Dr. Michelle Arnold, one of our veterinarians, is certified as a Canine Rehabilitation Therapist through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute as well as a Veterinary Medical Acupuncturist through Colorado State University.
What is medical acupuncture?
Medical acupuncture is part of conventional modern medicine, as opposed to Chinese acupuncture, which is an alternative medical system derived from ancient principles. Medical acupuncture is based upon scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology. It works primarily by modulating the nervous system using small, flexible needles through the skin. Acupuncture can improve nervous system function, relieve pain and inflammation, improve blood flow, stimulate healing after surgery or illness, improve mobility, and decrease stress and anxiety. All of these effects can help your pet live a longer, happier life.
What is canine rehabilitation?
The overall purpose of canine rehabilitation is to improve quality of life and decrease pain by increasing function and mobility of joints and muscles. Through the adaptation of human physical therapy techniques, such as pain control, soft tissue manipulation, stretching and various exercises, patients become more comfortable and move around with more ease.
Is my dog a good candidate?
Some examples of conditions that will benefit from acupuncture and/or rehabilitation include*:
- Post-operative care following orthopedic surgery, such as ACL repair, back surgery, fracture repair, etc.
- Soft tissue injury, such as a strain or sprain
- Spinal cord diseases, such as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), Wobbler’s disease, degenerative myelopathy, fibrocartilagenous emboli (FCE), etc.
- Arthritis, stiff joints and muscle weakness, especially in geriatric or obese dogs that are having trouble getting around
- Athletes, performance dogs, and working dogs
- Chronic diseases such as kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and others
- Anxiety, stress, and seizure disorders
*If your pet has a specific disease or ailment and you would like to know if rehabilitation could help, please call Dr. Arnold at 268-4444
What if my pet is not mobile enough to bring to the clinic for acupuncture or rehabilitation?
For patients that have difficulty traveling to the clinic, we provide house calls. Some of our rehabilitation items can easily be brought to your home, and we can use every day items in your home for some exercises. Acupuncture can be done in your home as well, and in fact some pets prefer to be treated in their own environment.
How often do I need to bring my pet?
The amount of acupuncture or rehabilitation necessary is decided on a case-by-case basis. The beneficial effects of acupuncture are most evident after two to three treatments. Following acute spinal cord injury or surgery, frequent treatments may be required. In cases of chronic pain or disease, treating once per week is effective for long-term management, but treatment frequency is tailored to your pet’s individual situation.
Rehabilitation plans are also based on each pet owner’s schedule and the amount of rehabilitation the owner can provide for their pet at home. Owner involvement in the rehabilitation plan is a key component for maximum success of the treatment plan. However, if you are unable to perform any exercises at home with your pet, we can come up with a plan for complete in-clinic rehabilitation.
How do I get my pet started with acupuncture and rehabilitation?
For acupuncture, you can schedule your pet’s first treatment at any time. The total appointment time is approximately 45 minutes. You are welcome to stay with your pet for the treatment. Most dogs, even those who don’t normally like coming to the vet, will learn that acupuncture is a relaxing experience and that it makes them feel better. The needles are very small and flexible, and do not cause pain.
For rehabilitation, initially you will set up a 2 hour consultation. During the consultation, an in-depth history will be taken, so be sure to bring all medical information such as when tests and procedures were performed, as well as information regarding medications, supplements, and diet. A thorough rehabilitation exam will be performed to see exactly which parts of the body need to be treated. Follow up rehabilitation appointments will be scheduled at the end of the session, and are generally 30 to 60 minutes in duration. Owners are encouraged to be present during any rehabilitation sessions.
Many pets will benefit from a combination of rehabilitation and acupuncture. To discuss this further, and to go over pricing and scheduling, please call Dr. Arnold any time at (859) 268-4444.
Do I have to be a Sheabel Veterinary Hospital client?
You do not have to be a regular Sheabel client, but we ask that you bring any relevant medical history for your pet or have your regular veterinarian send a referral form so that we can be aware of all of your pet’s needs and work together.
Sheabel is excited to continue to be able to offer the highest quality medicine available. Thank you for choosing Sheabel as your primary veterinary hospital for your four-legged family members!