Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice utilized for nearly 4000 years on animals and people. It is the practice of placing very thin stainless steel needles that bypass the body's pain mechanisms in the skin at specific stimulation points which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions. It is considered an integral part of veterinary medicine that can be used in conjunction with traditional medicine to augment and support pain relief and healing. It is not a cure-all, yet has been proven in numerous studies to be very effective.
Needling through skin and muscles in acupuncture treatments stimulates local effects, such as increased circulation, that through various signals can create an anti-inflammatory effect throughout the rest of the body. The needling stimulation also neuromodulates the nerves that enter the spinal cord and brain overriding painful responses over time. You can think of it as using the animal's body as its own pharmacy to achieve desired responses.
Acupuncture is one of the safest alternative medicine therapies utilized in veterinary medicine. Because acupuncture balances the body's own system of healing, and no chemicals are administered, side effects rarely develop. There is occasionally a brief moment of skin sensitivity as needles penetrate the skin in areas of the body that are exceptionally innervated by the nervous system, but this is momentary and your pet usually becomes used to this sensation with multiple treatments.
Most ailments are treated 1-3 times per week for a 4-6 week duration with maintenance therapies occurring 1-2 times per month thereafter, as needed. However, specific treatment regimens will be developed to fit your pet and financial constraints.
Electrostimulation can be performed in addition to a traditional acupuncture treatment. A small electric current is passed between pairs of acupuncture needles. This practice can be particularly beneficial for treating pain and will be offered if deemed appropriate based on your pet's needs.
Many conditions can benefit from acupuncture treatment including, but not limited to, chronic pain, wound healing, stress and anxiety, seizure disorders, osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal abnormalities, lameness, saddle pain, kidney insufficiency, urinary incontinence, respiratory disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, nervous disorders, allergies, and ocular disorders. Acupuncture in cancer patients in a wide variety of musculoskeletal disorders have been widely documents for its beneficial effects in primary literature sources. Some of these articles that are available to the public can be found in links below.
Claremont Animal Hospital is proud to be able to offer this service to its patients. Dr. Malinowski Green's certification allows her to perform veterinary acupuncture on small, large, and exotic animals. Call our hospital today to speak with Dr. Malinowski Green on the benefits of acupuncture for your pet and to schedule your pet's treatment today!