What is Veterinary Acupuncture?
Traditional Acupuncture: Traditional Chinese medicine formed the basis of acupuncture which involves the insertion of extremely thin, sterile needles through the skin at strategic points to apply stimulation in order to address pain, discomfort, and disease. In Chinese medicine, the thought behind why diseases and illnesses come about is because there is a disruption or imbalance of the body. Traditional Chinese medicine has determined many meridians, which are channels that form a network in the body, through which “qi” (vital energy) flows. Deficiencies, excess of energy, or blockage of energy are what contribute to diseases and illnesses.
Veterinary Acupuncture: Here at Lazy 5 Vets, we offer acupuncture for pets which involves placing very thin needles in strategic points on an animal’s body in order to produce a response. The goal is to treat the imbalance of the body. Veterinary Acupuncture is known to reduce pain and inflammation and to help manage degenerative diseases. Acupuncture releases endogenous opioids and cortisol to reduce inflammation and pain. Additionally, it stimulates receptors and mediators in the body to control symptoms and provide pain relief.
What conditions are most often treated with Veterinary Acupuncture?
Veterinary Acupuncture can be used to treat the following conditions:
- Degenerative Joint Disease or IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease)
- Seizure patients
- Neurological issues
- Gastrointestinal disease
- Chronic diseases (kidney, heart, and liver)
- Skin allergies
For some acute disorders, it may only take three or so treatments for the patient to feel back to normal. For more chronic conditions, the patient may need to stay on acupuncture therapy for chronic management, but the sessions would most likely decrease depending on their response and how their signs are managed between treatments.
Can both cats and dogs receive acupuncture?
Cats and dogs can both receive acupuncture. The majority of Veterinary Acupuncture information on cats and dogs is transposed from human, horse, and cow medicine because that is the beginnings where acupuncture started. In recent history and through clinical research, studies on acupuncture in small animal medicine has drastically increased.
Are the needles painful?
Acupuncture treatment is tolerated well by most animals. The insertion of thin acupuncture needles is virtually painless for small animals such as dogs and cats. Most animals become relaxed and may even fall asleep during the therapy. Nevertheless, acupuncture therapy may cause some sensation which Dr. Stover refers to as “deqi”, meaning the arrival of energy into that spot. The sight of a muscle twitch is a good sign because it shows the body is responding to the acupuncture.
Is Veterinary Acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture should always be administered with a proper veterinary diagnosis. Without the right diagnosis, acupuncture could potentially do more harm than good as it may mask pain. As a certified veterinarian acupuncturist, Dr. Stover will help determine the right pattern and treatment for each patient.
There are rare side effects. In some cases, after the first 48-hours, patients can see worsening of the disease or symptoms, but most time patients show improvement. In other cases, patients can see an injection site reaction which is very rare because the needles are extremely thin.
Interested in learning more?
If your pet is suffering from pain, discomfort, and/or allergies, then acupuncture could be a non-medicine way to provide relief to their symptoms. Interested in setting up a consultation with Dr. Stover? Give us a call at 704.636.1100.
About Dr. Stover, DVM, CVA
Dr. Kelsey Stover, DVM, CVA, has completed her veterinary acupuncture certification requirements. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with Chemistry and Music Minors at Western Carolina University. She studied Veterinary Medicine at NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2017 with a focus of Small Animal Medicine with an Exotics Emphasis.
During her time in veterinary school, Dr. Stover took opportunities to study different aspects of veterinary medicine in countries such as China, Tanzania, and Ecuador. Her professional interests include companion animal medicine with special interests in feline medicine, cardiology, and rehabilitation.