We are now very excited to offer acupuncture to the Shoals and surrounding North Alabama area. Many clients have had personal experience with acupuncture and are thrilled to hear it is now available at North Alabama Animal Hospital as an adjunctive therapy for their pets.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the insertion of thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body to cause a therapeutic effect such as pain relief, hormone regulation, decrease inflammation and immune system regulation.

Veterinary acupuncture has been practiced in China for at least 2,000 years. During the past 25 to 30 years there has been tremendous growth and development of acupuncture in animals in Europe and the United States. Acupuncture has been used to treat diseases in horses, cattle, dogs, cats, and birds and many clinical studies have documented the benefits provided from veterinary acupuncture. With the increasing amount of clinical trials and research being performed using veterinary acupuncture therapy, we have a better understanding of acupuncture’s mechanism of action. Also, our animal patients greatly benefit from this recent understanding and application.

What diseases does Acupuncture treat?

Veterinary Acupuncture can treat a variety of diseases including but not limited to musculoskeletal disorders (pain and lameness), neurological disorders (seizures, disc disease, wobbler’s disease), dermatological disorders, behavioral disorders (anxiety, fear and aggression), reproductive disorders (infertility or impotence), gastrointestinal disorders (colic, vomiting, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease), and improvement of quality of life in geriatric and/or cancer patients.

Is Acupuncture safe?

Yes, there are usually minimal to no side effects if performed by a professional. There are rare and minor side-effects such as local infection and bruising in the area where the needle is inserted. There is generally no need for sedation or anesthesia to perform acupuncture on animals.

Is Acupuncture painful?

The insertion of acupuncture needles is virtually painless. Most animals become very relaxed and may even become sleepy. However, it does cause an energetic sensation which may be uncomfortable to some animals.

How long does each treatment take?

Each session may take 20-45 minutes. The first appointment generally takes longer than the follow up appointments.

How many treatments are required?

It depends on the condition, how long the condition has been present and the age of the animal. Generally, acute conditions resolve quickly while chronic conditions require multiple treatments. For example, an acute lameness is generally resolved within 3-5 treatments. Additionally, acupuncture may be used long term in chronic disease processes, such as arthritis.

Can I use Veterinary Acupuncture with traditional medicine and/or surgery?

Yes, Acupuncture is commonly used in conjunction with traditional modalities and medications. It can also be used in conjunction with rehabilitation as a relaxing end to a physical therapy session.