When our pets are suffering, we will turn to any product or treatment to help find them comfort and relief. All too often though, veterinarians turn to prescription medicine or invasive procedures to help treat chronic pain conditions. Using alternative medicine inspired from Eastern cultures veterinarians are discovering the same practices traditionally used for people can be used to treat animals with a great deal of success. Acupuncture is a great alternative medicine practice which has yielded promising results when treating a variety of painful conditions in cats and dogs.
What is Acupuncture?
Eastern practices believe that the everybody has a continuous energy flow which circulates through the body. When the energy flow is free to move, the body is healthy and pain free. Unfortunately, sometimes the path for energy flow is blocked which can result in disease and chronic pain. To re-open the energy pathways, tiny needles are inserted into specific places in the body. The needles work to release the blockage, allowing the body’s energy to flow again, restoring balance and eliminating pain. Acupuncture has long been used on people to help treat a myriad of conditions and now veterinarians are turning to these same practices to help treat cats and dogs. Depending on your pet’s ailment, tiny needles to reestablish and open energy flow can be inserted throughout your pet’s body.
What Can It Help With?
Acupuncture for your pet is commonly us as a treatment for pets suffering with painful conditions. As an alternative medical practice many pet owners turn to acupuncture as a non-invasive and natural remedy with very little, if any, side effects. Acupuncture has been successful in treating animals with:
- Arthritis – This is a painful joint disease that usually forms as your pet ages. Acupuncture can help reduce swelling in joints which can help reduce pain.
- Degenerative Joint Disease – As a complication of arthritis, DJD can cause the joint connections to become irregular, causing painful movements. With regular acupuncture treatments pain associated with this can be greatly reduced.
- Trauma – Anything from a car accident to a sudden injury can cause swelling and pain which acupuncture can help eliminate.
- Metabolic Disease – With a range from kidney to liver disease, to chronic Cushing’s disease, systemic metabolic disease can be quite painful which acupuncture can help mitigate.
- Cancer – Depending on the type of cancer, many painful conditions can develop as a side effect. While acupuncture cannot cure cancer, it can help eliminate many of the side effects like pain and nausea associated with the disease.
What Do Treatments Look Like?
Acupuncture should be a calming and restorative treatment option for your pet, so it is important to make sure your pet is at ease with the treatment. The first appointment will most likely be a consultation appointment with your veterinarian to discuss a therapy plan for the best results. This is the perfect time to ask questions, raise concerns, and address any issues you may have. The first appointment with a professional pet acupuncture doctor will be to introduce your pet to the new therapy. Sometimes not a single needed is inserted during the first therapy. The purpose of the first appointment is to get your pet comfortable with laying down, being touched, and remaining calm. When your pet is relaxed, treatment can begin.
For the best results, acupuncture will be administered fairly regularly with the first appointments scheduled close together. This is the best way to maximize results. Expect to have multiple acupuncture appointments within the first week of treatment. After the initial appointments your veterinarian will start to space out the appointments, reducing the frequency. Eventually, your pet will only need very sporadic appointments to maintain a healthy energy flow to reduce pain.