Acupuncture, the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body, can be used alone or in conjunction with conventional medicine and surgery to achieve better patient outcomes, and is fast becoming more mainstream, even in the veterinary world.
Acupuncture points differ from the surrounding skin in that they have a higher concentration of nerve bundles, blood supply and lymphatic flow.
Several benefits can be achieved by stimulating these points including pain and muscle spasm relief and stimulation of both nerve regeneration and the body’s immune system.
Specific conditions that acupuncture is used to treat include arthritis, hip dysplasia, chronic lameness and acute spinal injuries in dogs, such as intervertebral disc disease in breeds like dachshunds and corgis.
Many other conditions such as diseases of the skin, urinary tract, gut, nervous and immune systems and certain behavioural problems have displayed improvement with acupuncture therapy.
Not only is acupuncture used for small animals, it is widely used in the equine health industry as an adjunct to assist with subtle lameness, arthritis and chronic joint injuries including ligament and tendon injuries, gut ulcers, riding issues and performance or behaviour-related problems.
A multifactorial approach must be taken when dealing with equine healthcare which includes assessment of dental and hoof health, saddle fit and nutrition.
Acupuncture is a useful tool that, when combined with mainstream veterinary medicine, can make up a complete healthcare approach for the betterment of our furry patients.
There are qualified veterinary acupuncturists in the Riverina, so if your pet, small or large, could benefit from acupuncture therapy, contact your vet to discuss.