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Integrative Therapies: Acupuncture for Pets

Posted December 11, 2015

Alternative or integrative therapies for pets have recently seen a huge resurgence due to its powerful healing ability with minimal side effects. Today we begin a once a month series in our NHV blogs, where we will explore alternative integrative therapies for pets, from acupuncture to aromatherapy to massage and magnetic therapy for treating illnesses in pets. In this week’s blog we focus on acupuncture for pets —exploring how it can help your pet as well as the different methods of acupuncture, and its uses.

What Type Of Pet Health Issues Is Acupuncture Used For?

Acupuncture is beneficial for many pet health conditions including:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Constipations
  • Diabetes
  • Diarrhea
  • Heart disorders
  • Inflammation
  • Kidney disorders
  • Joint pain
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Trauma
  • Cancer
  • Pain Management

What Exactly is Veterinary Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been around for about 4000 years and has been used in Asian and Indian cultures for centuries. In traditional veterinary acupuncture, the acupuncturist places tiny needles into the various “acupuncture points” (the area where nerve bundles and blood vessels come together) with the goal of allowing your pet’s body to heal itself.

There are also a variety of different acupuncture methods that can be used. The method used will depend on your pet, the illness being treated and advise from your veterinary practioner. Other non-traditional veterinary acupuncture treatments include:

Laser therapy: In Laser therapy, acupuncture points are stimulated using laser energy. Low intensity or cold lasers are used and are great for patients that don’t tolerate needle insertion.

Aquapuncture: In aquapuncture, small amounts of fluid (usually homeopathics, diluted vitamin B12, or electrolyte solutions) are injected at the acupuncture points for a more prolonged effect.

Electroacupuncture: In this form of acupuncture, small amounts of non-painful electrical current is given to the body between needles inserted into the acupuncture points. Electroacupuncture is great for spasming muscles or when there has been nerve damage to the body.

Moxibustion: This method involves burning healing herbs on or above the acupuncture points. Heat can be very helpful to senior pets, or pets suffering from stiff muscles. However, care must be taken to not burn the patient.

Acupressure: This method involves applying pressure to the acupuncture points with the fingers instead of needles. Acupressure is a great technique that pet owners can learn from their veterinary practioner to provide their pets with further relief from pain and inflammation after treatment.

What Should I do Before and After Treatment?

Prior to treatment, you should examine your pet for any areas of the skin which are infected or inflamed, and point these out to your practioner.

Ideally, an at-home treatment is preferred to help your pet avoid unnecessary stress. Acupuncture should not be painful, and most pets will begin to relax once treatment is underway. However, some pets may need to be sedated for treatment. If sedation is not required for your pet, we recommend helping keep your pet calm with either NHV Matricalm or NHV Lesstress. NHV Matricalm or NHV Lesstress should ideally begin about 1-2 weeks prior to the appointments. Continue with the supplement for the duration of the treatments. Rescue Remedy is great to help calm your pet during acupuncture treatments.

Although side effects are rare, infection can occur, so check your pet and report back to your practioner if you notice anything unusual. In some pets, clinical signs may increase for a few days before they begin to improve. Although this is not unusual and may be a reflection of the body trying to heal itself, do report any concerns you have to your veterinary practioner.

To help the body in it’s healing and to help flush out toxins, which may be released during treatment, we recommend NHV Milk Thistle for liver support. Use NHV Milk Thistle for the duration of the treatments and continue with the supplement for an additional 2 months to make sure the body is supported.

Is there any alternative therapy you would like us discuss? Feel free to email us or leave a comment below

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*Product reviews are solely the experience and opinion of the reviewer. Actual results may vary.