Here at Sherwood South Animal Hospital, we are pleased to be able to offer homeopathic remedies, acupuncture, and herbal medicine for our clients.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the use of small needles inserted at specific points along the animal’s body, to stimulate energy flow to achieve a balanced state in the body. A pet whose body is well balanced is happy, healthy, and symptom free. This type of therapy has been used on humans and their pets for thousands of years in China, and is scientifically proven. Acupuncture is used to relieve symptoms of disease including pain, weakness, decreased appetite, nausea and any clinical sign that may be causing your pet to have a decreased quality of life.
How does this therapy work?
Acupuncture therapy is based on the theory that the health of a pet’s body is dependent on the state of Qi or energy balance. This Qi is also known as the vital or life force energy of the body. Qi can become stagnated in one area causing pain (for example pain in the back or knee), or it can be deficient causing symptoms such as weakness, muscle loss, decrease appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. Any disease can be classified as a Qi excess (stagnation) or a Qi deficiency. When we insert a needle into an acupuncture point, we are stimulating or in some cases, releasing energy in the animal’s body to achieve balance and relieve symptoms of disease.
What happens during an acupuncture session?
First, I will conduct a consult with the pet and the owner. This will involve filling out some questions about your pets medical history, as well as some diet habits, behavioral habits, and clinical signs. I will then conduct a TCVM (traditional Chinese veterinary medicine) exam on your pet to determine the disease “pattern”. This pattern is how I will classify your pet’s energy imbalance, and will determine the acupuncture points and herbal therapy I will choose for your pet. Then, I will begin the first session. A typical session will involve initial needle insertion at specific points proven to invoke relaxation by releasing the animal’s own pain relieving or “feel good” hormones. Then I continue to insert needles at points proven to treat the specific pattern I have identified. After all needles are in place, I will then connect the pet to an electro stimulator. This machine sends soft, warm pulses of energy through the needles to amplify the results and make them last longer. Lastly, I will perform “aqua-puncture”. During this therapy, I will inject small amounts of vitamin B12 at 4-6 acupuncture points along the body. This small bubble of fluid will act as “acupressure” until the fluid is absorbed by the body (12-24 hours). This entire process typically takes about an hour.
Will my animals sit still and tolerate this?
Surprisingly yes, most animals (even cats) thoroughly enjoy their acupuncture session and will often times fall asleep during the treatment!
How many treatments will it take before I see a difference in my pet?
I typically recommend 3 treatments before you will start to see major changes. Many owners will report subtle changes to me after the first treatment (like their pet limps a little less often, or sleeps more restfully). For more chronic, long-term illnesses it can take more sessions or long term sessions (such as every 3-4 weeks) to keep the pet in balance.
For information about Chinese Herbal therapy and how it can help your pet, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (225) 293-6440. You can also contact us if you have further questions on acupuncture.