Medical acupuncture is part of conventional modern medicine and is based upon scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology. It is different from Chinese acupuncture, which is an alternative medical system derived from ancient principles. Medical acupuncture balances the nervous system through the placement of small, flexible needles onto the skin. Because the needles are so small, they do not cause pain. 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.
You can schedule your pet’s first acupuncture treatment at Sheabel Veterinary Hospital at any time, and appointments are about 45 minutes long. You are welcome to stay with your pet for the treatment. Many pets, even those that don’t typically enjoy coming to the vet, learn that acupuncture is a relaxing experience that makes them feel better.
The amount of acupuncture that is necessary is decided on a case-by-case basis. Following acute spinal cord injury or surgery, frequent treatments may be required. In cases of chronic pain or disease, weekly treatments can effectively manage pain long-term. Treatment frequency is tailored to your pet’s individual situation. Generally, the beneficial effects of acupuncture are most evident after two to three treatments.
Acupuncture can relieve pain and treat symptoms in many areas of your pet’s health:
- Postoperative care following orthopedic surgery, such as ACL repair, back surgery, or fracture repair
- Soft tissue injury, such as a strain or sprain
- Spinal cord diseases, such as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), Wobbler syndrome, degenerative myelopathy, or fibrocartilaginous emboli (FCE)
- Arthritis, stiff joints, and muscle weakness, especially in geriatric or obese dogs that have trouble with mobility
- Chronic diseases, such as kidney disease and inflammatory bowel disease
- Anxiety, stress, and seizure disorders
Dr. Mattingly is a certified veterinary medical acupuncturist through The Chi Institute. If your pet has a specific disease or ailment and you would like to know if acupuncture could help, please call Dr. Mattingly at 859-269-7387.