Who can do acupuncture?
By law, acupuncture can only be performed by a qualified veterinary surgeon who has undergone special training in the technique. This is because it is an invasive procedure that requires a thorough knowledge of veterinary anatomy and physiology.
How do you combine chiropractic and acupuncture?
In the event of an chiropractic lesion that is causing a restricted movement, acupuncture should be applied complementary to the chiropractic treatment to avoid recurrence of the obstruction and to help the body regain normal function.
Lameness whose cause and localisation cannot be determined by conventional medicine can be successfully treated by acupuncture and chiropractic. However a lameness should always be suject to a examination by the conventional veterinary surgeon and be treated accordingly. Acupuncture and chiropractic can be performed subsequently to restore physiological muscle and ligament functions and help in the rehabilitation after surgical treatment.
Does acupuncture have any limitations or side effects? Is it safe?
The application of acupuncture is always subject to limitations when mechanical obstructions exist or organs have undergone irreparable change.
In general, the insertion of acupuncture needles into the skin is not painful. Some animals have very sensitive skin and react to the needles nervously or with trembling skin. As a rule, animals react increasingly calmly and trustingly as the the treatment progresses. In some cases a laser can be used to replace the needle.
Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment for animals when it is administered by a properly trained veterinary surgeon. Side effects of acupuncture do exist but they are rare. An animal’s condition may seem worse for up to 48 hours after a treatment. Other animals become lethargic or sleepy for 24 hours. These effects are an indication that some physiological changes are developing, and they are most often followed by an improvement in the animal’s condition.
How Safe is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture should never be administered without a proper veterinary medical diagnosis and an ongoing assessment of the patient’s condition by a veterinary surgeon. This is very important because acupuncture is capable of masking pain or other clinical signs and therefore could delay proper veterinary medical diagnosis once treatment has begun. Elimination of pain may lead to increased activity on the part of the animal, thus delaying healing or causing the original condition to worsen.
In general, acupuncture can be effectively combined with most conventional and alternative therapies. Certified Veterinary Acupuncturists have the comprehensive training, knowledge and skill to understand the interactions between different forms of treatment and to interpret the patient’s response to therapy.