Sticking It to Your Pet with Acupuncture

Acupuncture offers alternative or additional treatment to some pets, where traditional medicines may be lacking in positive results. Most Veterinarians would agree that more studies should be performed on alternative medicines like homeopathic medicines, herbal treatments, massage therapy and acupuncture.

acupuncture-for-petsAcupuncture is gaining acceptance as an alternative health treatment for pets. Domestic animals and some livestock are benefiting from this ancient Chinese medicine. Dramatic improvements and cures in a wide variety of ailments have been reported. Disc problems, chronic pain, sore muscles, soft tissue injuries, arthritis, kidney failure and feline AIDS are some of the conditions relieved with the use of acupuncture. Using acupuncture to release steroids can reduce swelling and releasing endorphins eases pain.

Different theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine may be used to diagnose and treat your pet. The theories characterize distinct patterns of energy in the body. An orderly network of channels or meridians, are located throughout the body. As energy or qi (pronounced chi), circulates through these channels it regulates body functions. If a disruption occurs in the flow of qi, illness or injury can occur. By treating certain areas or points with acupuncture, the balance and natural flow of qi is restored. Points in domestic animals are similar to humans, though some animals have points that humans do not.

A tiny amount of electronic energy is found in the body. Current is conducted around nerve fibers and may be manipulated by magnetic fields. In one theory, acupuncture applied to specific points can affect the natural flow of the body’s electronic currents, allowing the body to resume regulating itself naturally. Another theory is that acupuncture releases natural substances into body fluids, relieving pain or increasing white blood cells. In yet another theory, needles are inserted where the most nerve endings are located. The needles actually signal the body’s nervous system to react in a predictable way.

If you choose to try acupuncture for your pet, look for a Veterinarian certified by the International Society of Veterinary Acupuncturists. Treatment and theories are diverse and only someone properly qualified can determine whether your pet requires acupuncture, heat, electric pressure or sound waves to stimulate the qi. Your Acupuncturist Veterinarian should give your pet a thorough examination and you should be ready to give them a complete medical background. If acupuncture is indicated you should be given a schedule of treatments, an explanation of the prognosis and an estimate of fees.

Some pets fall asleep during treatments that can last from ten seconds to thirty minutes. It is possible a needle could be entered into a sensitive location causing brief discomfort, but acupuncture normally hurts far less than a normal shot. Depending on the condition being treated, improvement may be noticed after one treatment. Certain conditions such as pregnancy, cancer, high fever or if your pet is on certain medications are not normally safe candidates for acupuncture. Your Veterinarian will tell you if your pet requires special attention before or after treatments. Side effects and complications are rare but you will be more at ease if you know what to expect or what requires a follow up phone call to your Vet.

Acupuncture offers alternative or additional treatment to some pets, where traditional medicines may be lacking in positive results. Most Veterinarians would agree that more studies should be performed on alternative medicines like homeopathic medicines, herbal treatments, massage therapy and acupuncture. By selecting a qualified Veterinarian, acupuncture may provide the relief you and your pets have been looking for.

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