Offering Acupuncture for Dogs and Cats in Omaha, NE
Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years on humans and animals alike. The procedure involves inserting small, thin sterile needles into specific acupuncture points on the body to cause a therapeutic effect. This practice can be used to treat many different conditions and ailments in our animal companions–large and small.
What Conditions can be Treated with Acupuncture?
Acupuncture has been used effectively to treat many different conditions in dogs and cats. It is most commonly used for the following:
- Musculoskeletal conditions: General pain, muscle injuries, back pain, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, and other orthopedic injuries.
- Neurological diseases: Intervertebral disc disease, seizures, laryngeal hemiplegia, and nerve paralysis.
- Gastrointestinal disorders: Diarrhea, vomiting, ulcers, and constipation.
- Quality of life, cancer, and hospice care.
- Chronic diseases: Skin conditions, asthma, cough, and internal organ diseases such as kidney disease, liver disease, and thyroid disease.
How Does It Work?
When performed by a qualified practitioner, acupuncture is a very safe medical treatment for dogs and cats. The acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points called acupoints, which are located along channels or meridians that run along the body. Located at these acupoints are dense clusters of free nerve endings, mast cells, and small blood and lymphatic vessels. When the acupoint is stimulated with the insertion of the needle, it triggers a release of beta-endorphins, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters that effect the brain. This can result in pain relief as well as other systemic effects in the body.
Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes a life force or vital energy called Qi (pronounced “chee”). In health, Qi flows through the body in balance, but this balance can be disrupted due to disease or pain. Pain is a sort of blockage in the flow of Qi. With acupuncture, we can help to unblock the Qi and restore normal balance.
How Many Acupuncture Treatments are Needed?
Acupuncture for dogs and cats is administered according to the pet’s condition(s) and other factors. Treatments can be done daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, or simply whenever they are needed. Sometimes, results are seen immediately, while other times (as with chronic conditions), it takes several treatments to notice an improvement. We usually recommend at least 3-5 treatments weekly to notice a major effect.
Types of Acupuncture Treatments Available to Pets
There are several different types of acupuncture treatments that can be used for pets:
- Dry needle technique: This involves the use of very small sterile needles inserted at acupoints.
- Electro-acupuncture: Involves using the same needles used for dry needling but including electrical stimulation to induce a deeper response.
- Aqua-acupuncture: Involves injecting a sterile liquid into an acupuncture point to provide a longer-lasting effect.
- Hemo-acupuncture: Involves bleeding a small amount of blood from an acupoint.
- Laser-acupuncture: This procedure involves using a non-surgical laser to stimulate an acupoint, and is useful for animals who do not tolerate needles well.