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Frequently Asked Questions

- Acupuncture for Vets -


The science behind it

What are the main conditions that have shown benefit of improvement in peer-reviewed studies?

  • IVDD: In 2010, a study elevated 40 dogs with IVDD that were treated with either electro-acupuncture, decompressive surgery or both.The study illustrated that those patients with clinical signs of IVDD that persisted for more than 48 hours or if the patient had a grade 5 of signs, electro-acupuncture was the treatment with the most benefit.


What research has been published on how it works and why?

We are currently building a page of Peer-Reviewed Papers! Check back later for more info!

The medical language


Some of the traditional eastern diagnostic language feels hard to understand. Can you explain the basics in Western terms?

Acupuncture points are located along the nervous system at areas of low electrical resistance and high electrical conductance. With a series of interactions between the nervous system, endocrine system and the immune system, acupuncture is able to increase blood and lymph flow, increase local immune response and relax muscles and tissues.As a result, there is endogenous opioid release, nerve regeneration and immune circulatory and biochemical effects.

How to implement it


How do you incorporate acupuncture effectively into a treatment plan?

Since acupuncture has been around for a long time it easily integrates with medications and other treatments


How frequently does acupuncture need to be performed to be effective?

Generally acupuncture should start weekly for 4-5 sessions to see if there will be progress. Once improvements are being seen, the interval increases to meet the patient’s needs.


How long do you treat a patient before improvement is noted and before full resolution of clinical signs?

Depending on what is being treated, acupuncture treatment may have very quick affects or it can take awhile. For example, while a seizure is occurring, the treatment can quickly stop a seizure. However a pet with arthritis or neuropathy may take a while to improve for it took awhile for the pet to get that way. Clinical resolution of a pet with a chronic disease may not occur but the pet may experience less pain, have more energy, have increased appetite and have less immunological issues for example. They should have better quality of life.


How is acupuncture performed in a Fear Free way for anxious pets?

Pets that are fearful are often held by their owners or by the practitioners. Often after the first point GV 20 or the 100 meeting point is placed many patients relax.  Their treatment time is their time. Some patients take a nap, some patients walk around, some patients have a snack and some just enough the extra attention.

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