If you’ve ever wanted to try a safe and effective form of alternative medicine for your pet, consider acupuncture.
Part of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, the act of inserting small needles in certain parts in the body, can offer many benefits to a variety of pets, according to Dr. Daniel Eckman, a veterinarian at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. The needles can be plain or accompanied with gentle currents of electricity, medication, or burning herbs.
Although the idea of needles sounds painful, Eckman said that pets tend to tolerate acupuncture well and may even go to sleep during treatment.
When performed by trained and skilled veterinarians, acupuncture is safe and side effects and complications, such as piercing a nerve, are rare.
“Acupuncture can be used to treat many conditions, including pain, skin disorders, and problems in the liver, kidney, heart, respiratory system, nervous system, gastrointestinal, ocular, urinary tract, and reproductive system,” Eckman said.
Acupuncture can also help with anxiety disorders and pain management.
“Acupuncture is great to use for pain control,” Eckman said. “Recent studies have shown that acupuncture can be equally as effective as opiates but with no addictive side effects.”
Eckman adds that acupuncture can be added at any time in the treatment course, but the earlier the better.
If you would like to learn more about acupuncture as a treatment for your pet, Eckman recommends talking to your veterinarian to see if they work with a veterinary acupuncturist.
You can also visit these three websites to find veterinary acupuncturists near you:
Curacore’s Medical Acupuncture for Veterinarians, at https://curacore.org/find-a-practitioner/
International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, at https://www.ivas.org/vets/
Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, at http://www.tcvm.com/Resources/FindaTCVMPractitioner.aspx
If you’re looking for a way to enhance your pet’s current treatment plan or find a natural way to heal your pet, acupuncture may be a good fit for your furry friend.