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Can acupuncture help my pet feel better?

Modern medicine now allows for a range of alternative therapies to be used in conjunction with traditional treatments. Our vets in Cumming discuss the use and health benefits of acupuncture for pets and what it can be used to treat.

What is acupuncture for pets?

Acupuncture is a Chinese treatment 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 treatment that is not just limited to human patients anymore. It is now available for pets as well.

The goal of veterinary acupuncture is to manage and treat symptoms of illness. The procedure involves inserting ultra-thin needles into specific points on the animal's body where nerves and blood vessels intersect. Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) can be combined with traditional veterinary care to provide a full-body approach to treating animals with illnesses.

Pets of any age, from puppies and kittens to adult and senior pets, can undergo acupuncture treatment for various health conditions. Acupuncture for cats and dogs is considered a safe and effective therapy that may relieve the pain or discomfort associated with injury and illness.

What to Expect During Your Cat or Dog's Acupuncture Session

Before starting acupuncture treatment, the veterinarian must identify the source of your pet's pain. Once the underlying cause of the symptoms is determined, the treatment can be tailored to address the pet's specific health problem.

The primary goal of pet acupuncture is to assist the animal's body heal by restoring the balance of energy, known as 'chi.' This is achieved by inserting one or more fine needles into specific points on the animal's body where blood vessels and nerves intersect. This process is almost painless and stimulates the release of endorphins, relieving some of the most persistent pain.

Furthermore, it is believed that the acupuncture process has a positive effect on mental health by promoting the release of serotonin, which can reduce your pet's anxiety levels and generate a sense of happiness.

What are the health benefits of acupuncture for pets?

Veterinary acupuncture brings several advantages, such as:

  • Stimulating the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory substances.
  • There are no negative side effects on internal organs.
  • No adverse interactions with other medications or supplements make acupuncture safe for animals undergoing conventional treatments.
  • Acupuncture treatments are believed to increase blood flow, improve oxygenation, and remove metabolic and toxic waste.
  • Localized pain relief may be achieved at the site of needle insertion due to the relaxation of the muscles in that area.

What conditions can be treated with pet acupuncture?

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 can be treated with acupuncture: 

  1. Metabolic Diseases. Acupuncture is thought to aid in managing metabolic disorders by regulating your pet's endocrine system. This therapy also enhances digestion and relieves oxidative stress. The treatment aims to improve blood flow to the tissues, thereby increasing oxygenation and eliminating toxins and metabolic waste.
  2. Arthritis. Arthritis in pets causes pain and discomfort, which can be alleviated by acupuncture. This is because acupuncture releases endorphins that help reduce pain. Sometimes, acupuncture can even reduce the need for traditional pain medications. Pets who cannot tolerate standard pain medications can also benefit from acupuncture for pain relief.
  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 more accessible for your cat or dog.
  4. Cancer. When used as a cancer treatment for pets, veterinary acupuncture stimulates blood flow and supports the immune system. The goal is to improve the body's natural ability to heal itself. Additionally, animal acupuncture can relieve the side effects of conventional cancer treatments.
  5. Trauma. If your pet has suffered from an injury or trauma, such as an accident, fall, or fight, it may lead to inflammation and pain. However, acupuncture and other traditional Chinese veterinary medicines can effectively treat these symptoms and aid in the recovery process, helping your pet to return to good health.

What is the cost of pet acupuncture?

The cost of pet acupuncture can vary depending on several factors, such as the location, the experience of the veterinary acupuncturist or TCVM specialist, and the condition being treated. To get an accurate estimate of the cost of acupuncture treatments for your pet, speak to the staff at your veterinary clinic. Most veterinarians are happy to provide clients with an estimate of pet acupuncture costs.

Many pet parents consider these treatments a worthwhile investment in their pet's health and well-being. Some pet insurance plans may provide coverage for acupuncture; check your pet's policy before booking treatments for your dog or cat to avoid surprises.

Pet acupuncture is often used as a complementary treatment alongside traditional veterinary care. Pet owners should consult their veterinarian to determine if acupuncture suits their furry family member.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Would you like to schedule an acupuncture session for your furry friend? Contact our vets in Cumming today.

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Crestview Animal Hospital & Emergency is always welcoming new patients! Our Cumming vets provide veterinary services designed to promote good health and longevity. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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