Veterinary acupuncture, or pet acupuncture, is an incredible noninvasive therapeutic modality that complements existing treatment options. For several centuries, acupuncture was practiced throughout the Far East as a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and has more recently been embraced by Western medicine.

Like acupuncture for humans, pet acupuncture is used in a variety of ways, most significantly to alleviate pain, encourage healing, and promote greater well being.

Defining Veterinary Acupuncture as a New Therapy

While it may sound esoteric, acupuncture relies on the understanding of the body as comprised of energy pathways or meridians, which include nerve bundles, blood vessels, and tissue. Through the use of very fine needles placed strategically into the top dermal layer, acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s natural healing and pain relief responses.

Clinical studies have shown that this treatment:

  • Enhances blood circulation
  • Releases the body’s natural pain relieving chemicals
  • Stimulates the nervous system
  • Reduces inflammation

The frequency and duration of treatment sessions depends on the needs of the individual pet and the condition being treated. This is usually determined after an initial consultation and thorough examination. We then develop a treatment plan that’s most advantageous for your pet’s recovery and health.

Typically, most sessions last 20–40 minutes. Although some pet owners may worry about their pet’s response to the needles, we’ve found that most animals find the process relaxing (some even doze off!). Many of our pet parents report improvements in mobility, recovery, or pain in as few as 2–4 sessions.

At Arlington Animal Hospital, we view acupuncture as one complementary therapy in a comprehensive treatment plan. It can easily be adapted to existing treatments, such as surgery, medication, rehabilitation, and so forth. Our goal is to always give your pet the best possible care for greater quality of life and optimal wellness.

The Benefits of Pet Acupuncture

Pet acupuncture is gaining wide acceptance in modern veterinary medicine and is now being used in treating several different conditions, not just pain management.

In fact, organizations such as the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society are but a few working to raise awareness, set guidelines/standards of practice, and provide specialized training to veterinary professionals.

Acupuncture has shown great efficacy in the following common conditions affecting animals:

  • Musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis and intervertebral disc disease
  • Postoperative pain management and recovery
  • Neurological conditions
  • Skin conditions, such as dermatitis and lick granulomas
  • Nausea
  • Reproductive disorders
  • Asthma and allergies
  • Recovery from fractures

As research into acupuncture progresses, we’re continuing to find more conditions and illnesses that can be helped using this exciting therapy, including cardiovascular conditions.

If your pet is experiencing chronic pain or another condition that might benefit from this therapy, we encourage you to call us for a consultation.