Acupuncture: Not Just for Humans Anymore

Watching a beloved pet in pain after conventional medicine has done its job is tough. Veterinary acupuncture offers an alternative treatment option for pets who need more relief than they can gain from diet, exercise, and medications.

What is Pet Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a holistic treatment often used to treat pain and mobility issues. It is an Ancient Chinese treatment that has been used on humans and pets for thousands of years. Dog and cat acupuncture aims to stimulate your pets’ natural healing processes by inserting fine needles into certain areas of the body. While not cure all, pet acupuncture can play an important role in pain management and the healing process for many pets.

Why is Acupuncture So Effective?

Cat and dog acupuncture brings together ancient Chinese medical wisdom and Western veterinary practices. Ancient Chinese medicine described disease as an energy imbalance in the body. Acupuncture is thought to balance this energy to help combat the effects of disease.
Science supports acupuncture’s ability to produce physiological changes that promote healing. Pet acupuncture causes the release of endorphins and cortisol to fight pain and swelling naturally. Some of the studied effects of acupuncture include relief from muscle spasms, increased blood circulation, and beneficial nerve stimulation.

How to Tell When Acupuncture is Right for Your Pet

Dog and cat acupuncture is usually used in conjunction with existing therapies. If your pet deals with chronic illness or pain, acupuncture may help take the edge off of symptoms. Pets with debilitating physical and neurological conditions may find relief through acupuncture. The impact of arthritis and immune-mediated diseases may be lessened through cat or dog acupuncture.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Most small animals show little to no reaction during the actual insertion of the acupuncture needles. As long as your pet doesn’t move around too much, there is no pain involved once needles are in place. Keep an eye out for signs of tingles, cramps, or numbness which could be uncomfortable for some pets.

What Can I Expect After Treatment?

One common side effect of pet acupuncture is a relaxed and sleepy pet for up to 24 hours after treatment. As your pet’s body adjust to new treatments, it may seem that their condition worsens for up to 48 hours. Once you see evidence of physiological changes happening, you will then often notice an improvement in their condition.
Dr. David Knox, MS, DVM and his team at Companion Animal Health & Rehabilitation Center will gladly answer any questions you have about dog and cat acupuncture options.