Who Can Carry Out Veterinary Acupuncture on My Pet?

The practice of acupuncture, traced back to ancient China, has been adapted to form a unique treatment type in veterinary medicine – veterinary acupuncture. This non-invasive treatment method offers an alternative approach for pet owners wishing to improve their health and well-being.

Understanding Acupuncture

  1. Historical Context: Acupuncture is an ancient healthcare practice originating in China over 2000 years ago. It was initially included as a component of the traditional Chinese medicine system. Principle of Energy: Acupuncture operates on the principle of Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’), a vital life force or energy circulating throughout the body. In traditional Chinese medicine, health is perceived as a state of balance of this energy within the body.
  2. Acupuncture Points: There are specific points on the body known as acupuncture points or acupoints. These points, when stimulated, can bridge the disruptions in the flow of Qi, thus relieving pain and promoting healing.
  3. Procedure: The acupuncture process involves inserting fine needles in these points. The depth of insertion, angle, and duration the needles are left in can vary based on the condition being treated.
  4. Scope: Initially used to treat pain, acupuncture’s efficacy in treating other conditions, such as stress, digestive disorders, and respiratory disorders, got recognized over time. Today, it is acknowledged as a complementary treatment option worldwide.
  5. Adaption for Animals: Utilizing the principles of human acupuncture, veterinary acupuncture involves stimulating specific points in an animal’s body to create a therapeutic effect. This practice has been proven especially useful for pain management and treating various other conditions in pets.
  6. Relief Strategy: Acupuncture encourages the body’s healing capabilities. It stimulates the nervous system to release spinal cord, muscles, and brain chemicals. These chemicals either alter the pain signals or trigger the release of other chemicals that influence the body’s internal regulatory system. The improved energy balance stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities and enhances physical and emotional well-being.

The Science Behind Veterinary Acupuncture

The fundamental principle of acupuncture is the idea of Qi, the life energy that flows through meridian lines in the body. Stimulation of specific acupuncture points along these meridians balances the Qi flow, aiding in treating and preventing health conditions.

Common Conditions Treated With Veterinary Acupuncture

A plethora of conditions can be managed and potentially cured with the help of veterinary acupuncture. Two of the most common groups of ailments include neurological and musculoskeletal conditions.

Neurological Conditions

  • Veterinary acupuncture relieves pets diagnosed with neurological disorders such as epilepsy, paralysis, or nerve injuries.
  • The treatment works by increasing oxygen supply and boosting circulation, thereby assisting nerve tissue repair.

Orthopedic and Musculoskeletal Conditions

  • Conditions like arthritis, hip dysplasia, or general inflammation can cause substantial discomfort for your pet.
  • Veterinary acupuncture, known to relieve your pets pain with acupuncture, stimulates nerves, increases blood circulation, and releases anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving substances.

Who Can Perform Veterinary Acupuncture on Your Pet?

Veterinary acupuncture should only be performed by professionals with appropriate training and certification.

Veterinarians with Acupuncture Training

  • Trained vets should ideally carry out veterinary acupuncture.
  • These professionals have comprehensive animal anatomy and health knowledge and technical acupuncture training. It’s important to verify the veterinarian’s qualifications before scheduling a session.

Certified Veterinary Acupuncturists

  • Certified veterinary acupuncturists go through rigorous training and examinations to obtain certification.
  • These professionals would be fully equipped to safely and effectively administer acupuncture to your pet.

Avian & Exotic Pets

Did you know that not just dogs and cats but avian and exotic pets like parrots, tortoises, or guinea pigs can benefit from veterinary acupuncture? For instance, if you have a tortoise, locating a tortoise vet in Rock Springs, WY, who specializes in acupuncture can aid in improving your pet’s health and quality of life.

What to Expect From a Veterinary Acupuncture Session?

Understanding the procedure can help pet owners make informed decisions and ensure their pets receive the best care.

Preparation for Your Pet’s Acupuncture Session

  • It is important to provide the pet’s medical history and specific symptoms or behavior disorders.
  • The pet should be calm and relaxed before the session, as stress can affect the treatment’s effectiveness.

During the Veterinary Acupuncture Session

  • Pets seldom experience discomfort during the procedure. Most pets are calm during treatment, with some even falling asleep.
  • The number of needles and their positioning depends on the pet’s condition.

Post-Acupuncture and Follow-up Care

  • Many pets feel relaxed or sleepy after treatment, a normal response to pain relief.
  • Regular sessions may be necessary depending on the pet’s condition and response to therapy.

Safety and Risk Factors

Despite being a minimally invasive method, understanding potential risks is vital.

Understanding Potential Risks and Side Effects

  • Side effects are rare but can include temporary worsening of symptoms, fatigue, or a change in appetite.
  • Professionally performed acupuncture should not cause any serious complications.

Ideal Candidates for Veterinary Acupuncture

While most pets, from dogs and cats to exotic species, are suitable candidates for this therapy, some medical conditions might not benefit from acupuncture. Discussing alternative therapies with your vet or a veterinary internist is crucial in such cases.

Veterinary Internal Medicine

When it comes to more complicated health conditions that require in-depth understanding and treatment, you might need to enlist the services of a veterinary internist. These professionals possess specialized knowledge in diagnosing and treating internal medicine conditions. A veterinary internist can offer expert care if your pet suffers from gastrointestinal problems, endocrine disorders, or immune-related diseases.


Veterinary acupuncture is a promising avenue of treatment that can contribute significantly to the health and happiness of our pets. It’s an art and science, providing non-invasive, drug-free pain relief and assisting in managing various health conditions. However, it’s crucial to ensure qualified professionals administer the treatment to ensure safety and efficacy for your beloved pet.


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