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Can acupuncture help my pet feel better?

While traditional medicine is still the standard in veterinary care, alternative therapies are becoming increasingly popular as supplemental treatment options. Here, our Turlock vets share some information about treatment using acupuncture and what to expect when your pet will be having acupuncture.

Pet Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)

Acupuncture is a treatment originating from China that has been used for centuries to relieve all types of bodily pain and host illnesses in humans. In our modern day, veterinarians are being trained in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) to offer acupuncture to their animal patients as well.

Acupuncture for pets aims to treat and manage the symptoms of illnesses by inserting ultra-thin needles into specific points on the body where nerves and blood vessels intersect. TCVM can be combined with traditional veterinary care to provide a full-body approach to treating animals with illnesses.

Animals at any stage of life from puppies and kittens to adult and senior pets can undergo acupuncture treatment for a range of health conditions. Cat and dog acupuncture treatments are considered to be a safe and effective therapy that may provide relief from the pain or discomfort associated with injury and illness.

What can you expect during your pet's acupuncture appointment?

Before your pet undergoes veterinary acupuncture, the vet will need to schedule a visit to determine the cause and location of the pain and determine that acupuncture can be of assistance. Once the cause of your cat or dog's symptoms is known, treatment can be honed in on their specific health issue.

The goal of pet acupuncture is to help the animal's body heal itself by resetting the balance of energy in the body known as "chi." This is done by inserting one or several fine needles into the animal's body at specific points where blood vessels and nerves intersect. This process, virtually painless, triggers endorphin release which provides pain relief to some of the most chronic pain.

It is also believed that the acupuncture process benefits mental health by triggering the release of serotonin, reducing your pet's anxiety levels, and generating a feeling of happiness.

What are the typical benefits of pet acupuncture?

Some of the benefits of veterinary acupuncture include:

  • Stimulating the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory substances.
  • No negative side effects on internal organs, as can occur with some prescription medications.
  • There are no adverse interactions with other medications or supplements, making acupuncture a safe treatment for animals undergoing conventional treatments.
  • Acupuncture treatments are believed to create high blood flow and increased oxygenation as well as improved metabolic and toxic waste removal.
  • Localized pain relief may be achieved at the site of needle insertion due to the relaxation of the muscles in that area.

What conditions is acupuncture commonly used for?

Veterinary acupuncture can be used to help treat a range of health issues involving inflammation or chronic pain. Below are some of the conditions that acupuncture may be used to help treat.

  1. Metabolic Diseases. Acupuncture is believed to help with metabolic disorders by regulating your pet's endocrine system, improving digestion, and relieving oxidative stress. Acupuncture treatment also aims to improve blood flow to the tissues which boosts oxygenation and the removal of toxins and metabolic waste.
  2. Arthritis. The pain and discomfort from arthritis may also be relieved with acupuncture for pets due to the release of endorphins. In some cases, acupuncture treatment may reduce the need for conventional pain medications. Acupuncture can also be used to relieve pain in pets who are unable to tolerate traditional pain medications.
  3. Degenerative Joint Disease. Joint disease is common in pets and can seriously impact your pet's quality of life. Acupuncture aims to decrease the pain and tension associated with joint issues, making movement easier for your cat or dog.
  4. Cancer. When veterinary acupuncture is used as a cancer treatment the primary goal is to stimulate blood flow and support the pet's immune system to help improve the body's ability to heal itself naturally. Animal acupuncture treatments can also help relieve the side effects associated with conventional cancer treatments. 
  5. Trauma. If your pet has experienced an injury or trauma, such as an accident, fall, or fight, inflammation and pain may result. Acupuncture and other traditional Chinese veterinary medicines can treat these symptoms and help your pet recover and return to good health.

What is the cost of acupuncture for pets?

Like other types of veterinary treatment, pet acupuncture costs will vary depending on different factors like the type of pet you have and the veterinary clinic where it is being performed. If you visit a clinic for veterinary acupuncture, you should always discuss the estimate of cost before treatment begins so that there are no surprises.

Managing Veterinary Conditions

If you are concerned that your furry friend is experiencing a health condition you should first contact your vet. They will schedule a routine exam and any necessary diagnostics.

Once your cat or dog's condition has been diagnosed, the vet will determine the appropriate treatment plan and discuss it with you before beginning.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes only and Community Veterinary Clinic does not provide treatment using acupuncture.

Are you curious about veterinary acupuncture? Contact our vets in Turlock today. We can explain all the benefits of veterinary acupuncture and set up an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

Community Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Turlock companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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