Veterinary Acupuncture

We are please to announce that Dr. Katrina Easton is now offering acupuncture to our patients. 

"It matters not wheter medicine is old or new, so long as it brings about a cure. It matters not whether theories are Eastern or Western, so long as they PROVE to be true"
-Dr. Jen-Hsou Lin 

 In 1996 the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) stated that, "Veterinary acupuncture and acutherapy involve the examination and stimulation of specific points on the body of nonhuman animals by use of acupuncture needles, moxibustion, injections, low-level lasers, magnets, and a variety of other techniques for the dianosis and treatment of numerous conditions in animals." They also state "Veterinary acupuncture and acutherapy are now considered an integral part of veterinary medicine." Most simply stated, acupuncture (acus=needle, punctura= puncture) is the stimulation of specific points on the body, which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect. It is a means of helping the body heal itself. Acupuncture has been used successfully for nearly 4000 years on animals as well as humans. It is no a panancea, a cure-all, but where it is indicated it works well.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What conditions respond to acupunture?
Acupuncture bridges a gap between medicine and surgery. Acupuncture is used primarily when medications are not working or are contraindicated due to possible side effects, or when surgery is not feasible.

In small animals, acupuncture is most commonly used for Musculoskeletal problems such as hip dysplasia and arthritis; Skin problems such as traumatic nerve injury and certain types of paralysis; and Respiratory problems such as feline asthma.

In the united States, equine acupuncture tends to focus primarily on pain relief, particularly in regard to the Musculoskeletal System. Treatment is typically sought for facial paralysis, temporomandibular pain, lameness in the forelimb/hindlimb, laminitis, navicular diesease, sacropelvi disorders, tendon problems, and/or chronic back pain.

2. How does it work?
Dr. Easton utilizes a contemporary neuroanatomical approach to acupuncture, reflecting the idea that needle placement is guided by the practitioner's detailed knowledge of veterinary anatomy and neurology.

Acupuncture does more than relieve pain. How id works depends on what conidtion one is treating and which points utilized. Acupuncture increases circulation; reduces inflammation; causes the release of neurotransmitters from the brain - some of which are endorphins and enkephalins - the body's "natural pain-killing" hormones; relieves muscle spasms; stimulates nerves; stimulates the body's defense systems; as well as numerous other beneficial effects.

3. Is it painful? How will my animal react?
Acupuncture is performed with sterilized single-use thin stainless steel needles. There is occasionally a brief moment of sensitivity as the needle penetrates the skin in certain sensitive areas. Once the needles are in place, most animals relax, and may fall asleep during treatment.

4. Is it safe?
Acupunture is one of the safest therapies utilized if practiced by a competent acupuncturist. Side effects are rare. Occasionally an animal's condition may deterioate temporarily before improving but this phenomenon typically resolves  in 24-48 hours. Because acupuncture balances the body's own system of healing and no chemicals are administered , complications rarely, if ever, develop.

5. How often and how long should my pet have treatments?
Treatments may last from 10 seconds to 30 minutes depending upon the condition treated and the method employed. There are many ways of stimulating acupuncture points including the use of dry needles, electro-acupuncture, aquapuncture (injecting a solution into a point), moxibustion (heating the point), as well as laser acupuncture. Patients are often treated 1-3 times a week for 4-6 weeks. A postitive response is often noticed within the first 4-6 treatments, sometimes earlier, depending upon the condition treated.