Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that has existed for over 3000 years. It consists in evaluating the animal’s energy flows and identifying and treating the detected issues. Acupuncture regroups multiple interconnected points (meridians). These points link the organism with its environment and their stimulation helps rebalance the organism and stimulate internal organs in order to prevent diseases and to activate natural healing mechanisms.
Acupuncture has multiple benefits:
- Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect (pain control)
- Can be used with medication and can help reduce or stop the use of certain products in some cases
- Minimal side effect
It can help manage several conditions such as:
- Acute or chronic pain (post-operative, muscular, ligamentous, bone)
- Musculoskeletal disorders (hip dysplasia, osteoarthritis, cruciate ligament rupture)
- Respiratory problems or cough (asthma, feline respiratory complex)
- Behavioral disorder (anxiety, phobia)
- Heart diseases
- Digestive disorders (vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, anorexia, pancreatitis)
- Skin problems (allergy, licking granuloma)
- Endocrine diseases (diabetes, hyperthyroidism)
- Kidney diseases, hepatitis
- Inflammatory diseases (gingivitis, stomatitis, IBD)
- Neurological disorders (herniated disc, epilepsy, etc.)
- Urologic diseases (idiopathic cystitis, incontinence)
Acupuncture is done in complement to conventional medicine. It is therefore essential that your animal is seen by a veterinarian to receive a diagnosis. Adequate tests are also recommended before an acupuncture session.
The first treatment includes a medical examination, followed by an acupuncture examination to locate dysfunctions, needle placement and acupressure (acupuncture points treated manually). The needles are left in place for 10 to 20 minutes. Note that most animals tolerate needles very well.
Owners can attend the treatment to hold their pet, however, a session usually lasts between 45 minutes and one hour and must be performed in a calm atmosphere. The frequency of visits varies greatly from one condition to another. Generally, a reassessment is recommended after two to four weeks following the first session. In more complex cases, it is possible to hold weekly consultations until the improvement of clinical signs. If acupuncture is not effective after a few sessions, it is recommended to try an alternative treatment.