Acupuncture

What is Acupuncture, and how does it work?
Acupuncture was developed in China over 3000 years ago and is one of the oldest healing practices in the world. Acupuncture involves stimulation of points on the body by penetrating the skin and underlying tissues with very thin needles.

We now know that acupuncture works primarily by affecting the nervous system. Scientifically measurable changes occur at the acupuncture point itself, in the spinal cord and in the brain. In short, acupuncture stimulates the body’s own mechanisms to control pain, promote healing and relieve stress.

What conditions can benefit from acupuncture?
Acupuncture can help pets with musculoskeletal injuries, skin diseases, acute or chronic pain, and chronic diseases of many types. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Arthritis; Degenerative joint disease
  • Spinal cord injury or degeneration
  • Cancer pain and chemotherapy side effects
  • Peripheral nerve injury such as facial palsy or limb paralysis
  • Reproductive problems or failures
  • Lower urinary tract disease (especially FLUTD in cats)
  • Chronic respiratory conditions such as bronchitis or asthma
  • Autoimmune and allergic diseases
  • Recovery from injury or surgery

Acupuncture in Geriatric and Hospice Care
It would be difficult to find a geriatric or hospice patient that would not benefit from acupuncture. Nearly all of these pets suffer from problems with pain, mobility and poor appetite. In addition, acupuncture can be helpful in patients that are unable or unwilling to take oral medications.

What to Expect
In most cases initial evaluations will take 60 – 90 minutes and will include a review of your pet’s previous medical records and x-rays (if provided), a complete physical and myofascial exam as well as the first acupuncture treatment. Depending on the condition, treatments may be recommended once twice weekly for several weeks and then once to twice monthly. Most acupuncture treatments take 30 – 40 minutes, and most pets find the sessions comfortable and relaxing.

Dr. Thorpe typically uses acupuncture along with traditional treatments/medications and other forms of physical medicine such as laser therapy and massage. If you think your pet could benefit from acupuncture in the comfort of your home, contact Dr. Thorpe at Sage Veterinary Services.