First Visit includes exam and acupuncture which is an hour long, then we ask that you do a series of 5 consecutive treatments depending on the severity of the condition. After that, the animal is re-evaluated. We have some clients that continue acupuncture once a week for their aging dogs.
The History of Acupuncture:
Dr. Deiter first used acupuncture on his own dog, which lived to 14 years old. None of western medicine was good enough in his declining years, so Dr. Deiter tried acupuncture, saw immediate results, then decided to get certified with The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 1994.
The practice of acupuncture started about 4,000 years ago (the Stone Age) in Ancient China. It is not a fact, but many historians believe that cavemen were the first people to use acupuncture. Archaeologists have found stone knives and other sharp-edged tools, which they think the cavemen used in acupuncture. Dr. Roger Tsao thinks that through accidents, the cavemen noticed that when you stimulate specific areas on the skin, it affects the functioning of certain organs of the body. They would use the stone tools to stimulate these special points whenever they needed to feel relief from different pains or diseases. When the Chinese language started to develop, these points were recorded. The first book ever to be published about acupuncture was entitled Shuo Wen Jie Zi, which basically means “The Analytical Dictionary of Characters”. In the Shang Dynasty (16th-11th century B.C.) the bronze casting technique was developed, which made it possibly for the Chinese to make bronze needles. When the Chinese applied the needles to the special points the cavemen first noticed, they found that the needles created a stronger and faster relief than the stone tools did.
Eventually after thousands of years of “tinkering” with the needles and points, the discovery of the meridian system was made and recorded. With a few exceptions, most of the channels and points used back then are still used today. Acupuncture+s techniques and procedures haven+t changed substantially either; there are only two differences. One difference is that instead of using bronze needles, practitioners today use stainless steel ones because they are disposable.
Q: What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture may be defined as the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to cause a desired healing effect. This technique has been used in veterinary practice in China for at least 3,000 years to treat many ailments. The Chinese also use acupuncture as preventive medicine against such problems as founder and colic in horses. Acupuncture is used all over the world, either by itself or in conjuncture with Western medicine, to treat a wide variety of maladies in every species of domestic animals and in exotic animals. Modern veterinary acupuncturists use solid needles, hypodermic needles, bleeding needles, electricity, heat, massage, and low power lasers to stimulate acupuncture points. Acupuncture is not a cure-all, but can work very well when indicated.
Q: For which conditions is acupuncture indicated?
Acupuncture is indicated mainly for functional problems such as those that involve paralysis, noninfectious inflammation (such as allergies), and pain. For small animals, the following are some of the general conditions which may be treated with acupuncture:
- Musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis or
vertebral disc pathology
- Skin problems, such as lick granuloma
- Repertory problems, such as feline asthma
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea
- Selected reproductive problems
In addition, regular acupuncture treatments can treat minor sports injuries as they occur and help to keep muscles and tendons resistant to injury. World class professional and amateur athletes often use acupuncture as a routine part of their training. If your animals are involved in any athletic endeavor, such as racing, jumping, or showing, acupuncture can help keep them in top physical condition.
Q: How does acupuncture work?
According to ancient Chinese medical philosophy, disease is the result of an imbalance of energy in the body. Acupuncture is believed to balance this energy and, thereby, assist the body to heal disease.
In Western terms, acupuncture can assist the body to heal itself by affecting certain physiological changes. For example, acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation. Relieve muscle spasm, and causes the release of hormones, such as endorphins (one of the body’s pain control chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid). Although many of acupuncture’s physiological effects have been studied, many more are still unknown. Further research must be done to discover all of acupuncture’s effects and its proper uses in veterinary medicine.
Q: Is acupuncture painful?
For small animals, the insertion of acupuncture needles is virtually painless. The larger needles necessary for large animals may cause some pain as the needles passes through the skin. In all animals, once the needles are in place, there should be no pain. Most animals become very relaxed and may even become sleepy. Nevertheless, acupuncture treatment may cause some sensation, presumed to be those such as tingles, cramps, or numbness which can occur in humans and may be uncomfortable to some animals.
Q: Is acupuncture safe for animals?
Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment when it is administered by a properly trained veterinarian. Side effects of acupuncture are rare, but they do exist. An animal’s condition may seem worse for up to 48 hours after a treatment. Other animals may become sleepy or lethargic for 24 hours after acupuncture. These effects are the indication that some physiological changes are developing, and they are most often followed by improvement in the animal’s condition.
Q: How long do acupuncture treatments last and how often are they given?
The length and frequency of acupuncture treatments depends on the condition of the patient and the method of stimulation that is used by the veterinary acupuncturist. Stimulation of an individual acupuncture point may take as little as 10 seconds or as much as 30 minutes. A simple acute problem, such as a sprain, may require only one treatment, where more severe or chronic ailments may need several or several dozen treatments.
When multiple treatments are necessary, they usually begin intensively and are tapered to maximum efficiency. Patients often start with 1 – 4 treatments per week for 4 – 6 weeks. A positive response is usually seen after the first to third treatment. Once a maximum positive response is achieved (usually after 4 – 8 treatments), treatments are tapered off so that the greatest amount of symptom-free time lapses between them. Many animals with chronic conditions can taper off to 2 – 4 treatments per year.
Animals undergoing athletic training can benefit from acupuncture as often as twice a week to once a month. The frequency depends on the intensity of the training and the condition of the athlete.