In Western terms, acupuncture helps the body to heal itself by affecting certain physiological changes. These changes can include: nerve stimulation, increase in blood circulation, muscle spasm relief, and the release of hormones, such as endorphin’s (one of the body’s pain control chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid).
Although many of acupuncture’s physiological effects have been studied, there are many more potential uses still unknown. Further research must be done to discover all of acupuncture’s effects and its proper uses in veterinary medicine.
Acupuncture is used mainly to treat functional problems such as those that involve paralysis and pain. The following are some of the general conditions which may potentially be treated in your animal using acupuncture:
- Musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis or vertebral disc pathology
- Minor sport injuries
- Skin problems, such as lick granuloma
- Respiratory problems, such as feline asthma
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea
- Selected reproductive problems
Here at Alliance Animal Hospital, we are thrilled to have Dr. Kristi Mt. Pleasant, who has successfully treated many of our patients with acupuncture.
About 75% of dogs with degenerative joint disease (i.e. arthritis) and inter vertebral disc disease appear to benefit from acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture is especially helpful for pain relief in animals that cannot tolerate prescription pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs.
Please contact the office and Dr. Mt. Pleasant with any questions regarding acupuncture and whether it could be beneficial for your pet. For more general information regarding veterinary acupuncture, please visit www.ivas.org.
Used with permission of the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society