How Veterinary Acupuncture Can Help Dogs & Cats
Acupuncture is known to have therapeutic effects in a wide variety of animal diseases and is a valuable tool in veterinary rehabilitation. Effective for a number of musculoskeletal disorders and facilitating healing, research has shown that acupuncture can:
- Relieve pain—Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the release of endogenous opioids (endorphins), pain relieving substances that are similar to narcotics, but produced naturally by the body.
- Improve circulation—During acupuncture, central and peripheral changes can occur in the regulation of blood flow, including increased circulation to the skin, muscles, brain, and internal organs.
- Reduce inflammation—Acupuncture may decrease pain-causing inflammation by stimulating the body's pituitary gland to release cortisol. Cortisol is a naturally occurring steroid substance that has anti-inflammatory properties.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is acupuncture exactly?
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body located along pathways that correspond to specific body organs. Stimulation can be in the form of small needles, injections, electrical stimulation, light, or heat.
Why would I want acupuncture for my dog or cat?
Acupuncture treats a variety of health conditions. When administered by a trained veterinary acupuncturist, it is one of the safest forms of medical treatment for animals. Dogs and cats typically accept acupuncture very well. In fact, it's not uncommon for animals to go into a relaxed state during treatment.
Does acupuncture really work?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), many studies in animals and humans have demonstrated that acupuncture can cause multiple biological responses, both locally at the site of insertion and at a distance through sensory neurons to structures within the central nervous system.
Acupuncture points are areas of electrical sensitivity that have been clinically effective in the treatment of specific health conditions. This response leads to the activation of pathways affecting the brain and systems in the periphery. Acupuncture may also activate areas of the brain, such as the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, stimulating a wide range of beneficial systemic effects.
To learn more about veterinary acupuncture for your cat or dog, please contact us.
"On several occasions, Dr. Hammel administered acupuncture to help Stone, our aging Black Lab. He was like a babe in her arms and the relaxing effects of the procedure seemed to help his mobility. It was a spa treatment for him with healthful results. "– Chris S.
"When Gracie had her hip surgery, the surgeon referred me to Dr. Hammel for physical rehabilitation to speed her recovery. She steadily improved and now plays just as hard as our puppy! I think she misses her rehab sessions though!"– Patrick H.
"Cody, our 12-year-old German Shepherd, has osteoarthritis and difficulty walking. He has been coming to VRCC for physical rehab and it is helping him tremendously. He feels better, has started playing again, and is now able to go for walks. Cody loves his rehab sessions, especially the underwater treadmill!"– Becca P.
"You can tell that Dr. Hammel cares about each pet and treats them as if they are her own. My dog always feels right at home with VRCC and I love the excellent care she receives there!"– Missy S.