Originating in China, acupuncture in this country has been used to treat animals for decades, in both domestic and exotic animals. At Harmony Animal Hospital, acupuncture is one of a variety of therapies our veterinarians may use to treat your pet.
The Harmony Approach to Acupuncture
Modern medical acupuncture replaces the old Chinese methods with a more nuanced and accurate understanding of physiologic dysfunction. Today’s acupuncture treatments are restorative, neurophysiologic interventions that have a proper place in modern health care.
Because we believe in providing the best veterinary health care available, we consider all of the healing arts in providing the best possible outcome for your pet’s particular problem. We may combine traditional veterinary care, nutritional consultation, and behavioral modification, integrated with older eastern approaches such as acupuncture and therapeutic massage. We choose among a wide range of effective therapies when developing a treatment protocol for your pet.
In most of the United States, only licensed veterinarians are eligible to practice acupuncture. Harmony’s own Dr. John Clines is an experienced veterinary acupuncturist, qualified to perform this safe medical procedure.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body called acupoints, altering various biochemical and physiological conditions to achieve a healing effect. The primary aim is to strengthen the body’s immune system, and it may be used alone or in combination with traditional veterinary medicine.
Treating Pets with Acupuncture
Acupuncture is believed to balance the energy in the body and assists the body’s efforts to heal itself by causing physiological changes. For example, acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasms, and cause the release of hormones, such as pain-controlling endorphins or the natural steroid cortisol.
Acupoints are located in areas with a high density of free nerve endings, small arterioles, and lymphatic vessels. More than 95% of patients are comfortable with acupuncture therapy, some even falling asleep during treatment. Sedation is not recommended for this treatment, as it may interfere with the acupuncture effect.
At Harmony, we believe acupuncture can be an important part of patient recovery and healing.
Uses for Acupuncture
Veterinary acupuncture has been used successfully along with traditional medical practices to treat conditions in dogs and cats. Some of these conditions include:
- Eye problems
- Respiratory disease
- Urinary problems
- Pain modification
- GI problems
- Musculoskeletal issues
- Neurological disorders
- Skin conditions and allergies
This treatment can be used to enhance performance in working or show dogs, as well as to treat anxiety and other disorders.
Contact our hospital to learn more about our uses for veterinary acupuncture.