Does your canine pal seem stiff and sore lately? Is Fido struggling with health issues? One thing that may help your furry friend is acupuncture. Acupuncture is relatively new in the world of veterinary medicine, but this ancient practice has certainly stood the test of time in human wellness care. Here, a Potomac, MD vet discusses the use of acupuncture in dogs.
As you may know, acupuncture originated in China. It is one of the basic pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The practice is based on the use of thin needles, which are inserted into the body at specific points. In Eastern medicine, these spots have traditionally been believed to control the flow of energy (Qi) through the body, much the way that circuits and wires move electricity through your home. Western medicine takes a more scientific approach, noting that these spots are actually nerve clusters. Either way, the needle insertions trigger the release of natural hormones, including painkillers. In turn, that helps promote good healing, relieve pain and stiffness, improve circulation, and increase oxygenation to cells.
Acupuncture sessions are quite short, usually lasting between 20 minutes and an hour. There is no standard for how many sessions a pooch will need. It really just depends on Fido’s condition and results. Some of our patients only need a few sessions: others need ongoing treatment.
Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of issues in pets. Some of these include skin conditions; hormonal and metabolic conditions, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, and kidney disease; gastrointestinal issues, including nausea and diarrhea; nerve pain; arthritis; degenerative joint disease; and intervertebral disc disease. It is also helpful in simply promoting good healing from trauma or injury, such as broken bones, bites, or other issues.
Acupuncture has some truly wonderful benefits. One of the biggest ones—and this is a huge plus for many of our clients—is the fact that it is extremely safe. There are no known side effects. It’s also painless. While having needles inserted into you may not sound pleasant, these needles are too small to hurt. In fact, many pets visibly relax during their sessions. Acupuncture also works very well in conjunction with modern veterinary treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy. Ask your vet for more information.
Do you have questions about acupuncture for dogs? Contact us, your local Germantown, MD animal clinic, today!