If your dog suffers from arthritis or any joint issues, such as dysplasia or joint disease, acupuncture could be just what you need. Acupuncture can help with pain and improve their range of motion. This is not an expensive treatment to try, ranging from $25 to $120 per session.
When people get acupuncture, they may be a little frightened at first or be fearful it might hurt, but quite the contrary. The same is true of our pets. Most feel a sense of relaxation because of the endorphins released. They may feel a slight sting when the needle first goes into their skin in certain areas. Make sure if you decide to try this option that you go to a certified vet who knows how to perform acupuncture on your dog. You don’t have to but you want to make sure that they know what they’re doing and have gone through a full training program so as to not hurt your pooch.
Does This Technique Work?
If you are not familiar with acupuncture, it requires needles inserted into specific points to where blood vessels and nerves meet. In this method, the nervous system is stimulated to help with any inflammatory issues and relieve pain.
Acupuncture/Acupressure for Dogs
By Lynn Buzhardt, DVM Care & Wellness, Treatment
What is acupuncture?
Ancient Chinese medicine is based on the philosophy that illness is caused by an imbalance of vital energies in the body. Acupuncture is one aspect of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) that focuses on restoring the energy balance in the body and promoting healing. In other words, acupuncture is used to help the body heal itself by correcting energy imbalances in the body.
The technique requires the insertion of fine needles into the dog’s body at specified points, called acupuncture points, where nerves and blood vessels converge. These points are located in sites called meridians, which are energy channels that transmit energy throughout the dog’s body.
The inserted needles guide “chi” or vital energy along the meridians. Placed in these identified points, the needles enhance blood circulation which improves healing ability. Acupuncture also stimulates the nervous system and increases the release of anti-inflammatory and pain relieving substances to reduce a dog’s discomfort. Read more……
Acupuncture has been around for well over 2,000 years and is making a proven mark on one of the natural ways of healing your dog. Some of the benefits are boosting the immune system and helping with certain organ functions. If your dog is taking other medication or is doing chemo for cancer, for example, acupuncture has been shown to help alleviate pain and help in the curing process. Each individual pet is different when it comes to healing them from whatever they may have. It may be a certain medication, surgery, acupuncture, acupressure or a combination of therapies.
How It Works
The needles induce the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good hormone. Endorphins control pain by causing blood vessels to dilate, which increases oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to flow around joints and muscles. If your dog is experiencing any kind of pain, they may feel a little pain or discomfort where the needle goes in. Some dogs become so relaxed that they fall asleep during the acupuncture procedure. The average amount of treatments is around eight, but that varies depending on the needs of your dog. And sessions can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour. The amount of needles needed is also dependent on what is wrong with your dog. Sometimes just a few are needed in one location, but 10 or more could be what he needs for total relief.
Acupuncture is good for a lot of different ailments your dog may be experiencing. From arthritis pain in older dogs to digestive problems because of the medication they may be taking. This can also be helpful if your dog needs surgery but cannot get it due to their age, but if they do have surgery, it speeds up their recovery. This method is not a cure-all and each dog will experience different results, it takes time to heal a body. Below is a list of ailments that acupuncture can help with:
- Arthritis and sore joints
- Muscle spasms or weakness
- Slipped disks and other disk problems
- Digestive problems (including diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Respiratory problems
- Kidney problems
- Weakened immune system
If your are interested in getting some natural care for your dog and would like to try acupuncture, contact The American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture in Hygiene, CO, at (303) 772-6726 or log on to www.aava.org, to find one in your area.