We have all heard about acupuncture for humans, but what about dogs? Although it may sound scary to press needles into your beloved pet, there is nothing to worry about. Veterinarians and trained acupuncturists have worked together for centuries helping Dallas, TX, dogs feel pain relief with specific conditions.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the practice of healing by balancing the energy in the body. This practice dates back to ancient China, where acupuncture experts used fine and long needles to press into pressure points in someone’s body. This was used to decrease illness chances and treat painful alignments.
The pressure points where the needles are strategically placed are where the blood vessels and the nerves meet. These fine needs do not enter a dog or human body in dangerous ways, though. The pressure points are stimulated, which helps move the energy, also known as ‘chi’ in Chinese medicine, throughout the body to balance it.
Acupuncture is not something that is recommended by all veterinarians, though. However, some studies have shown positive results regarding acupuncture for dog pain relief. It is important to note that acupuncture can only be used to relieve symptoms; not cure a serious health condition.
What Are the Benefits of Pet Acupuncture?
As stated previously, the needles placed in your dog’s body are placed between the blood vessel and nerves. This strategic area, once it is stimulated, releases hormones and endorphins that respond by relieving pain.
How exactly does this work, though? When any living thing feels pain, it is because a part of its body is inflamed the majority of the time. Dogs can reduce inflammation naturally with the release of hormones and chemicals. The pain medication we buy over the counter works the same way by mimicking the natural chemicals in our bodies. Dogs are no different.
In dogs with serious conditions, acupuncture can bring them temporary relief as they receive the proper treatment from their veterinarian. Acupuncture benefits dogs because it releases anti-inflammatory chemicals and properties that target the areas in your dog’s body that are inflamed. This, over the course of the session, decreases the inflammation, which in turn decreases the pain.
If used properly, acupuncture can be the reason that veterinarians choose to lower the dosage of a dog’s pain medication. If there is pain relief in the sessions that are longstanding and safe, there is no reason to prescribe dogs with high dosages of pain-relieving medications.
Are There Any Risks When Using Acupuncture?
Although there are benefits, like with any procedure, there are risks. Acupuncture is not foolproof. While there are practices everywhere, it does not mean that everyone who works for or owns an acupuncture center knows everything. Mistakes can happen.
Some of the risks associated with using acupuncture include pressing the needle too far into a dog’s skin and accidentally harming them by scratching them with the needles. This could be because your dog does not feel comfortable and moves right before the acupuncturists can safely place the needle in the appropriate pressure points. It is important to calm your dog and keep them focused and still during the session. One slip-up can harm sensitive places in your dog like their eyes, mouth, ears, or back.
While there are risks, it is a generally safe practice. Many veterinarians recommend the treatment as it does work and is considered safe. There are safety practices in place. For example, needles are not excessively long. Some acupuncture needles actually have a stopping point to ensure that the needle does not accidentally lodge too far in. Also, veterinarians work closely with expert acupuncturists when providing treatment to pets. Both parties understand that there are risks, and it is important to do the sessions safely.
There are a few side effects. It is not alarming for your dog to feel sore right after a session or bleed in small amounts. However, if you notice that they are feeling more tired than usual, are throwing up, or bleeding frequently, you should consult your dog’s veterinarian before continuing with more sessions.
Is Acupuncture the Right Choice for Your Dog?
Not all dogs need acupuncture. While it does give pain relief, truthfully, not all dogs need the same type of pain relief. Acupuncture especially helps dogs with joint and back pain that have suffered from accidents or have underlying conditions. The only way to know if it is right for your dog, however, is to ask and consult with your dog’s local veterinarian.
This pet health expert can give you more information about local acupuncturists and treatment plans for dogs suffering from skeletal or joint conditions like degenerative joint disease. Sadly, there are not a lot of trained professionals in the Western medicine world that know how to use acupuncture properly and safely. It is even harder to find someone who has experience using it on other animals like dogs or cats.
Your veterinarian can also advise you on whether to use acupuncture as every dog reacts differently. If your dog’s personality is reserved, does not like being around people, and is skittish, they can move around and hurt themselves during the session. Your dog’s safety is the number one priority and should be considered before trying. Also, acupuncture is not a cure! You should not go into a session looking for a miracle or solution to the underlying condition. While it promotes blood flow and anti-inflammatory properties, it cannot cure arthritis or reverse the condition.
If Your Dallas, TX, Dog is in Need of Pain Relief, Let Us Know
In conclusion, pet acupuncture can definitely provide your dog pain relief. In the few studies that have been published, experts were able to find a connection between the use of Acupuncture and pain relief in animals. While this is the case, it should be used safely and in a controlled environment alongside a trained veterinarian. However, there are few risks and side effects associated with using Acupuncture on dogs. If you are interested in a session, our animal hospital in Dallas, TX, offers acupuncture. Give us a call at (214) 826-4166.