Acupuncture For Dogs
An Alternative Treatment For Pets
Acupuncture for dogs has evolved from an ancient therapy used to treat various health conditions.
The origin of acupuncture, also known as stylostixis, is a subject for debate, but many would agree that its roots lie in China where it has been practised for centuries along with other oriental health therapies.
The treatment involves piercing the skin with fine needles at specific points of the body, known as meridians, in order to relieve pain, initiate a healing cascade, or to restore balance between the body's energy pathways.
Meridian pathways, which were discovered and mapped out a very long time ago, connect to every part of a pet's body and cross many points that can be stimulated for healing purposes.
This type of intervention has been helping animals for thousands of years.
In fact, historians have found evidence that Indians would treat elephants with acupuncture over 3000
Although this type of alternative healing is an ancient art, it was not until the 20th century that it started to gain
acceptance as a veterinary treatment for dogs. Nowadays, while it is one of many holistic drug-free therapies for dogs, it is often used in conjunction with
conventional veterinary protocols.
Canines With Arthritis
Depending on the severity of the arthritis, the number of needles placed and the individual treatment time, is variable, but can take up to 20
minutes. Likewise, the number of sessions a pet receives per week could be 2 to 3 at the start and then be adjusted according to the outcome.
Even though some pets will have a noticeable response after the first treatment, others will need to have sessions for a few weeks before positive results are seen.
In general, the effects from each treatment will usually last a few days and some dogs will have weekly sessions.
Before beginning treatments for arthritis, talk to your veterinarian about any medications your dog is
taking to help the pain. Not all dogs taking steroids are good candidates for canine acupuncture so it is
important to keep your doctor informed.
As dogs get older, arthritis can be debilitating
and the use of acupuncture can help to keep your pet comfortable, improving the quality of
life your dog has.
Epilepsy in dogs is traditionally treated medically usually with Phenobarbital, but the
use of medications may not always be enough. Canines with Epilepsy also have the option of trying
Gold bead implants are a form of permanent acupuncture that can greatly
decrease the frequency of seizures. It has been shown that some of the pets receiving gold
bead implants will not only quit having seizures but will also be able to discontinue
medications as well.
Those pets that continue medications will usually be on reduced doses.
Of course, not every dog will benefit from gold bead implants, but many dogs will begin
living seizure free lives as a result of this treatment.
Uses In Surgery
Acupuncture is also used in
surgery to lessen bleeding and can help maintain a steady depth of anesthesia. Not all
treatments will work in every dog and not every dog is a good candidate for acupuncture.
The first step is to talk to your veterinarian about what treatments are right for your pet.
Pet Anxiety Issues
Dogs with anxiety issues can benefit greatly from acupuncture. An anxious dog can become
destructive and aggressive so finding drug-free ways to calm your pet can be very
important. Most holistic veterinarians offices are set up to create a relaxing environment for your pet's visit.
They also usually schedule fewer clients coming in at one time, resulting in a less stressful
The use of aromatherapy together with
is often used to further induce
calming feelings as your dog enters the office.
Owners are encouraged to remain with their
dogs during the treatments, usually lasting about
10-15 minutes, in order to reduce any separation anxiety that may occur if the owner stays in the waiting area.
The calming effects of one session can last from days to weeks and will
usually improve with each treatment.
Make An Informed Decision For Your Pet
Quite a few dog health
problems are treatable with alternative holistic remedies such as
acupuncture, but some will need a vet's mainstream approach, or a combination of both.
The important thing is to learn about the available options so that you can select
the best remedy for your pet!
Consult With An Experienced Veterinarian
When you are considering acupuncture for your dog, it is important to consult with a veterinarian that has experience in this procedure and discuss problems you would like addressed. And also the
outcomes you expect!
If you are meeting with a new pet specialist, don't forget to take along your pet's medical history as well as any medications your dog is currently taking that may have a bearing on treatment options.
This information will help the vet select a treatment that is best for your pet and can
also help you to understand what you can and should expect after each treatment session.
Today acupuncture, as well as acupressure, are quite common interventions and have been used to help a variety
of conditions in addition to those mentioned above, including hip dysplasia, tendonitis, deafness, urinary problems and asthma to name a few.
More recently, it has also played a complementary role in addressing canine cancer.
Thousands of years of acupuncture history has been written about the benefits of this
ancient art and thanks to holistic veterinarians, thousands more years will be written.
Selecting A Vet
We recommend every dog owner select both a mainstream vet as well as one that
practices holistic pet medicine, before getting a dog.
Here are sources for finding a vet, as well as finding out if their services include acupuncture
for dogs: the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) aahanet.org, and The American
Holistic Veterinary Medical Association ahvma.org.
Some vets are well-versed in both
approaches which is reassuring when you need advice on important dog health problems.
More Dog Health Pages
The Doggies Want Your WOOF!
Acupuncture For Dogs