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One of the safest medical treatments for pets

At Inna Veterinary Acupuncture, I use acupuncture to reduce pain and restore energy for older pets and those with chronic conditions. Some of the effects that have been observed with this type of treatment include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief from pain, reduced muscle spasms and increased T-cell count, which stimulates the body’s own immune system. Please keep in mind that acupuncture patients need to maintain their relationship with a referring veterinarian.

According to the origins of this ancient Chinese medical practice, disease is considered the result of an imbalance of Qi, or energy in the body. In acupuncture, a very thin needle is inserted into specific spots on the body called acupoints. It is believed that this process helps balance the Qi energy, assisting the body to heal itself from disease. Acupoints are places under the skin surface where Qi is particularly concentrated. In modern interpretations, these points are usually near free nerve endings, arterioles, lymphatic vessels, connective tissue and mast cells. Acupuncture restores your pet’s regular homeostasis, allowing the body’s natural healing and regeneration to take place. It stimulates the local nerves as well as the brain, helping reduce anxiety and pain by releasing β endorphins, serotonin, norepinephrine and endogenous opioids for non-pharmaceutical relief. Acupuncture can also help activate the immune system.

When I arrive for your pet’s acupuncture visit, you’ll be able to discuss current concerns you have for your pet, their medical history, aspects of their health and lifestyle as well as their personality and constitution. The first visit generally lasts for about an hour, giving you plenty of time to go over any issues your pet may have. Once we have determined the problems and prioritize, I’ll go over treatment options and the expected treatment course. Each follow-up appointment lasts for approximately 40 minutes, and will always begin with a discussion on how your pet has been progressing. Nutritional supplements and herbs may be recommended to your pet’s treatment plan to optimize results.

One of the Safest Medical Treatments for Pets

Acupuncture is one of the safest medical treatments for pets when administered by a trained veterinarian. Some animals barely notice the insertion of the acupuncture needles while others may feel some mild discomfort. Most pets relax once the needles are in place, though others may remain a bit nervous throughout the procedure. Please keep in mind that though rare, side effects of acupuncture do exist. It’s not uncommon for a pet’s symptoms to appear to worsen in the first day or two after treatment, or for them to become very sleepy. These are often a good indication of the positive long-term effects that will follow. Also, not every pet tolerates acupuncture well. In those situations I use the other branches of TCVM such as acupressure, Chinese herbs and acu-laser (the use of laser therapy in acupuncture points).

The duration and schedule of acupuncture treatments generally depend on the condition and symptoms of your pet and the method used by the veterinarian. Acute problems, such as an injury, may require only 2-3 sessions, while a chronic condition would need anywhere from several to several dozen treatments. Once your pet has reached peak improvement, acupuncture treatments are tapered off to a maintenance level of about 2-4 appointments a year.

Similar to traditional acupuncture, electroacupuncture uses the same basic principles to stimulate the acupoints on your pet’s body. It involves the application of a pulsating electrical current to acupuncture needles to encourage healing and stimulate the immune system.

Developed in China in 1934 as an extension of the ancient practice, the procedure includes the insertion of acupuncture needles as they would normally be used to get the resulting Qi reaction through hand manipulation. After this portion of the procedure, the veterinarian attaches an electrode to the needle to provide a continuous flow of stimulation to the acupoints.

Benefits of Electroacupuncture
  • Allows for a longer stimulation of the acupoints for prolonged sessions

  • Potentially reduces treatment time through continued stimulation

  • Useful for difficult cases, such as severe arthritis, neurological damage or paralysis from conditions such as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), Wobbler syndrome and musculoskeletal disease

As with any appointment, I will spend time getting to know your pet’s specific concerns and medical situation before administering treatments.

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