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Acupuncture for Pets

on October 19, 2011
Posted in Cats

Acupuncture is the fastest growing complementary therapy practiced on animals. The number of veterinarians seeking training in this Ancient Chinese modality is increasing. About 5000 years ago acupuncture was discovered by the Ancient Chinese. They learned that by inserting needles into certain parts of the body that they could effect physiological changes, control pain and stimulate organs or body parts. Needles are not inserted at random, but rather into acupoints. The Chinese mapped these acupoints on humans and horses along with the effect that was produced by the stimulation of these points. The first acupuncture text book the Nei Jing was written by the Yellow Emperor around 4700 years ago. This was the oldest medical textbook in the world and included references to treating horses as well as people.

Acupuncture helps the body heal itself. It works by stimulating the nervous system. When the acupoints are stimulated by the tiny needles, chemicals are released that affect the nervous system. These chemicals act centrally on the nervous system to release natural pain killing substances called endorphins. The body’s defense system is stimulated at this time. Circulation is also increased by the release of these chemicals. Because the nervous system goes all over the body, chemicals that are released from one spot may affect an organ or muscle that is farther away.

When acupuncture is done by a qualified, experienced veterinarian it is not painful, nor does it cause distress to the pet. Acupuncture needles are very small–quite a bit smaller than the hypodermic needles used to give vaccinations. When these needles are inserted, there may be a mild sensation of warmth or tingling but this does not last when the needle is left in. Some points are more sensitive than others and most veterinarians will avoid those points altogether or will use other methods such as low level laser to stimulate those points.

Here is a list of some of the common conditions that I treat with acupuncture
· Inflammation
· Pain
· Arthritis
· Traumatic Injuries
· Intervertebral Disc Disease
· Inflammatory Bowel Disease
· Loss of Appetite
· Liver Support with Chronic Elevated Enzymes
. Chronic Constipation or diaarhea
Endocrine and Reproductive
· Thyroid Disturbances
Respiratory and Cardiovascular
· Asthma
· Hypertension
Renal and Urinary
· Kidney Support in Chronic Insufficiency
· Painful Urination Syndromes
· Allergies
· Lick Granulomas
· Anxiety
· Support for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Read also: Keeping your Pet Healthy

Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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