Acupuncture Alternate healing therapy for pets


Animal acupuncture is although a new concept, but it has been proven very successful. Here’s more on the benefits of acupuncture for pets.
Dr. CS Arun
Alternative medicine is the buzzword as it appears to be a more natural and effective way of healing. This has fuelled interest in herbal medicine,chiropractic, acupuncture, healing touch, Indian traditional medicine, homeopathy and a number of other therapies. Of these, acupuncture has been well researched and has documented numerous therapeutic effects. Though practiced well in human medicine, its application in veterinary field especially in India is very new.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a therapeutic technique based on stimulation of specific points on the animal’s body through needle insertion to treat or prevent a disease or to maintain health. It is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the other branches being Herbal Medicine Therapy, Tui-Na or Massage Therapy, Qi-gong or Exercise Therapy and Food Therapy.
Acupuncture has been practiced in China since thousands of years. The earliest records available about its practice date
back to Qin-mu-gong period (659-621 BC).
The goal of acupuncture is to restore the flow of body’s vital energy i.e. “Qi” so as to allow the homeostasis. Clinical trials have shown that acupuncturetherapy is effective in treating musculoskeletal problems, neurological disorders, gastro-intestinal disorders and other chronic conditions like asthma, cough, behavioural problems, geriatric weakness, infertility, thyroid disorders, renal failure and skin problems.
Techniques used…
Acupuncture techniques include dry needling, moxibustion, aqua-acupuncture and electro-acupuncture.
Modern research has shown that acupoints are located in areas where there is a high density of nerve endings, mast cells, arterioles and lymphatic vessels. Most acupoints are motor points. When these are stimulated, there will be release of beta-endorphins, serotonin and other neurotransmitters which bring about pain relief and other desired effects. Ancient Chinese have identified 361 acupoints in humans and 173 in animals.
Acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure when performed by a qualified practitioner.
Acupuncture may be contraindicated in fractures, pregnancy, open wounds and infectious diseases.
Time taken…
Depending on nature and severity of a disease, 1-10 sessions at a gap of 3-7 days may be needed.
Benefits of acupuncture…
Numerous studies have shown that acupuncture induces pain relief, regulates gastrointestinal motility, produces anti-inflammatory effect, regulates immune function and promotes micro-circulation.
Thus pet parents can look into one more option of healing for their beloved pets, suffering from chronic diseases.
Successful cases…
Archy, a male Golden Retriever aged about 11 years, who had hind limb lameness, was brought in a pathetic condition to My Pet Hospital at Gokulam in Mysore. Along with traditional treatment, he was given acupuncture therapy also. There was drastic reduction in Archy’s pain perception. His last few months were bearable. In another case, Devi, an abandoned kitten suffering from paraplegia was treated at many hospitals without much success. Finally, a good samaritan took her to Dr Deshmukh who performed acupuncture therapy on her. Within a few weeks, Devi could walk and run!
A senior veterinary surgeon at Florida told Mary, “Your pet Rottweiler Tysson is suffering from degenerative joint disease which is in advanced stage. We cannot do much in this case. We may have to think about euthanasia”. A heart-broken Mary was inconsolable. Then one of her friends suggested contacting Dr Xie, a veterinary acupuncturist at University of Florida. Dr Xie assured Mary that Tysson will be alright. He put him on weekly acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicines and massages therapy. Within a few weeks, Tysson’s condition improved a lot! Mary is a happy soul now.
Are the above quoted cases miracles? Woodoo? Black magic? No! The success in these cases is due to a treasure called acupuncture ‘alternate medicine’.
(Dr CS Arun is trained in small animal acupuncture by Chi Institute at South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou and he currently runs My Pet Hospital at Gokulam, Mysore).