Veterinary Acupuncture

chihuahua having acupuncture

Today, the most frequent reasons for acupuncture referral among veterinarians are:

  • Musculoskeletal problems: back pain, arthritis/degenerative joint disease, muscle soreness
  • Neurological disorders: weakness and paralysis resulting from intervertebral disk trauma, spinal or nerve problems
  • Gastrointestinal conditions: diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease
  • Other chronic conditions not responding to conventional therapy, including (but by no means limited to): skin allergies and dermatitis, lick granulomas, epilepsy, respiratory conditions, hormonal imbalances, infertility, internal organ dysfunction
  • Prevention of disease and promotion of well-being, geriatric support, and performance enhancement.

Dr. Pattie will typically see patients for acupuncture with an initial workup as an hour-long appointment, which includes the first treatment.  This initial appointment is followed by a commitment to at least 3-5 once-weekly treatments which are 30-40 minutes long.  A single treatment may be enough for an acute condition.  A series of 3-10 treatments can resolve many chronic problems.  Some degenerative conditions may continue to need repeated treatments over time.  All acupuncture appointments are best seen on an outpatient basis with no other tests/grooming/etc. that same day.

If you are not sure if acupuncture is right for your pet, you can also schedule an abbreviated acupuncture consultation with Dr. Pattie to discuss the case, your goals, and suspected outcome specific to your pet.  If you decide to come back for the treatment series the cost of the consult will be deducted from the initial workup fee.

 FAQ:

  1. What is acupuncture?   The insertion of very fine needles into specific predetermined points on the body to produce physiologic responses. Modern research shows that acupoints are located where there is a high density of nerves, immune cells, and small blood and lymphatic vessels.  As more studies are conducted, the mechanism of this ancient therapy will be better understood.
  2. Does it hurt?  95% of animal patients are comfortable with acupuncture therapy.  Some animals will even fall asleep during treatment.
  3. Is it safe? Acupuncture is very safe when administered by a qualified and certified practitioner.  There are also no negative side effects, unlike many Western drugs.
  4. How do you know where to put the needles?  The points used vary according to the condition being treated.  Each point has specific actions when stimulated. When points are used in combination with other points, the results may be tailored to the specific problems being addressed.
  5. Are there other holistic modalities besides acupuncture?  Herbs, chiropractic, massage, diet, homeopathy, and various other forms of complementary medicine are available to veterinary patients.  Dr. Pattie is currently pursuing certification in herbology, but there are many other holistic veterinarians in our area to whom we can refer if indicated.