Facts about Dog Acupuncture
A new trend among animal enthusiasts is holistic veterinarians who offer the opportunity for dog acupuncture as a means of treating canines. Just as there are those who may be skeptical at the idea of holistic medicine as treatment for humans, there are numerous people who scoff at the use of this alternative therapy for their dogs even though there are many success stories.
Various cultures have practiced the art of acupuncture throughout history, dating back approximately 5,000 years. Piercing the skin using amazingly fine needles to stimulate specific points on the body, this therapy seeks to draw responses in those areas in order to alleviate pain and to treat specific disorders. Primitive man began using acupuncture on themselves making use of fish bones as needles. It was a natural transition to treat animals with the holistic therapy when positive results were achieved with humans, and the first recorded use was in India around 3,000 years ago on elephants.
Increased technological advances in the 1900’s saw a decrease in the usage of acupuncture in the United States, but it never completely disappeared. In the past 35 to 40 years, a resurgence has occurred, albeit slowly, in this medical practice. Expanding the therapy to reach into veterinarian medicine was only natural, and today there are over 100,000 veterinarian doctors that have been trained in the art of acupuncture, and even more veterinarian assistants. With such a growing interest in the practice, a professional association has been initiated to encompass these with web support and newsletters.
Animal lovers are as interested in ensuring the health of their beloved pets as they are in their own. This is certainly understandable, since our pets are considered to be valued members of the family. When any malady or injury afflicts the animal, the owners are quick to consult with the veterinarian to discuss remedies. The treatments can often be quite expensive, and if surgery is recommended the pet may have a long rehabilitation process. Acupuncture can be utilized as a much less invasive procedure.
Since for many people the family pet is a dog, acupuncture practitioners who treat a variety of canine issues are becoming increasingly popular. Cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal issues, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological ailments, reproductive disorders and more are successfully and effectively treated by using the holistic approach. Joint diseases such as arthritis show great response to the treatment, as do allergies and skin problems.
Veterinarians of both persuasions will initially follow similar procedures in diagnosing the problems a dog is experiencing in order to prescribe treatment. A physical exam will be performed during which the dog’s vital signs will be recorded; eye responses, odors, coat condition, basal temperature, pulse rate and ear conditions. Questions will be posed to the dog’s owner to determine the pet’s eating habits, change in actions, fluid intake, waste output and general health history. Once a diagnosis has been decided upon, actual treatment will begin.
In most cases, the insertion of needles will be painless for the dog. Acupuncture, when properly performed, creates very little physical sensation. The treatment consists of the use of sterilized, extremely fine and flexible needles that can be manipulated even after inserted into the points. Once the needles are inserted, they will remain in place anywhere between 10 minutes and 30 minutes per session. Multiple sessions, repeated on a weekly basis or more often, may be required depending upon the ailment and the dog’s current condition.
While dog acupuncture is a new and growing trend, it should not be considered as a “trendy” form of treatment. There are multiple success stories of dogs that have had paralyzing conditions reversed or painful arthritic joints relieved. Before scoffing at a new and innovative treatment method, consider acupuncture as an alternate means of treating your pet.