Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Acupuncture for Dogs… and Other Animals

on September 10, 2010

My uncle has an older dog who’s suffering with arthritis. She has trouble moving around, getting up stairs, etc. My uncle also has arthritis issues, and since acupuncture works to ease his pain, he decided to take his dog to a veterinary acupuncturist for treatments as well. And guess what – it works!

I hear this acupuncture is very relaxing...I love a good doze....

Acupuncture gave his dog the ability to move around like a much younger pup again. He now takes her for treatments weekly, and she’s clearly benefiting from this care.

So I became interested in finding out more about this, since we never know what problems our furry friends might have that can be relieved or even cured through holistic approaches, which I far prefer over potentially damaging medicines. Our last vet (who is now retired) took acupuncture classes just so he could make sure the injections he gave animals were painless – what a kind-hearted man he was! He never earned an extra penny from it, he just didn’t want to cause animals any unnecessary pain. And since our dog never once yelped or even winced during a shot, I knew he was onto something.

Anyway, there’s clearly plenty of interest in this field because there’s an International Veterinary Acupuncture Society! And it appears that the IVAS and other acupuncture societies also focus on other holistic treatments for animal diseases and problems. Also, some pet insurance companies also covers alternative medicine such as acupuncture and acupressure – check out VPI Pet Insurance (http://www.petinsurance.com/healthzone/pet-articles/pet-health/Alternative-Therapies-for-Dogs.aspx).

I’ve  had acupuncture twice myself to cure tendinitis, and it did work – once I did electro-puncture and acupuncture alone, and the second time I did them in combination with physical therapy (for a different type of injury). In fact, the physical therapist, who was recommended by my traditional sports injury specialist, advocated the use of acupuncture as well. What I ended up with was a permanent cure rather than the temporary relief from a cortisone shot that the sports injury specialist wanted to give me.

A friend of mine exhausted every traditional means for her tendinitis – awful medications that had really nasty side effects and physical therapy (that was prescribed WAY too soon and caused more pain) – and was on the verge of surgery “that probably wouldn’t help anyway but he’d do it” (can you imagine doctors saying that??!) and a restricted life, because the tendinitis had severely affected her right hand. I talked her into acupuncture and, lo and behold, it’s clearing up! The use of her hand has returned and she’s slowly seeing more improvements and less pain. Even if it hadn’t worked, there would be no nasty side effects or long-range damage, which is a definite concern regarding with medications.

If you want to consider this holistic path for your furry friend, here are some online resources that can give you more information and lead you to local practitioners:

American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncturehttp://www.aava.org/ – click on the “Links” page for a directory of veterinary acupuncturists.

Acupuncture.comhttp://www.acupuncture.com/animals/dog.htm – All the information you’ll ever need to know about acupuncture for animals; this page will discuss dogs specifically. You can also find holistic vets in your area by typing in your zip code – I was shocked and thrilled at how many there are near us!

The Holistic Vethttp://www.theholisticvet.com/vet_acupuncture2.html – Tells you exactly what to expect with acupuncture for dogs. Great info.

International Veterinary Acupuncture Societyhttp://www.ivas.org.

Physical therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, and/or massage may not only help your pet overcome an injury, they may also be ways to prevent such injuries from occurring again.  As practitioners of alternative medicines always say – natural cures first, medications second, surgery as a last resort!

One response to “Acupuncture for Dogs… and Other Animals

  1. tiffy40 says:

    That’s really great information! I will pass it on to my human and dog friends alike:)

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