Veterinarians trained in acupuncture for dogs and cats are seeing an uptick in treatment sessions lately.
Popular demand for this legendary alternative
medicine is growing on par with the whole “green pet” movement that’s sweeping
Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Using small needles to penetrate the skin, the treatment stimulates the flow of Qi or life force energy.
veterinary practices offering traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM) often
include acupressure, Chinese herbs, and food energy therapy.
Veterinary acupuncture is used to help treat a number of clinical
Look for certification
The American Veterinary Medical Association acknowledges acupuncture
for dogs and cats as alternative therapy, but it is not offered in most
veterinary hospitals. More favorable advocates of acupuncture for dogs and
cats, including a holistic vet finder for your area, can be viewed at the
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association’s website.
There are veterinarians specializing in acupuncture, and there are acupuncturists working their healing powers on people and animals alike. In order to ensure the highest standard of care for your pet, it is suggested that you work with a licensed veterinarian that can properly administer acupuncture treatments. The Chi Institute is a good credential to look for in veterinary acupuncture training and certification.
What to expect
Practitioners of acupuncture for animals should have sterile equipment, clean facilities, and the proper documentation to operate in your area. Always schedule a consultation first to discuss how the procedure works, learn about their professional background and experience, and then determine if it’s the right fit for you and your pet.
An acupuncture session will usually last for 30 minutes to an hour. The needles are a few inches long and are inserted only a few millimeters. They are completely sterile to prevent the spread of disease.
Once the needles have been placed into the skin they will remain there for about 20 minutes. The process of inserting the needles is typically not painful, but there can be some initial discomfort. Dogs and cats will usually just sit there during the session or even fall asleep in some cases. Most pets can tolerate the procedure as they experience very little pain or discomfort, but some of them can get restless. A family member should be present during the procedure to help the pet feel safe and at ease.
The cost of an acupuncture session for a dog or cat will
typically run between $75 and $150 each. Treatment can easily involve 6 or more
sessions depending on the health problem being treated. Acupuncture is not
cheap compared to other types of veterinary medicine, which is yet another factor
Is it right for your
Acupuncture for dogs and cats is growing in popularity, but the real question is whether or not it is effective for your dog or cat. There are few concrete answers and there have been very few studies regarding acupuncture for dogs and cats.
Many pet lovers have reported their pets showed significant signs of improvement after treatments while others have said they noticed little or no difference. The decision to begin an acupuncture regimen for your pet is a matter you should discuss with a veterinarian educated in alternative medical treatments including TCVM.Acupuncture for Dogs and Cats