Updated: Mar 21, 2022
The practice of acupuncture has been in use for centuries in humans. However, the use of acupuncture in animals has only been practiced since the 1970s.
Since its start in the 70s, there have been many studies performed with the use of acupuncture for treating medical conditions in veterinary patients that have shown the practice to be beneficial. These conditions include pain, musculoskeletal problems such as nerve injury, intervertebral disc disease, arthritis, and gastrointestinal problems.
How Veterinary Acupuncture Works
To understand why acupuncture can benefit an animal, we must first understand how acupuncture works.
Veterinary acupuncture involves the use of tiny needles placed at specific points on your pet’s body. Where the needles are placed is based upon the condition being treated and the treatment goals 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. Here is a summary of how the process works:
Acupuncture stimulates the local nerves in the area which communicate with the brain
This stimulation 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 the healing process
Hormones are released (such as cortisol and endorphins), which can aid in healing, pain relief, and relaxation
Is Veterinary Acupuncture Right for My Pet?
Perhaps you’ve noticed a change in your pet’s behavior and are unsure if they may be experiencing discomfort.
These changes may be subtle and could look like a dog who used to love running to fetch a ball but now can only go a few rounds before he has to lay down. Or a cat that used to love sleeping at the top of her cat tree will no longer climb to the top and tends to stay closer to the floor.
It is always important to discuss these changes with your veterinarian because these may be signs of a condition that requires medical attention. Once your pet receives the appropriate medical attention and treatment for its condition, veterinary acupuncture may be a good adjunctive therapy to help ensure that they are as relaxed and comfortable for their day-to-day activities as possible.
Call Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture Today!
Still not sure if veterinary acupuncture may benefit your pet? Please contact us or schedule a video consultation with Dr. Kho, who can discuss your pet and address any questions or concerns you may have about veterinary acupuncture!