Acupuncture for Pets

Once scoffed at, acupuncture has been embraced as an alternative and complementary method for pain relief and healing in pets. In 1996, the American Veterinary Medical Association’s House of Delegates declared that acupuncture was “an integral part of veterinary medicine.” Learn more about pet acupuncture from Valley Animal Rehabilitation in Clifton and Montclair, NJ.

image of a dog getting acupuncture

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Very thin, sterile needles of stainless steel are inserted into specific points called meridians. Meridians are traditional channels in the body thought to be crucial to the movement of energy, and needles help unlock these channels. Acupuncture helps for reasons other than unblocking meridians. After insertion, the needles are usually stimulated with very low doses of electricity. This makes the pet’s body release natural painkillers like endorphins, enkephalin, and norepinephrine.

Who Inserts the Acupuncture Needles?

Acupuncture for pet rehab or other conditions should only be performed by a veterinarian or veterinary personnel trained in using acupuncture needles. They should never be inserted by just anyone.

How Do Pets React to Acupuncture Needles?

Pets often become so relaxed during acupuncture sessions that they fall asleep. Even racehorses that are usually scared of needles fall asleep during acupuncture.

Which Pets Can Benefit From Acupuncture?

Acupuncture helps with chronic conditions like arthritis, asthma, and allergies. It also helps with rehab for pets for conditions like hip dysplasia in dogs. It can be used for dogs, cats, and horses. It has also been used successfully on rabbits and some pet reptiles. Acupuncture has even helped elephants.

What Pets Should Not Have Acupuncture?

Pregnant pets should not have acupuncture. Pets with seizure disorders cannot have any electrical stimulation for their acupuncture needles. The needles would need to be moved by hand. Pets with bleeding disorders, such as dogs with Von Willebrand’s disease, should not have acupuncture.

Does Acupuncture Rehab for Pets Replace Medication?

Acupuncture may reduce a pet’s need for medication, but it cannot entirely replace medication or traditional veterinary medicine. Acupuncture is a way to help improve a pet’s quality of life by causing more relaxation, improved flexibility, accelerated healing, and less pain.

What Are the Side Effects of Acupuncture?

There are very few side effects of acupuncture. There may be some bleeding, swelling, or bruising. Places where the needles have been inserted may be sore. Some pets may be sleepy for a day after an acupuncture session.

What Is an Acupuncture Session Like?

A session is about a half-hour long. The pet gets into a comfortable position, and then the needles are inserted. They may be hooked up to a machine that generates very low doses of electricity.

Still Have Questions?

If you think acupuncture may help your pet and live in the Montclair, NJ area, contact Valley Animal Rehabilitation in Clifton, NJ at (973) 509-5225 to make an appointment today.


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