Acupuncture - is it for my pet?

By Abigail Messina, DVM: Vet At Your Door Veterinarian

The goal of veterinary acupuncture is to promote the body to heal itself.  From a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) perspective, veterinary acupuncture encourages healing by correcting energy imbalances in the body.  A treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into multiple acupuncture points, where nerve bundles and blood vessels come together. Acupuncture enhances blood circulation, nervous system stimulation, muscle relaxation, endorphin release, and anti-inflammatory and pain relieving hormone release.

What can veterinary acupuncture do for my cat or dog?

One of Dr. Messina's patients benefitting from acupuncture treatments.

One of Dr. Messina's patients benefitting from acupuncture treatments.

  • Stimulates the release of the body's own pain relieving and anti-inflammatory substances
  • Relaxation of muscles at the site of needle insertion and more distant locations creates both a local and generalized pain relieving effect
  • Improves tissue blood flow, oxygenation, and removal of metabolic wastes and toxins
  • Lacks potential side effects for your pets internal organs
  • Medications or supplements will not adversely interact with veterinary acupuncture treatments, therefore it can be safely used to treat a variety of illnesses.

What conditions are best treated by acupuncture?

  • Arthritis and degenerative joint disease
  • Trauma
  • Allergies
  • Spinal disease including disc disease and paralysis
  • Incontinence
  • Neurologic disease

How frequently does my pet need acupuncture?

Dogs and cats start with more frequent treatments which are then tapered off to a less frequent interval for maintenance.  Most patients benefit from one to three sessions per week during the initial few weeks.  Each pet's maintenance interval is different, some need acupuncture every few months, whereas others are able to have their conditions resolved completely to where they no longer even need maintenance acupuncture.  The goal is to achieve the longest interval where your pet experiences maximum comfort between treatments.

Want to see if your animal can benefit from this therapy?

Contact us to book an appointment!