Acupuncture is the treatment of illness or conditions by insertion of small needles into the body at specific locations in order to stimulate a response from the body.
The main effects from acupuncture begin with the stimulation of nerves at the acupuncture point. In fact, a majority of acupuncture points are along nerve pathways throughout the body. This stimulates the nerves to signal, or talk, along the entire length of the nerve pathways- sometimes all the way from the toes to the brain. Sometimes acupuncture needles are inserted directly into muscles and the network of nerves and tissues that cover the muscles called fascia to help relieve tension; these locations are often called trigger points.
Will acupuncture help my pet?
The most common reason we use acupuncture is to decrease pain associated with arthritis in our senior patients. Acupuncture can help almost every senior pet with pain management and can be used instead of, or in addition to, modern medications to help make our companions more comfortable. Although arthritis can affect every joint, the hips, knees, elbows, and back are the most common sites of pain.
Acupuncture is also very helpful in cases where patients have lost nerve function to a certain area of their body. This can occur because of trauma like a car accident or dog fight or may be from jumping off the bed or couch. In these cases acupuncture is used to help reduce pain and inflammation, but it has also been shown to help nerve regeneration (re-growth) and nerve communications.
There are a wide variety of other uses for acupuncture including respiratory issues (sinusitis), digestive issues (IBD and motility problems), and neurological diseases (seizures).
Referrals for acupuncture are not necessary; if you would like to know if you pet would be a candidate for acupuncture please call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Laura. A full physical exam will be completed and our veterinarians will put together an individualized plan for your pets care. The acupuncture appointments are typically 40 minute appointments during which we typically perform low-level laser therapy as well.
Commonly used in conjunction with acupuncture utilizes light to stimulate the cells and tissues resulting in decreased inflammation, decreased pain, and faster healing times. Laser therapy can be used to help with arthritis pain, all infections and wounds, as well as back pain and post-surgical pain relief.