As with humans, alternative medicine for pets has become more commonplace in recent years. The most common alternative medicine that people seek out for their pets is acupuncture. It has overtaken holistic and homeopathic medicine in popularity.
Acupuncture is used to treat pain by stimulating the body’s natural pain relief systems. It is performed by applying small-gauge needles to various points on the body to stimulate the nerves in that area. It is predominantly used for pain relief, and can help improve appetite, increase circulation, relieve muscle spasms, and reduce nausea. The research behind acupuncture ranges from inconclusive to promising, but the results speak for themselves. One appeal of using acupuncture instead of over-the-counter medication is that there is a greatly decreased risk of adverse side effects. Used with physical rehabilitation and a good, healthy diet, acupuncture can be as effective as over-the-counter pain medication.
In modern veterinary acupuncture, there are several systems of treatment used. The traditional single needle used alone is still the most common. Another option is to use a needle in conjunction with electrical stimulation. Other options include stimulation using a specific type of laser, or permanent insertion of gold beads, surgical staples, or magnets into acupuncture points to provide permanent stimulation. While research on the topic of veterinary acupuncture is scarce and generally not conclusive, the anecdotal evidence does show that pets are happier and seem more pain-free after receiving the treatment. If you feel acupuncture may be a good choice for your pet, or you have any further questions about our acupuncture services, please consult with your veterinarian. As with all medical treatments, consult your vet and let him or her perform the procedure so as to ensure your pet’s comfort and safety.