The Greendale Village Vet is proud to provide acupuncture as another treatment option for your pet. It can be combined with conventional therapies to provide an integrative approach towards healing. Additionally, acupuncture can be an alternative therapy when current treatments are not tolerated or have reached their maximum effectiveness. Acupuncture is a holistic option to aid in your pet’s ability to heal itself.

What Is Medical Acupuncture?

Medical acupuncture is an adaptation of Chinese acupuncture. It is a therapeutic treatment involving the insertion of fine needles to exert and effect on the nervous system. It utilizes current knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathology and the principles of evidence-based medicine.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

When the acupuncture needle is inserted, an area of micro-inflammation and tissue pull is created around the tip. This creates both a mechanical and chemical signal that affects the local tissues and the central nervous system as well.

These local effects include releasing tight muscles and connective tissue that may be painful and dysfunctional, improving blood flow and oxygen delivery to the tissue, and improving nerve communication in the area.

The needle also has numerous effects far away from the site of insertion. These distant effects include reducing the brain’s pain perception, promoting a more relaxed state by interactions with the brainstem, and reducing inflammation by interactions with the sympathetic nervous system. Acupuncture directed at certain areas of the central nervous system can also affect organ function by improving blood flow, glandular secretions, and smooth muscle contraction.

What Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat?

  • Musculoskeletal and neurologic problems: disc disease, spinal cord injury, back and neck pain, nerve dysfunction or paralysis, seizures, lameness, and arthritis
  • Post-operative pain
  • Digestive conditions: acid reflux, irritable bowel, and constipation
  • Skin conditions: lick granulomas, wound healing, and scar tissue release
  • Immune dysfunction: chronic infections, allergies, and auto-immune disease
  • Reproductive and urinary health
  • Eye conditions such as dry eye
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • Complications resulting from cancer and organ failure like poor appetite, lethargy, and stomach upset.

What To Expect At An Acupuncture Appointment?

The initial acupuncture appointment involves an exam of the muscles, joints, and connective tissue. After assessing your pet, the best approach for the acupuncture treatment can be determined. The needles can stay in for several minutes up to twenty minutes based on your pet’s acceptance of the therapy. Every effort is made to make the treatment as relaxing as possible. For this reason, the appointment should be limited to the acupuncture treatment. In some cases, additional therapies like laser therapy and electro acupuncture may be recommended to enhance the treatment.

How Long Does It Take To See An Effect?

The effect of an acupuncture treatment may be immediate or may take several days depending upon the illness being treated. Some diseases may take several weeks of therapy to see a response. For conditions requiring multiple treatments, the general recommendation is to provide three sessions before determining if acupuncture will be effective.

How Long Will My Pet Need Acupuncture?

The duration of therapy depends on the condition being treated. For curable conditions, your pet may need one to three treatments. For management of chronic conditions, treatments may be once to twice weekly initially, and then on an as-needed basis thereafter.