What is acupuncture?
-insertion of sterile thin stainless steel needles through the skin over specific points on the body
-based on traditional Chinese medicine techniques that have now been founded in modern Western medical science
-meant to stimulate a healing effect for various health conditions
What is “Medical Acupuncture” vs “Traditional/Eastern Acupuncture”?
-Medical acupuncture is based on scientific evidence and biomedical descriptions of anatomy and physiology
-Traditional/Eastern Acupuncture is based on metaphorical “energy” and descriptions of illness that predate science
How does acupuncture work?
A very small needle is inserted about ¼ inch into the skin over pre-defined acupuncture points. These points are areas where nerves and blood vessels come close to the skin surface. The needle creates a small area of inflammation that then leads to modulation of nerve signaling and function. Ultimately this can help with pain, inflammation and nerve dysfunction.
What conditions respond to acupuncture?
1. Musculoskeletal problems
a. Chronic arthritis pain
b. Degenerative joint disease pain
c. Hip dysplasia
d. Lumbosacral pain
2. Neurologic problems
a. Intervertebral Disk Disease
b. Nerve injuries/trauma
c. Degenerative nerve disorders
3. Skin and ocular disorders
a. Lick granulomas
b. Chronic dry eye (KCS)
How often will acupuncture need to be performed?
Treatment plans are individualized for each patient. We will schedule an initial consultation to discuss a plan and perform the first treatment. Depending on the condition being treated, anywhere from one to eight treatments will be recommended. Generally treatments are preformed once to twice weekly for 4 to 8 treatments until desired effects are seen then, if it is a chronic condition, we will taper to once every 2-3 months.
What to expect at each visit?
-Dr. McCrea will chat about how your pet is doing and then, once your pet is calm and settled, she will place needles in the appropriate acupuncture points
-A technician or assistant with the sit with you and your pet while the needles remain in place and then remove the needles
-During the initial few treatments the needles will remain in place 40min, then during subsequent treatments the time will vary from 8 to 40 min
Will acupuncture be painful or stressful for my pet?
Each animal reacts differently but generally acupuncture is meant to be a stress free and pain free experience. We will make every effort to reduce your pets’ stress level with a soothing environment and lots of treats. When the needles are inserted some pets may react slightly (as if it is a mosquito bite), but there is usually no pain associated with the needle as it sits in the skin. In some more severe injuries or conditions, the needles may cause some mild discomfort but we would discuss this prior to any treatments if we thought this would be the case.
*Acupuncture should be performed with caution in pets with any pre-existing cancers, cardiac arrhythmias, or pregnant animals