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Learn more about veterinary acupuncture by browsing through some of our frequently asked questions.


If you're still not finding answers to your questions, please reach out to us directly via chat, text, call, or email.

What is Veterinary Acupuncture?

Needles inserted into specific points on the body to produce a healing response is the basis behind the treatment known as veterinary acupuncture. When stimulated, each of the acupuncture points has specific actions. Positive results in the treatment of both animals and humans have been shown through clinical research, which is why the use of acupuncture has become increasingly popular.

Is Acupuncture Safe for Animals?

When administered by a certified veterinarian, acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment that an animal can receive and has been deemed a valid treatment modality by The American Veterinary Medical Association. Acupuncture may result in side effects, but this is rare. For up to 48 hours after treatment, an animal’s condition may seem to worsen. Other animals become lethargic or sleepy for 24 hours. These are indications that physiological changes are occurring and an improvement in the animal’s condition most often follows these transient side effects.

What Conditions Can Veterinary Acupuncture Help With?

Veterinary acupuncture has been proven to be effective in treating pain, noninfectious inflammation (such as allergies), and paralysis. Acupuncture can help keep your animal in top physical condition if they are involved in any athletic endeavor, such as showing, jumping, or racing.


Some of the conditions veterinary acupuncture can aid with include:

  • Musculoskeletal problems (such as traumatic nerve injury, intervertebral disc disease, or arthritis)

  • Gastrointestinal problems (such as diarrhea)

  • Skin problems (such as allergic dermatitis or lick granulomas)

  • Respiratory problems (such as feline asthma)

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Veterinary acupuncture involves the use of tiny needles placed in specific points on your pet’s body. Where the needles are placed is based upon the condition being treated and the goals of treatment for your pet. Specific changes in the central nervous system occur due to the stimulation of these points which can help to improve the condition that is being treated.


Acupuncture aids the body in its own natural healing process by affecting specific physiological changes. The process works as follows:


  • Acupuncture stimulates the local nerves in the area which communicate with the brain

  • This causes an increase in blood flow to the affected area

  • The increase in blood flow allows for a greater circulation of nutrients and oxygen to the affected tissues, which enable healing

  • Hormones are released (such as cortisol and endorphins) which can aid in healing and pain relief

Is Veterinary Acupuncture Painful?

The insertion of acupuncture needles in small animals is essentially painless. Some pain may occur in areas that are more sensitive or constricted such as in trigger points in muscles. Additionally, larger animals require a larger gauge needle to pass through the skin which can be associated with mild discomfort. Once in place, regardless of the needle size, your animal should feel no pain. Animals mostly become relaxed, with some even becoming sleepy.

What Is the Cost of Veterinary Acupuncture?

Comprehensive acupuncture treatment involves thorough history taking and physical examination, followed by a patient assessment and formulation of a treatment plan. It rarely involves a single visit, and costs will vary according to the specific condition being treated, the frequency of treatments, and the patient's response.

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