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What is Veterinary Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an approach to health care that focuses more on prevention. Along with herbal supplements, weight loss, and exercise, acupuncture is one aspect of traditional Chinese veterinary medicine. Other aspects include herbal medicine, acupressure, and chiropractic therapies.

Most often, acupuncture utilizes the placement of small needles in very specific areas to stimulate acupuncture points. Acupuncture can be used to maintain and promote balance in healthy pets, as well as to treat a wide variety of conditions.

These conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • hip dysplasia/ chronic arthritic conditions

  • acute muscle, tendon and bone injuries (often best used in conjunction with western modalities)

  • pre- and post-operative pain management

  • spinal cord trauma including paresis (weakness) and paralysis

  • control nausea in cancer patients to improve appetite and boost the immune system

  • gastrointestinal disorders: vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and inflammatory bowel disease

  • kidney disease

  • urinary incontinence and retention

  • respiratory disorders: upper respiratory infections, chronic bronchitis, and asthma

  • seizures

  • separation anxiety

  • skin conditions

  • disorders of the immune system

  • liver and heart disease

  • endocrine disorders including thyroid disorders

  • geriatric patient management to improve the general quality of life


Preparing for your appointment:
When you come to West Ridge Animal Hospital for Acupuncture treatment, the first visit will always start with a consultation. Your veterinarian will discuss the treatment alternatives with you and help assist you in determining which type of treatment meets your pet’s needs the best. If you decide on acupuncture therapy for your pet, your veterinarian will ask for a current set of radiographs, or x-rays, to be performed.

Accurate and ethical treatment of your pet is one of our highest priorities. In order to make sure that we are not doing additional damage and to ensure that we are treating the issue in the best way possible we will need to “see” where we are placing our acupuncture needles and this requires radiographs. We are more than willing to use x-rays from another veterinarian as long as they have been taken in the last thirty days and no additional symptoms have presented in your pet’s health or behavior.

After the consultation and radiographs are taken, your veterinarian will formulate an Acupuncture Treatment Sheet, detailing where your pet’s nerve ending are and where to place the acupuncture needles. Additionally, your veterinarian will ask for your assistance in formulating an ongoing treatment itinerary that works for both your pet’s health and for you. For example: first appointment and treatment on week one, second treatment on week two, third treatment on week four, fourth treatment on week eight, reassess at that point to determine if further treatment is needed. We want to make certain that you understand that we treat your pet and you as individuals. Our plans are not one size fits all and are completely customizable to what works best for your pet’s health and wellbeing.

The actual acupuncture procedure is quick and painless. Your veterinarian will place the needles and then invite you to stay with your pet, as the needles need to sit in the nerve endings(?) for several minutes to be effective. The needles are removed easily and you are one your way.

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