What is Veterinary acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a 3,500-year-old therapy used in a wide variety of human and animal disorders. First developed by the Chinese, acupuncture stimulates specific points on the body by means of a very thin, flexible needle, and more recently electrical stimulation or low power lasers. The stimulation of these points on the body through acupuncture causes the body to respond by releasing neurochemicals and hormones into the bloodstream, which encouraging healing, pain relief, and normalizing organ systems.
Acupuncture point locations have been carefully mapped out in humans and most domestic animals. These point locations are not recent discoveries. Descriptions of acupuncture treatment in animals date back thousands of years. Acupuncture is in fact, the treatment of choice for over ¼ of the world’s population.
What conditions can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture is one of the two main tools of Traditional Chinese Medicine, working along side with herbal medicine. Treatment of existing conditions, primary prevention of disease and maintaining homeostasis are the immediate goals of acupuncture. At California Holistic Animal Institute, we often use acupuncture in conjunction with traditional therapy, or when medications aren’t working or have serious side effects. We might also employ acupuncture as an alternative to surgery because of anesthetic risk or the owners desire to avoid surgery. Some examples where acupuncture is useful include:
- Skin problems: allergies, skin and ear infections, lick granulomas, and excessive/habitual chewing. For these problems acupuncture is regularly combined with biouncture / bioregulatory medicines See info tab on this site.
- Musculoskeletal problems: arthritis, chronic pain, and hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative joint disease, neck and back pain. For these problems acupuncture is often paired with Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM). See info tab on this site.
- Respiratory problems: chronic lung disease, cough, and asthma.
- Urogenital problems: recurrent bladder infections, or prostate trouble, and incontinence.
- Nervous system problems: traumatic injuries, paralysis from neck and back injuries, degenerative myelopaties, and seizure disorders.
Acupuncture treatment for many of these problems may be paired with herbal therapy for more rapid and lasting results.
Is acupuncture safe for my pet? Will it hurt?
Acupuncture is one of the safest therapies available, when preformed by a certified veterinary acupuncturist. Because acupuncture balances the body’s own system to heal without administering any chemicals, complications and side effects are rare to develop.
Acupuncture is preformed with very thin flexible needles, although some pets experience a brief moment of sensation as the needle passes thru the skin. Once the needles are placed most animals relax, and many even fall asleep.
How long and how often is my pet’s treatment?
Treatments last from 10seconds to 30 minutes, depending on the condition treated. Patients are often treated 1-2 times a week for 6-8 weeks. Positive response is often noted after the first 4-6 treatments, sometimes earlier. Once a response is noted treatment schedule is usually reduced to maintain results.
Who can perform veterinary acupuncture?
Dr. Drumm was trained and certified by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS). IVAS requires hundreds of hours of coursework, completion of scientific papers for publication and, competence in written and practical exams. There are about 650 vets certified by IVAS in the United States.