Holistic Housecall Veterinary Service Lisa Hoberg DVM, CVA
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body to elicit a biochemical and neurological reaction. The stimulation of these points can create a healing and balancing affect by the body. Typically, this response is achieved by the use of sterile needles inserted into these points. It has been used to treat animals in China for approximately 4,000 years, and has been applied in the United States for the past few decades. It is most commonly used in dogs and cats for the treatment of diseases such as arthritis, kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders (in particular megacolon in cats), and some neurological, urinary, and dermatological diseases. The needles are usually left in for 10 to 20 minutes. During the initial treatment phase, it is common to have weekly or bi-weekly sessions for the first 3 to 4 treatments. The frequency is then tapered off depending upon the response to treatment. For example, most older, arthritic dogs have maintenance acupuncture treatments every 3 to 4 weeks.
Depending on the pet's condition, I may use electro-acupuncture which uses an electrical current to stimulate acupuncture meridians, or moxa, which uses heat on the needles. I may place my hands on your pet to try to loosen restrictions along the meridians as well. Most dogs are very receptive to the needles and will tolerate a treatment very well. Cats can be a little difficult to restrain for long but they are very receptive to the healing qualities of the acupuncture treatment.
This dog in the photo - "Freckles" relaxes in her living room during her acupuncture treatment while I take notes and monitor her situation.
When I first met Freckles she was completely "down in the rear" probably from intervertebral disc disease - a ruptured disc putting pressure on her spinal cord. Her treatment consisted of electroacupuncture once a week - she was such a great and willing patient! I worked with Freckles for about a month before she started walking more normally.This video was taken after she first starting having acupuncture treatments and although her gait is still not quite "normal" she is able to get in and out of the house to eliminate as well as enjoying being outside with her family.