ACUPUNCTURE AND YOUR PET
Mission Animal Hospital is currently looking for a veterinary acupuncturist, so check back soon!! Of course, we also offer nutritional therapy, herbal therapy, homeopathy, the most effective drugs, and surgery. Whatever we can do for your pet, we will. It’s our promise to you.
WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into specific points in the body. These specific points on the animal’s body provide access to nerve endings which, when stimulated, will send information to the spinal cord and brain. This starts a cascade of events, which in turns brings pain relief, increased blood flow, and increased function of organs and tissues which speeds healing.
Acupuncture was first developed thousands of years ago in China. The Medical Acupuncture approach unites current western science and “evidence based medicine” with traditional acupuncture techniques.
HOW WILL IT HELP MY PET?
Although some think of acupuncture as strictly “energy medicine,” research studies have been published that demonstrate true physiological events taking place within the body during stimulation of acupuncture points. These fine needles activate the nerves and tissues which allow more oxygen to enter cells and scavenge free radicals, which in turn helps decrease pain and inflammation.
Acupuncture does more than relieve pain. How it works depends on what condition one is treating and which points are utilized. Acupuncture increases circulation; reduces inflammation; causes the release of neurotransmitters from the brain – some of which are endorphins & enkephalins – the body’s “natural pain-killing” hormones; relieves muscle spasms; stimulates nerves; stimulates the body’s defense systems; as well as numerous other beneficial effects.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN BE TREATED WITH ACUPUNCTURE?
Veterinary medical acupuncture is a great adjunctive treatment for many conditions in your dog and cat including but not limited to the following:
Degenerative Joint Disease
Intervertebral Disc Disease
Tendon/Ligament Injuries (Cruciate Injuries)
WILL IT HURT MY PET?
The needle insertion is usually painless for most patients. Some patients may feel a little tingle or pinch at certain points when the needle enters the skin. The amount of needles used is dependent on the patient and condition that is being treated.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING MY PET’S ACUPUNCTURE APPOINTMENT?
The initial visit and treatment is usually an hour long and we will develop a specific treatment plan for your pet during this visit. Follow up treatments last about 30 minutes. During each exam your pet will receive a complete myofascial exam (it feels just like a massage), to determine which joints and muscles are most painful, and to help find specific areas of “knots” and sensitivity. These are the areas which be targeted for needle placement.
The number of needles used depends on the type of condition, and your pet’s response to acupuncture. On average, the needles will stay inserted from 10-30 minutes.
Often times only a handful on needles are used the first time, as your pet may feel sleepy for 24 hours after treatment due to the increase in neurotransmitters and endorphins released during the acupuncture treatment. It’s similar to the feeling you get after a deep tissue massage.
IS ONE ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT ENOUGH?
Some conditions like a sprain may only need one treatment, but most conditions will need multiple treatments (3-6) to see the most improvement. Here at Mission Animal Hospital, we offer acupuncture packages to help with cost and allow your pet the benefits of a series of treatments.
WHAT IF MY PET DOES NOT TOLERATE ACUPUNCTURE?
Although most pets, including cats, will tolerate placement of acupuncture needles there may be times when this is not the best option. In these cases Mission Animal Hospital offers cold laser therapy which is a needle free way to try and target these same areas, also decreasing pain and inflammation. This modality can also be used along with acupuncture as we can focus on locations such as paws and lower legs where pets may not tolerate acupuncture needles. We are happy to tell you more about laser therapy if you are interested.
AT MISSION ANIMAL HOSPITAL, WE WOULD BE HONORED TO WORK WITH YOU AS A PARTNER IN OPTIMIZING YOUR PET’S QUALITY OF LIFE. FROM ACUPUNCTURE AND HERBS TO SURGERY AND LASER TREATMENTS….
….YOU’LL RECOGNIZE THE DIFFERENCE!!