On Pins and Needles: Acupuncture for Pets

Dr. Doering performs acupuncture on Noah, a 12 year old Beagle

Dr. Doering performs acupuncture on Noah, a 12 year old Beagle

Did you know LVH offers acupuncture for pets?  The newest member of our team, Dr. Adrianne Doering, is a certified veterinary acupuncturist through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and is accepting new patients.   Dr. Doering has been with us since December and is excited to offer this alternative therapy in managing pain for a variety of medical cases, as well as to alleviate pain, stiffness, and discomfort with issues related to old age.   Although she enjoys seeing a wide variety of medical and surgical cases, Dr. Doering especially enjoys working with geriatric pets and their families. Here she can use her traditional and alternative medical skills to keep pets as comfortable and healthy for as long as possible.  

Acupuncture is the insertion of several small needles over specific parts of the body in order to relieve pain or inflammation.  Image source: Ellen Zangla Photography

Acupuncture is the insertion of several small needles over specific parts of the body in order to relieve pain or inflammation.
Image source: Ellen Zangla Photography

Acupuncture, an ancient healing art believed to have originated in China over 2000 years ago, has become widely accepted in western medicine and veterinary medicine over the past 30 years. Today, acupuncture is a valuable tool in the treatment of many conditions of pain and neurological disease. Although we do not completely understand all of the mechanisms by which acupuncture works in the body, several effects are well documented: Acupuncture inhibits the pain center of the brain, causes the release of pain relieving chemicals into the blood and tissues, and increases blood flow to injured tissue.

Many cats and dogs, especially seniors, can benefit from acupuncture. Conditions which are commonly treated include: arthritis, hip dysplasia, back pain, neck pain, inter-vertebral disc disease, and bladder pain. A typical acupuncture session consists of a physical examination followed by the placement of approximately 10 small needles in the body. Most pets do not find the needles uncomfortable in the least. The needles then remain in place for 15 to 20 minutes. The pet may lie down or move around with the needles. Sessions may be repeated every other week for chronic conditions or more frequently for acute issues. Most pets find relief following the first or second treatment although others may require slightly longer. With the help of acupuncture many pets are able to decrease the amount of other pain medication they are taking as well.

Currently there are three schools of veterinary acupuncture in the United States. Only licensed veterinarians are eligible to attend these courses, which lead to the certification of “Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist.”  If you are in Northern Virginia or the D.C. metro area and are interested in acupuncture, Dr. Doering would be happy to meet you and your furry friend for a consultation.

For more information on acupuncture and other holistic therapies offered at LVH, visit the Health Maintenance Services section of our website or email Dr. Doering directly at adoering@leesburgvet.com.

Many dogs and cats (especially senior pets like Noah) suffering from acute or chronic pain can benefit from acupuncture.  Image source: Ellen Zangla Photography

Many dogs and cats (especially senior pets like Noah) suffering from acute or chronic pain can benefit from acupuncture.
Image source: Ellen Zangla Photography

 

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