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Should Your Dog Get Acupuncture?

Most dog owners will do anything for their furry friends to be comfortable and pain-free. For example, many of them embrace new modalities, like acupuncture, to help with treatment. Read on to learn what acupuncture treats in dogs.


What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an aspect of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM). It aims to restore the body’s energy balance and promote healing. It helps the body heal itself without medication by correcting energy imbalance. Acupuncture entails inserting fine needles in a dog’s body at acupuncture points where blood vessels and nerves converge.


How Does Acupuncture Help?

Acupuncture increases tissue oxygenation by improving blood flow. It causes a systematic benefit by increasing metabolic waste removal from the body and reducing the production of waste products. Acupuncture relaxes the muscles where the needles are inserted into the body.

It relieves both local and general pain. It also reduces discomfort by stimulating your dog’s nervous system. It intensifies the release of pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory substances.

Most anti-inflammatory and pain medications are safe but can damage your dog’s organs. As a result, most veterinarians conduct routine laboratory testing to monitor organ function. Fortunately, acupuncture helps dogs with various ailments. It has no side effects.


Conditions Acupuncture Treats in Dogs

Acupuncture often treats dogs with joint inflammation and arthritis. Your dog can also benefit from the treatment if it has a severe spinal cord condition, chronic back pain, or less severe medical conditions. It can serve as an alternative to anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotics.

It can treat lick granulomas. The condition can occur when your dog continuously licks a spot on its body. It makes it an irritating sore with exposed superficial nerve endings. Acupuncture helps with issues associated with cancer therapies, including nausea and tissue inflammation. The sessions can also improve the appetite of dogs suffering from diseases such as pancreatitis.


What an Acupuncture Session Is Like

A veterinary acupuncturist will conduct a medical assessment during the first appointment. You will then receive an outlined history of your dog’s condition in medical records. The acupuncturist will get the information from the documented radiographs and lab tests.

The acupuncturist will perform a physical examination. They will discuss with you what will happen during the treatment. The session can take up to 30 minutes, depending on the condition.


How Often Should Your Dog Receive Acupuncture?

The vet performing the acupuncture is best suited to tell you how many times your dog will need it. They often schedule the sessions close together when your dog starts treatment. As they begin improving and feeling better, the treatments are spaced out.

Your dog may need a few sessions if they receive treatment for an acute problem like an injury. But if the treatment is for a chronic condition like arthritis, they may alleviate the pain through ongoing treatment.

You may see improvements from the beginning. Generally, you can judge how effective acupuncture is after a minimum of three treatment sessions.

For more about acupuncture in dogs, visit the Evergreen Animal Hospital. Call our office in Evergreen, Colorado at (303) 674-4331.

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