I’ve been getting increasing numbers of questions about pet acupuncture. Although this is not something that I practice, I can give you some accurate answers about the procedures.
Q. Do all acupuncturists do pet acupuncture?
A. No. In fact, in most states you must be a veterinarian to treat pets with acupuncture.
Q. Is it legitimate or some weird hoax?
A. It can be very effective. And animals are a wonderful control group to compare with humans because a horse is certainly not going to be talked into experiencing a placebo effect.
Q. Is this some American offshoot of the Chinese practice?
A. No. Pet acupuncture has been and is practiced in China, usually on large animals.
Q. What is pet acupuncture used for?
A. Vets say that it helps reduce pain and swelling, relaxes muscles, clears nasal passages, increases muscle relaxation, reduces nausea, and increases appetite.
Q. What are the risks?
A. There are always risks. Your vet would tell you that there is always a small chance of puncturing a vessel or organ, having an animal escape, or having an unattended animal swallow a needle. Like any other health care procedure, always go to a skilled professional who you trust.
To read some stories about pets and their successful treatments click here