As skilled veterinarians, we understand that different pets have different needs. As a substitute to traditional veterinary medicine, we provide patients with Complimentary or Alternative Veterinary Medicine (CAVM) to allow for diverse patient preferences. The American Veterinary Medical Association defines CAVM as a collection of diagnostic, hygienic, and therapeutic practices that depart from modern scientific veterinary medicine. Such holistic services include the use of supplements and alternative therapies to aid in the healing process. If you would like to inquire about holistic care, or have any questions about alternative medicine, please contact our office.
Acupuncture is the traditional Chinese medicine of inserting thin metal needles into various areas of the body, stimulating key anatomical points. It can be used to aid sedation, manage pain, supplement surgical procedures, or it can be a therapy on its own.
By offering our pet patients acupuncture therapy, we aim to release toxins through an alternative, non-medicated method of healing and rehabilitation. If you are interested in acupuncture for your pet, contact our office today.
Is acupuncture safe and will it cause my pet pain?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most safe forms of therapy still utilized today. When pet acupuncture is performed by a trained therapist, its implementation can help heal pets with side effects being rare and minimal.
Most pet owners assume that because acupuncture utilizes needles, it must be painful. In reality, the needles are only noticed by the patient for a quick second when they are first inserted. The initial insertion of the needle is slightly less painful than a vaccination or injection and is followed by a numb tingling. Once the body begins to feel numb and tingly, most patients completely relax or fall asleep.
How long is an acupuncture session?
The length of each acupuncture session depends upon the issue being treated and the amount of needles that need to be inserted. After insertion, each singular needle must be stimulated in order for the pet to receive full benefit from the therapy; this stimulation can last anywhere from 15 seconds to a full 30 minutes.
How frequently does my pet need acupuncture?
The scheduling and frequency of acupuncture treatments will vary between patients. At your first appointment, the veterinarian will discuss a unique schedule for your individual pet. In some cases, one acupuncture therapy session is all that is required. However, most patients usually receive 1 to 3 treatments per week for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. After the patient begins responding to treatment, the regularity of sessions is gradually lessened until treatment is only necessary 2 to 4 times per year.
As a pet owner, it is reasonable for you to feel apprehensive toward theoretically painful treatment for your pet. Laser therapy offers an entirely pain free solution; and, studies show laser therapy to have absolutely zero side-effects. We are pleased to offer our patients this form of therapy as an alternative method of treatment. Laser therapy, also called cold laser therapy, is an increasingly popular holistic healing method used on pets and people. For pet owners seeking a drug- and surgery-free alternative for their animal, laser therapy is an ideal option. It is important to remember, however, that laser therapy is not entirely curative and is meant to supplement the healing process.
Most often, pet laser therapy is implemented because a pet owner fears the negative side-effects of non-steroid anti-inflammatories. While brief use of these medications is perfectly safe, long-term use has proven to cause negative side-effects in some pets. Some animals (cats in particular) cannot tolerate these medications. In these instances, laser therapy is ideal.
How does laser therapy work?
Laser therapy works by emitting light that stimulates cells in a process called photo-biotherapy. Photo-biotherapy encourages cell metabolism and protein synthesis, improving cell strength. It stimulates unhealthy cells, reducing pain signals to nerves, increasing blood circulation, and releasing endorphins.
During therapy, your pet will only feel a subtle tingling around the area being treated. After each therapy session your pet will feel less inhibited by their ailment. It is important to remember that every pet’s treatment plan is different. While some pets feel relief after 3 sessions, other pets require weekly sessions until improvement is seen. Monthly maintenance might also be necessary. In choosing laser therapy as your pet’s method of treatment, the veterinarian will discuss a regimen that will best benefit your pet.
Laser therapy is not recommended for pets that have been diagnosed with cancer. Potentially increasing blood flow to cancerous cells will only cause the cancer to multiply. If your pet has cancer and you would like them to receive alternative pain management, please consult with the veterinarian about the various options available.