FAQ About Pet Acupuncture

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Is Pet Acupuncture a new type of treatment?

Acupuncture has been practiced in both humans and animals for thousands of years in China. The first veterinary acupuncture book is believed to have been written around 600 BC. Acupuncture was also used in India to treat elephants some 3000 years ago. Horses and farm animals were among the first to be treated with acupuncture and finally practiced on dogs, cats, birds and other species.

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Do you use other treatments to help a pet stay well?

Along with acupuncture, herbs and dietary changes are often used in treatment in traditional Chinese medicine. Tui-na is an ancient Chinese method of bodywork — a combination of acupressure and medical massage techniques. Tui-na can be used to enhance the effect of acupuncture and can be taught to caregivers to be done on their pet at home. Tui-na will help move energy past blocked points, ease muscle tension and offer comfort and increased energy to your pet.

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How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupoints are generally stimulated with a very fine, flexible, stainless-steel needle. These needles are designed specifically for acupuncture, are extremely sharp (which makes for more comfortable insertion), sterile and are used only once.

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Will my pet feel any pain?

Many times, there is a slight response (called de-qi) when the needle is inserted, but then no pain is felt. Many animals relax noticeably once the needles are placed.

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Do you have to use the needles?

Acupoints can also be stimulated by moxibustion (an herb burned to produce warmth), aquapuncture, massage techniques (like acupressure, or tui-na), or electroacupuncture.

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Is Acupuncture safe for my pet?

Acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure when administered by a qualified practitioner. Only licensed Doctors of Veterinary Medicine are allowed to become certified in Pet Acupuncture.

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How long is a session?

Acupuncture sessions usually range from 20-60 minutes. The first session usually takes longer, as more history is taken concerning your pet’s condition. Some questions may not seem relevant, but are very important considerations from a Chinese medicine perspective, as nothing happens in isolation.

Total number of treatments are dependent on the nature, severity, and duration of the disease or condition. One treatment may be enough for an acute condition. A series of 3-10 treatments, usually about 2 weeks apart, should be expected in more chronic conditions.

Many times, “tune-up” acupuncture sessions are scheduled every few weeks to months after the initial series to maximize the benefits of acupuncture.

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