Though there are to date only a few scientific studies available that prove veterinary acupuncture works, or perhaps more importantly why it works, the fact is -- it works. It benefits animals, including dogs, in much the same way it benefits humans.
While western medicine has conditioned us to look for the quick fix, with alternative therapies, including acupuncture, results are often not seen immediately and require more frequent and longer treatments. While there are situations in which we see immediate improvement with acupuncture, often the benefits of acupuncture are cumulative over a series of treatments.
In other words, dog owners should prepare for a journey rather than a quick trip around the block.
Non-drug, non-surgical alternative therapies like acupuncture call on the natural healing ability of the body to repair itself and return to a state of balance (good health). This is an entirely different approach than that of western medicine, which typically involves powerful drugs and scalpels.
Acupuncture isn't appropriate or successful for every patient, of course, or for every condition, disease or situation.
A partial list of conditions proven to respond to veterinary acupuncture includes:
- Hip dysplasia
- Nerve injury
- Joint disease
- Allergic skin conditions
- Spinal cord disease
- Reproductive issues
- Seizures and/or epilepsy
- Endocrine disorders
- Immune system concerns
A person's decision to pursue acupuncture for an ailing dog depends on several factors which might include your own experience with alternative therapies, including acupuncture, your views on western medical approaches as a standalone system of treatment, your experience with pharmaceuticals and their side effects, the condition of the animal in question, and risks associated with surgical or drug interventions, as well as affordability of treatment versus medical approaches.
Costs for veterinary acupuncture vary from practice to practice. Costs will also depend on your dog's health status, the complexity of the problem, and how long your dog has suffered with it.