Pet Acupuncture in Harrisonburg
Treatment to Promote Healing and Manage Pain
Yes, this ancient Chinese medicine can help animals! Acupuncture needles are very thin – almost as fine as hair. There is nothing in them or on them, but when they stimulate the nerve in the acupuncture point, the body’s own biochemicals are released to promote healing and control pain. We answer many of your pet acupuncture questions below.
What is acupuncture and how does it work?
Acupuncture has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years,and more recently, has gained popularity and credibility in western medicine. There are over 2,000 acupuncture points spread across the body which can be stimulated by pressure or the insertion of solid needles. Stimulation of these points restores properenergy flow (referred to as Qi, pronounced 'chee') throughout the body. Careful placement of the acupuncture needles stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself. Disruption of Qi often results in disease and acupuncture can help bring the body’s processes back into balance.
What are the benefits of acupuncture?
Acupuncture results in the release of endorphins and opioids. Acupuncture also increases blood flow to specific areas of the body promoting healing and controlling pain. It can safely be combined with medications and often makes it possible to decrease the dose of your pet’s long-term pain or seizure medications.
What happens during my pet’s acupuncture appointment?
At Heartland Veterinary Clinic, our skilled acupuncturist will examine your pet to identify the appropriate treatment and type of acupuncture your pet may need. We offer standard acupuncture and electroacupuncture. The acupuncture needles are usually left in position for ten to twenty minutes while the team gently supports your pet. Most animals become very calm and relaxed for their treatments and sometimes even fall asleep!
How often should my pet receive acupuncture?
Initially, acupuncture appointments are scheduled more closely together (ex. Three appointments, each seven days apart). Since the effects of acupuncture are cumulative, it may take a few sessions to see the benefits. A minimum of three visits is recommended to determine if the use of acupuncture is effective. Typically, as yourpet's condition improves, visits can be spaced further apart. Depending on the condition, regular ongoing appointments may be needed to maintain your pet’s comfort and mobility.
What are the side effects of acupuncture?
There may be mild bleeding at the site of needle insertion, but this is rare. In traditional Chinese medicine, this is seen as release of 'heat' and is a good thing. Your pet may appear sore or tired for 24-48 hours following their acupuncture treatment. This is normal and your pet should be allowed to rest after their appointment.
Is acupuncture painful?
Needles used in pet acupuncture are much smaller than those used for injections. Their insertion is virtually painless but may cause a tingling sensation pets are not familiar with. This may cause some discomfort.
What conditions can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture can treat a variety of pet health conditions. In most cases, it is best to combine pet acupuncture with western medicine principles. A full exam may be necessary to determine if acupuncture is right for your pet. Below is a list of conditions acupuncture may improve.
- Arthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease (ex. Chronic Joint Pain, Hip Dysplasia)
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
- Nerve Pain
- Pain Associated with Surgery (ex. Spay, Neuter, Cruciate Repair)
- Traumatic Injuries
- Gastrointestinal Problems (ex. Diarrhea, Vomiting)
- Poor Appetite
Who can perform acupuncture?
Only a licensed veterinarian may legally perform acupuncture on animals. Veterinarians may complete specific training/schooling to gain a thorough understanding of the principles of acupuncture.
How can I make an appointment?
We encourage you to discuss the benefits of acupuncture with our team to see if it may prove beneficial for your pet. Our Heartland veterinary acupuncture team would be happy to assess your pet’s condition. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (540) 434-3903.
“Dr. Brian was great.”- John A.
“Everybody there makes you feel like your pet is the most important one there.”- Tammy S.
“The staff at heartland is compassionate, takes time to make sure you have your questions answered, and has been flexible when we aren't comfortable with the first option.”- Tammy H.