Home › Chiropractic + Acupuncture for Dogs

Dogs and cats, luckily, seem to respond more quickly to chiropractic treatments than we do, with many problems improving considerably after one to three treatments. Regular repeat treatments are more necessary with long standing cases.

Veterinary Acupuncture

Veterinary Acupuncture involves the stimulation of acupuncture points to balance the function of the nervous system of animals.

Where acupuncture is used for spinal and arthritic pain it basically works by resetting the complex control systems of the spinal muscles and joints. The acupuncture point stimulation appears to help the subconscious brain to focus on the targeted regions, and in doing so helping abnormal pain and muscle dysfunction to come back to normal. A little like running a repair scan on a computer. The beneficial effects are usually reduced pain, better joint mobility, improved blood supply, and better overall health.

Acupuncture points often lie immediately under the skin and can be detected electronically by their characteristic of having lower electrical resistance than the surrounding skin.

Veterinary acupuncture can be used for a wide range of problems in animals. It’s principal use is for neck and back disorders, such as pain and arthritis, and for limb arthritis. With regard to arthritis it is especially effective with hip dysplasia and stifle problems. Some consider acupuncture the non-surgical treatment of choice for spinal disc disease, which results in paralysis or leg weakness/drunkenness. It is also used for skin problems, ear infections, urinary tract problems, nerve disorders, respiratory and behavioural problems.

Treatment of dogs and cats by acupuncture usually involves needling by traditional Chineseacupuncture needles, or by using painless laser acupuncture. The needles have the most profound and rapid effect, but high powered lasers come a close second. Less often, aquapuncture (injecting into the region of an acupuncture point) is used. Very fine stainless steel needles are inserted through the skin into the acupuncture point, and are commonly left in place for 1-20 minutes.

Gold bead acupuncture

This is a form of acupuncture where gold beads are surgically implanted into the acupuncture points. This is a method of long-term acupuncture treatment. The gold beads act like permanently placed acupuncture needles. Beneficial effects from this treatment usually last several years (1-6). It is a very cost effective and convenient method of acupuncture and especially suited to limb arthritis. The success rate is high, especially for hip and stifles arthritis. It is also used for other conditions such as epilepsy and nervousness.

In cases of nerve damage and paralysis, electro-acupuncture may be used to increase the speed of nerve regeneration.

Pentosan sulphate

This is a useful drug and has negligible side effects. (eg “Pentosan” and “Cartrophen”) It works to retard the progression of arthritis in damaged joints. The pentosan sulphate relieves pain and lameness, and increases the range of pain-free movement by treating the underlying disease process - not just the symptoms. Pentosan sulphate is usually given as a course of four injections at weekly intervals. Response to the treatment may not be recognisable for two or three weeks, but in 80% of cases there is a significant response to this therapy, with some dogs showing great improvement. Follow up courses of treatment are given depending on need – at three to twelve month intervals.

Nutritional supplements, containing glucosamine and chondroitin, can also be effective in reducing arthritic pain (by aiding the healing of joint cartilage).