We have made great advances in the field of medicine for both humans and animals, but there are ancient practices that have proven their effectiveness over time. Veterinary acupuncture is one such practice that has been growing in acceptance in the U.S. for the treatment of many different ailments. Dr. Pinello is certified through the AAVA (American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture) to perform acupuncture on animals and has experienced success in treating a variety of conditions. Various types of veterinary acupuncture exist, including dry needle acupuncture where fine sterile needles are inserted through the skin at specified points, moxa acupuncture which utilizes the application of heat or needles, electro acupuncture which consists of the application of low voltage electricity to acupuncture points, laser acupuncture, and aqua acupuncture where small amounts of sterile liquids such as vitamin B12 are injected using hypodermic needles.
Acupuncture can play an important role in the treatment of the following conditions: arthritis, behavior issues, hip dysplasia, cancer, canine disc disease, colic, gingivitis, hyperthyroidism, hepatic lipidosis, lameness, inflammatory bowel disease, laminitis, respiratory disorders, reproductive disorders,urinary problems and many more. Dogs, cats, horses, cows, llamas, alpacas and even some exotics can all benefit from veterinary acupuncture. The most successful treatments often combine traditional Eastern medicine with components of Western care such as acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedies.
Differing explanations exist in order to explain how acupuncture works and why it is so effective. An Eastern perspective of acupuncture explains that the body’s sustaining energy force is called Qi. When Qi flows through the bodies network of energy channels (meridians) smoothly, a being is happy and healthy. When the flow of Qi is interrupted or contaminated disease can occur. Acupuncture attempts to correct this imbalance by stimulating specified acupuncture points. Western medicine explains acupuncture by postulating that needles inserted into specified points stimulate nerves, which in turn stimulate the hypothalamus of the brain to produce various chemicals. These chemicals include endorphins which act as the body’s own pain killers, immune stimulants which increase white blood cells and antibodies, steroids, antihistamines, muscle relaxants and many more.
Acupuncture appointments usually take 30-60 minutes with the first appointment being the longest. During this first appointment Dr. Pinello will take a complete medical history of the animal and explain what she hopes to achieve using veterinary acupuncture. Initially, visits are typically recommended weekly, and can often be decreased to monthly or even less often as improvements are made. The number of visits required to see the desired result will differ from animal to animal. Some animals experience vast improvement after one treatment, while others improve more slowly after multiple appointments. The overall length of treatment will depend upon the condition, the severity of the condition, the vitality of the animal and how the individual animal responds to acupuncture.
For more information about veterinary acupuncture please call River Road Veterinary Clinic at (802)649-3877.