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We understand that acupuncture may seem unfamiliar for veterinary care. That's why we have created a FAQ section to answer all your questions about the benefits, how it works, what to expect on your pet's first visit and more. At Valentine Vet, we strive to provide the best possible care for your furry friends. Our focus is not only on treating symptoms but also on preventing potential health issues by promoting a healthy and balanced lifestyle for your pet. Contact us today to book an appointment and let us help your pet reach optimal health.

  • What can acupuncture be used to treat?
    Acupuncture can be helpful any time the body is “out of balance” or has something abnormal going on. Most often, acupuncture is used to treat chronic pain and diseases or symptoms when conventional Western medicine does not have any solution that works well. Arthritis, neurological conditions, and cancer management are conditions where acupuncture is often recommended. Acupuncture may also be particularly helpful in managing allergies, anxiety, or internal diseases in which conventional treatment doesn’t fully resolve symptoms or provide good quality of life for you and your pet.
  • What is acupuncture?
    Ongoing research of the mechanisms of veterinary acupuncture have found multiple modalities. Stimulation of acupuncture points has shown to increase cell to cell signaling, various cytokines (molecules that regulate inflammation, pain, and immune response in the body), and even have traceable impact of nervous signals to the spinal cord and brain. A good, brief overview of those findings (specifically meant to explore the way acupuncture decreases pain) can be found on PubMed: Acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine (often abbreviated to TCM or TCVM for veterinary medicine). TCVM categorizes the body systems differently than Western medicine. For example, instead of “cardiac system” and “gastrointestinal tract”, there’s the heart organ system and the spleen organ system. TCVM systems often overlap with Western body systems but are different. It is a different way of talking about physiology, an emphasis on different relationships within physiology, and more focus on balancing the body’s natural state rather than treating symptoms of a disease. Acupuncture uses specific points on the body where “qi” (energy, life force, neuroendocrine response) flows and corresponds to the body systems in order to help stimulate the body to come back into balance.
  • What animals do you see?
    At Valentine Vet, we see a variety of animals including dogs, cats, horses, and small animals. Our veterinary acupuncturist is experienced in treating a wide range of conditions in these animals using acupuncture and other holistic therapies. If you have a specific question about whether we can treat your pet, please give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to discuss your pet's needs and determine if acupuncture is a good fit for them.
  • What is a treatment session like?
    At the beginning of the appointment, the veterinarian will ask some questions and perform a physical exam. Once the patient is calm and comfortable, needles will be placed. Then the patient lays there calmly with the hands for 30 minutes. Patients may shift positions, but the goal is to remain still and avoid dislodging needles. Patients often fall asleep or become very relaxed within minutes of needles being placed. If the patient's temperament does not allow for needle placement, providing a toy or treats or using anti-anxiety medications may be considered.
  • How soon can I expect improvement?
    Acupuncture is not a cure-all. There are certain patients that respond better than others, just based on individual factors, environment, and disease state. Patients who are going to respond well to acupuncture treatments will respond before 3 treatments- if the third treatment does not produce any signs of improvement, then other therapies should be prioritized. Most patients respond with mild to moderate improvement after the first treatment and moderate to dramatic improvement after the second treatment. Some patients respond dramatically after the first treatment.
  • How often are treatments?
    Each patient will require a different treatment plan based on individual response and disease state. The standard treatment plan is one treatment every two weeks for three months. Some patients may require more frequency initially. Some patients may require treatment for the rest of their life. Some patients may stabilize in their condition such that they only need one treatment every few months, or once a year, or never again after they improve to usual. The specific disease and progression of the disease play a sizeable significant role in formulating the treatment plan. The owner plays a vital role in monitoring the patient to track the improvement rate.
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