Acupuncture for dogs
Benefits of Veterinary Acupuncture for Dogs
· It triggers the release of pain relieving and anti-inflammatory chemicals in the body.
· It relaxes the muscles at the needle insertion site as well as on other remote locations on the body, which creates local and general body pain relief.
· It enhances the function of circulatory system thus improving blood flow to tissues, oxygenation and getting rid of the body’s accumulated toxins and wastes.
· As opposed to prescription and OTC pain relievers, it does not have any adverse side effects on the internal organs of your pet.
· It does not have any drug interactions with any of your pet’s supplements or medications – making it very safe as treatment for various ailments.
How does acupuncture work for dogs?
Acupuncture aims to enhance the body’s ability to heal on its own. In a TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine’s perspective, veterinary acupuncture promotes healing by keeping the balance of energy within the body. It improves blood circulation, triggers the release of pain relieving and anti-inflammatory chemicals and stimulates the nervous system.
The procedure involves needle insertion to areas where blood vessels and nerves bundles gather, which are called acupuncture points. These points are located throughout the body’s surface particularly on energy channels – otherwise known as meridians. This allows an energy cycle within the entire body on a day to day basis.
Other acupuncture methods apart from needle insertion
Acupressure: Instead of needle insertion, pressure is applied to energy channels to achieve the same effect. This is ideal for locations that are hard to reach, difficult pets and conditions where needle insertion is not available.
Aquapuncture: This involves liquid injection composed of – homeopathic substances, chondro-protectant medications such as Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycans or PSGAG and diluted vitamin B12, just to name a few. The liquid promotes a change in energy by moving tissues out of the way.
Moxibustion: The procedure involves applying heated Chinese herbal components to needles. Pets benefit from heat especially those that are older and are experiencing some joint pains or stiffness and muscle aches.
Electrostimulation (Estim): Electric current is applied to the body through needles that are inserted on acupuncture points. It relaxes muscle spasm and can help the body reestablish nerve impulses that were thrown out of balance through nerve damage such as in the case of spinal cord damage or nerve root damage resulting from a ruptured intervertebral disc.
Conditions Treated by Veterinary Acupuncture
There are various conditions that veterinary acupuncture can treat especially those that have pain and inflammation as symptoms.
Arthritis: This is a joint inflammation that can happen at any stage of life – juvenile, adult and senior. This creates physiological changes that result in pain.
Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD): This is the end result of arthritis, which leads to deformity of joint surfaces thus decreasing the joint’s ROM or range of motion and increasing pain.
Trauma: This can cause pain and inflammation that resulted from vehicular accidents, surgery, falling and animal fights.
Cancer: This results to swelling of tissue or organ enlargement, which leads to nausea, lethargy, decreased appetite and pain.
Metabolic Disease: Nausea, energy changes and changes in appetite resulting from Cushing’s disease, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, pancreatitis, kidney and liver failure, Addison’s disease etc.
Best Environment for Veterinary Acupuncture Procedure
House call is best for veterinary acupuncture to decrease physical and behavioral stress related to transporting the pet to and from the acupuncture facility. Even if your Puggle is normally over the moon to meet new people, a home visit can make the experience more relaxing. It also reduces your pet’s exposure to infectious disease coming from other animals within the veterinary hospital.
Frequency of Veterinary Acupuncture Procedure
If your pet receives more frequent treatments, these will be tapered to lesser intervals for the purpose of maintenance. A lot of pets gain the benefits of acupuncture with one to three sessions every week within the first few weeks. The primary goal is to obtain the longest duration where the pet’s condition has improved or resolved.
The beneficial results of veterinary acupuncture are cumulative therefore consistency in treatment is recommended over intermittent treatment.