As veterinarians, our main concern is for the health of your pet. At The Bluffs Pet Clinic, we have expanded our range of services to include Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM). What this means to you is that the variety of options available to help keep your pet healthy has increased greatly. Where previously our only choice to manage pain or other diseases was to give medications that could potentially create new problems, we now are able to provide a healthier alternative that leaves our pets feeling better without the threat of unwanted side effects. By combining Western Medicine with Eastern Medicine, we are able to provide the best of both worlds. We may be able to eliminate medications altogether in some cases. Following are answers to some of the most common questions about Acupuncture.

Would my pet benefit from Veterinary Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been used for thousands of years for treating countless ailments in people, ranging from arthritis pain, muscle and tendon problems, gastrointestinal problems, skin problems, allergies, neurological disorders such as seizures, asthma, kidney and liver problems, back and neck problems, and auto-immune diseases to name a few.  We treat these same problems with success in our veterinary patients.

Who is qualified to treat animals with acupuncture?

Only a Veterinarian with advanced TCVM schooling may receive certification to treat animals with Acupuncture and TCVM.

How can my pet take advantage of this service?

You may call The Bluffs Pet Clinic to schedule an appointment for a TCVM exam. We will start by working towards a diagnosis of your pet’s problem. This is typically done by obtaining a pertinent medical history, having a physical exam, and appropriate bloodwork or other diagnostics such as radiographs done. If your pet has had a full work-up at another clinic, we will review those records during the course of your initial exam.

Do you have to sedate my pet to perform acupuncture?

No.  Pets become more comfortable with each treatment.  Many appear to look forward to their acupuncture!  Most do not even feel the needles when they are inserted.  It is common for pets to become very relaxed or even fall asleep during their treatment and awaken to feel refreshed.

May I stay and watch the treatment?

Yes.  Some people prefer to stay with their pet, others will wait outside the treatment room.  Your own comfort level and that of your pet will determine the best choice is for you.

What do the treatments involve?

The treatments may involve the use of very fine sterile needles with or without electro acupuncture or they may involve the use of a Lacer (A type of light that is used instead of needles to stimulate acupuncture points)or a Therapeutic Laser. Needles, if used, are typically left in place for 12-30 minutes while the pet relaxes. Once the desired results are achieved, the frequency of treatments will be tapered down to meet the pet’s individual needs. Some pets may require maintenance acupuncture treatments every 4-6 weeks and other pets every 4-6 months. A few pets come in only twice a year when needed.

How do I know if it is helping my pet?

Most pet owners report improvement in their pet’s overall well being, increased activity, and fewer to no occurrences of the initial presenting problem.  Some pets that have been withdrawn or unhappy due to pain or discomfort start to become more social, playful, and friendly.

What else is involved in TCVM?

Sometimes, acupuncture alone is not enough to address the problem, so herbs are also prescribed.  Herbs come in the form of pills, granules, or liquid.  By using herbs, the frequency of the treatments may be reduced.  We have a complete herbal pharmacy available depending on the needs of the pet.

If you would like further information about acupuncture please contact The Bluffs Pet Clinic at 651-388-1103.