Acupuncture for dogs: options for use

Acupuncture for dogs is also an alternative, holistic healing method. Special needles are inserted into certain points on the body surface to release blockages. Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and has been used in animals for over 3,000 years. Acupuncture for dogs can help against stress, for example - Shutterstock / Monika Wisniewska

If your four-legged friend suffers from stress, fears, digestive problems or pain, acupuncture can be a useful addition to conventional medical treatment for dogs. It is only important that this alternative healing method is carried out by a veterinarian who is well versed in it. Then in principle no side effects are expected.

What is acupuncture for dogs?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) - which includes acupuncture for dogs and humans - it is assumed that everything that happens in life is caused by a conflict between the two poles Yin and Yang. Between Yin and Yang everything is constantly in the river, sometimes one pole dominates, sometimes the other. This interplay between the two poles determines the life energy "Qi", which flows on so-called meridians - energy paths of the body - through the entire organism. As long as the flow of energy is undisturbed, the yin and yang are in balance, a living being is healthy. Psychological stress such as fear or stress as well as external influences such as extreme temperatures or weather conditions can destroy the balance. Errors in dog nutrition, too little exercise, overexertion and trauma can also stop the flow of energy. The energy then builds up in some parts of the body, others are undersupplied - the living being feels unwell or becomes sick.

This is where acupuncture comes in: thin, sterile needles are inserted into certain points on the body surface along the meridians in order to release the blockages and let the energy flow freely again. So that the veterinarian knows where to use the needles, i.e. where the flow of energy may be disrupted, he examines the dog thoroughly and asks the owner about his medical history, living conditions and eating habits. In this way, he can holistically help the sick animal and, if necessary, suggest another treatment method. In addition to acupuncture with needles, there is also a variant with lasers and the so-called gold acupuncture, in which tiny pieces of gold wire are implanted under the skin on the corresponding meridians. Anesthesia is required here, but the effects last long-term.

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When acupuncture makes sense

Acupuncture for dogs does not replace conventional medicine, but it can complement it well under certain circumstances. If your four-legged friend suffers from pain or movement disorders due to osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, a herniated disc or other joint and back problems, the needles provide relief. For chronic pain and if the state of health allows anesthesia, gold acupuncture is worth considering as an alternative to long-term pain medication. Treatment can also help with all kinds of organ problems, such as the following:

  • ● respiratory diseases (asthma, bronchitis, cough, runny nose)
  • ● digestive problems (constipation, diarrhea, vomiting)
  • ● Urinary incontinence, for example in castrated bitches
  • ● Eye diseases as well as visual and hearing disorders
  • ● skin problems (hair loss, eczema)

In addition, acupuncture is said to have a positive effect against age problems, immune deficiency, impaired wound healing and against allergies; it may also be helpful for the relief of epilepsy. Furthermore, the alternative healing method is useful for hormonal or psychological problems:

  • ● fear and nervousness
  • ● stress
  • ● aggressiveness and irritability
  • ● Fatigue, lethargy and depression
  • ● weakness and exhaustion
  • Cycle disorders in the bitch

Are there any risks and side effects of the treatment?

Basically, nothing can happen to your four-legged friend if acupuncture for dogs is used professionally by a specially trained veterinarian. The needles only push the tissue apart and do not injure it, the blood vessels are also spared. The punctures are not painful for the animal, but very anxious or restless four-legged friends can be frightened by the unusual treatment. In this case, laser acupuncture is a better alternative. Gold acupuncture can only be performed on animals that can tolerate anesthesia, with the slightest doubt it is not advisable. Since the gold wires are implanted, there is also a low risk of injuries to the joints or blood vessels.

Caution! Methods of TCM also have their limits: life-threatening emergencies such as stomach twists, sudden shortness of breath, allergic shock as well as broken bones, tendon tears, tumors and severe organic damage, including organ failure, must be treated immediately in a veterinary clinic.

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