Acupuncture - Aiding your Pet's Pain.
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting fine, solid needles into the body for pain relief or, in some cases, to help the body deal with other diseases.
It works through the nervous system blocking the pain messages and encouraging the brain and central nervous system to produce more of the body’s natural painkillers. In conditions that are not painful, acupuncture may help to reset the body’s normal functioning.
While acupuncture needles stimulate nerves, they do not cause unpleasant feelings of pain. During this treatment messages are sent through the central nervous system to the brain, which is how they block pain. Sometimes animals may react to this sensation as though they are expecting pain, but then relax because it does not occur. Most of the time they accept the fine needles very well and often become relaxed and sleepy during the treatment. Often, they appear to look forward to the next treatment when they come back to the practice.
Acupuncture Treatment Courses for Your Pet
Treatment courses are usually scheduled once a week for four to six weeks. After four weeks we will know whether acupuncture is working for the animal and then, depending on the condition and how they have responded, we will work out a plan that usually involves tailing off the treatment so that the effect is maintained for as long as possible.
Acupuncture is very safe, in the right hands. Legally it must be performed by a veterinary surgeon. There have been no official reports of problems in animals.
There are many reasons why acupuncture may be recommended; the most common being for pain – usually associated with arthritis, but also muscle strains, pain secondary to disc disease and bony changes of the spine. Other kinds of pain may also respond.
Functional conditions such as constipation in cats and irritable bowel type problems in dogs may also respond, as well as certain skin conditions.
After examination, needles will be put into various parts of the body and moved or stimulated a few times. There is not a set “dose” of acupuncture as there is for medication. We will judge how much to do based on the animal’s response both at the time and after the treatment. They may become sleepy and relaxed during the treatment.
It is not uncommon for pets to go home and sleep very soundly for a long time. This is a good sign. Pets should otherwise be treated normally after acupuncture. Exercise, diet or medication should not be changed unless discussed and agreed with a vet.