal acupuncture poses a very low risk of any side effects when properly performed by a licensed and certified veterinarian. The tiny needles, inserted into specific points, cause minimal discomfort and have the potential to be life changing.
Top 3 Ailments That Are Treated With Acupuncture
Pain can be anything from an acute injury (torn ligament in a knee) to more chronic ailments (arthritis). Acupuncture can help relieve pain by stimulating the body to release natural chemicals such as endorphins. Electroacupunture, a form of acupuncture in which a small electric current is passed between pairs of acupuncture needles, can also be used to help stimulate the muscles in the area which in turn can strengthen them to help supports the joints.
2. Nerve Damage
Just like pain, nerve damage can be acute (sudden back injury resulting in paralysis) or slowly degenerative (degenerative myelopathy). Electroacupunture is commonly used in nervous disorders in an attempt to “retrain” the nerves how to fire and the muscles to contract.
Ever wonder why your dog is suddenly afraid of thunderstorms? Sometimes it’s as simple as just getting older – Just as you won’t get on the same crazy rollercoasters you used to. For low level anxiety, acupuncture can make a big difference. Points are specifically chosen to help calm the Shen (aka the brain) and make your pet more relaxed.
Each animal is unique and there’s no one magic treatment to fit every pet. Sometimes the best answer is medication; sometimes it's surgery; sometimes it's acupuncture; sometimes it's a combination.
You should always work with your veterinarian to develop the treatment plan that’s right for you and your pet. Alternative healing methods like acupuncture might have the potential to make your dog’s life more comfortable when used in conjunction with more traditional medicine.
Interested in Acupuncture?
Email O’Brien Vet Care or call 609-608-8639 for a free no-obligation consultation.