Veterinarian in Wellington, CO
At Wellington Veterinary Hospital, we offer veterinary acupuncture to provide pain relief to pets in need.
“As a veterinarian at Wellington Veterinary Hospital, I have seen firsthand the incredible power of acupuncture for pets. It has the ability to not only relieve physical pain and discomfort, but also promote emotional well-being and overall balance within the body. It’s truly amazing to witness the transformation and watch a dog be able to walk out of the practice who had to be carried in.”
– Dr. Sarah Rich
The Healing Power of Pet Acupuncture
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a type of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) that is used to restore an imbalance of vital energies in the body that causes illness. This technique involves inserting fine needles into specific points, called acupuncture points, along the dog’s body. These sites, referred to as meridians in TCVM, are believed to be energy channels that transmit energy throughout the dog’s body. This insertion of needles along the meridians guides “chi” or vital energy along the channels, enhancing blood circulation which improves the dog’s healing ability. Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system and increases the release of anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving substances to reduce a dog’s discomfort. Additionally, research shows that acupuncture works through modulating the nerve pathways, releasing beneficial chemicals from the brain and spinal cord, including opioid-like neurochemicals.
Acupressure is another technique that involves applying pressure to acupuncture points rather than inserting a needle. This technique is preferred for locations that are hard to reach with needles, or for dogs that may not tolerate the needles. Similarly, laser acupuncture is also used to target specific acupuncture points for deeper tissue effects than acupressure.
- Improves blood flow
- Reduces waste production
- Increases the amount of metabolic waste the body can remove
- Relaxes muscles, both where the needle is inserted and those located elsewhere in the body, so it relieves pain both locally and generally
How does Acupuncture Help my Pet?
Acupuncture may decrease the amount of pain medication needed to treat dogs by stimulating the release of naturally occurring pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory substances. Most pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs are quite safe but may affect organ function, so veterinarians closely monitor organ function through routine laboratory testing to minimize the risk. Acupuncture has no systemic side effects, so it is particularly helpful for dogs in poor health.
Acupuncture is often used to treat dogs with arthritis and joint inflammation, chronic back pain, serious spinal cord conditions, and lick granulomas. While it can reduce pain and inflammation associated with many medical conditions, traditional medicine is the first line of treatment for infection, cancer, and major organ disease. However, acupuncture can help with issues associated with cancer or the side effects of cancer treatment such as tissue inflammation, nausea, and decreased appetite. If acupuncture or acupressure cannot cure a dog’s condition, it may make it more tolerable.
The goal of acupuncture treatment is to achieve the greatest degree of improvement and maintain that level with the fewest treatments necessary. The effects of acupuncture treatment are cumulative, so there is a benefit to repeated sessions. However, there are few side effects with acupuncture, but some dogs may be sore or stiff following a treatment session, while others appear tired. These symptoms usually resolve within 24-48 hours.
Call us to learn more and schedule an appointment!