Acupuncture for dogs & cats: Here’s how we can help your pet!
Acupuncture is a complementary medical practice that involves inserting very fine needles, through the skin to varying depths, to stimulate certain points around the body. Each acupuncture point has specific actions when stimulated to alleviate pain or to help treat various health conditions.
How does Acupuncture work?
It works by:
- Stimulating nerves
- Increasing circulation
- Relieving muscle spasm
It also generates a release of many hormones, including cortisol (a natural steroid) and endorphins (one of the body’s pain-relieving chemicals).
Which conditions respond to Acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be added to a treatment plan, helping to reduce your pets requirements for some medications that may have undesirable side effects.
The following are some of the general conditions which may be treated with acupuncture:
- Musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis and muscular injuries
- Respiratory problems, such as feline asthma
- Skin problems such as lick granulomas and allergic dermatitis
- Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhoea
- Neurological conditions such as epilepsy
What to expect during your appointment?
Your pet will have a full examination prior to having their acupuncture to ensure that he or she can undergo treatment. Each acupuncture session will be tailored to your pet’s needs.
Treatments usually last for around 30 minutes.
You may stay and hold your pet during the treatment, or if you prefer, a nurse can be present to aid the acupuncturist if needed.
The acupuncturist will make your pet comfortable and then gently insert the acupuncture needles into the acupuncture points.
Is Acupuncture painful?
The insertion of acupuncture needles is virtually painless and once the needles are in place, there should be no pain. Most animals become very relaxed and may even become sleepy. However, acupuncture treatment may cause some sensations, presumed to be those such as tingles, cramps, or numbness which can occur in humans.
How often are treatments performed?
Patients are often treated weekly for 2 – 4 weeks then at wider intervals depending on the individual response to treatment. A positive response is usually noticed within the first 4 – 6 treatments and may be continued long term.
Will insurance cover it?
Most insurance companies will cover acupuncture costs. However, you will need to check to determine if it is covered on your policy.