News & Advice

Acupuncture – another option for managing pain

Nov 20, 2019 | Dogs, Pet Health

Jennifer Katona, Veterinarian, Anexa Vets Morrinsville

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a beneficial treatment for certain cases in conjunction with modern medicine. It is indicated especially for pain management and musculoskeletal cases including animals with arthritis, cancer pain, neuropathy and intervertebral disc disease. Benefits have also been documented for dermatological, behavioral and reproductive disorders. Side effects are rare and typically mild.

Acupuncture is the placement of small needles into specific points on the body. Through rigorous trial and error, a map of distinct acupoints was discovered by Chinese acupunturists thousands of years ago. Many of these acupoints are located near or directly over what we know today are nerve tissues and blood vessels. The points fall on meridians, also known as energy channels, that often correspond to the path of nerve sensation. Stimulation of these points leads to stimulation of the nervous system and the neural pathways for pain, immune control and blood flow.

This ancient medicine has long withstood the test of time, with thousands of years of recorded practice in China. Today, acupuncture is serving as a bridge between modern western veterinary medicine with Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. This service is now available through Anexa Vets!

When would your vet recommend it?

My old farm dog is slowing down, what can I do to improve their quality of life?
As animals age, they can start to really feel the aches and pains of old age, previous injuries and many years of hard farm work. Traditionally, we manage their chronic pains with anti-inflammatories, pain relief medications and changes to their environment.

My dog is still slow to get up and down and can no longer get in the back of the truck. What else is available for chronic pain from arthritis and joint disease?
Acupuncture is an excellent tool for pain relief associated with arthritis and joint disease. It can be used as a sole treatment or in addition to modern medications. Acupuncture can be used as needed but best responses are seen with regular appointments.

What are the potential side effects and risks?

One of the best things about acupuncture is that there are very few negative side effects reported. It is a very safe modality for use in conjunction with other treatments and therapies.

How often will my dog have to come in for acupuncture and how do the appointments go?

We recommend starting with once a week for 4 weeks and then adjusting frequency of treatments based on how your pet responds. The first appointment includes a full orthopedic exam, an initial treatment plan and an acupuncture session. Future appointments will take about 20-30 minutes, the initial appointment will take 45 minutes to an hour. The needles are placed, the electroacupuncture unit is connected, and the needles are left in for about 20 minutes then removed. You may sit with your pet while they are receiving treatment. Some animals move around while others sit quietly.

Where can I find out more about animal acupuncture with Anexa?

Email Jennifer at [email protected] or call the Anexa Morrinsville on 07 889 5159 for more information.

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