Animals suffer from pain and anxiety the same as people do. Acupuncture can help your pet relax and relieve pain caused by a surgery, an injury or an inflammation. It can also help if your animal experiences stress and agitation. Acupuncture helps the body release endorphins, which create a state of relaxation and pain relief.
- Find a veterinarian who performs acupuncture. Acupuncturists use very thin, sterile needles to press on different points in the animal’s body, thereby triggering relaxation and stimulating blood flow. Visit the website of The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (http://www.ivas.org/) to locate acupuncture veterinarians and clinics in your area. Make sure the therapist you choose is qualified and has experience in the field. Discuss providers with other pet owners to get recommendations. Your regular veterinarian might also be able to recommend acupuncturists and establish if acupuncture would benefit your pet.
- Monitor your pet during the procedure. Some pets tolerate acupuncture better than others. Dogs, for example, are known to accept acupuncture procedures, while cats are less tolerant. Acupuncture should induce a state of relaxation to your pet. If you observe that your pet does not tolerate the method, do not force it. For the treatment to be done safely and with results, the animal has to remain calm and accept it.
- Acupuncture for animals can prove quite expensive. Check the prices with more than one acupuncturist in your area. Do not take your pet to acupuncturists who do not also hold a veterinary license. The human body and the body of an animal are very different; thus, acupuncture meridians and points vary greatly. Even if animal acupuncture derives from acupuncture from humans and the principles are the same, only a certified animal acupuncturist should apply the method.
- The acupuncturist should not replace your regular veterinarian. If your pet receives treatment for a medical condition, combine the treatment with acupuncture. The veterinary acupuncturist will do a physical examination of your pet before starting the treatment. You will have to answer some questions about the pet’s eating and sleeping habits, the symptoms you observed and the problems you want to treat through acupuncture.
- Follow the treatment plan set up by the acupuncturist for your pet. Your pet might have to undergo acupuncture treatment for several weeks or months before completely recovering from pain or anxiety. Observe your pet after each acupuncture sessions. Take note of the developments and discuss them with the acupuncturist.
- If your pet does not tolerate acupuncture with one veterinarian, try going to another specialist. Pets respond differently to different people. Your pet might not necessarily fail to tolerate acupuncture, but it is possible that the animal does not get along with the acupuncturist. If the pet does not respond well to a second acupuncturist, try other treatment options.
Filed Under: Pets & Animals
About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.