Acupuncture is one therapeutic branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Traditional acupuncture is a medical treatment performed by inserting sterile needles into the skin through the underlying tissues and muscles at specific anatomical points for the purpose of "creating balance" and therefore, treating clinical conditions or alleviating pain.
A minimum of 3-5 treatments are usually required prior any appreciable response to therapyis expected. Ancillary techniques to needling also include:
- Moxibustion - herbal heating applied to specific acupuncture points
- Laser - use of laser energy to stimulate acupoints. This technique is commonly used in exotic animalsas an alternative to needling eg. rabbits
- Aquapuncture - injection of fluid to stimulate specific points
- Electro-acupuncture - applying a small current through acupoints for stimulation and muscle activity
Such techniques are often used in Monster Pet Vet.
Each body differs in response to acupuncture treatment. During the initial treatment, it is uncommon but possible to see atemporary worsening of symptoms. This is usually detected within the first 48 hours of treatment, if it occurs. In other cases, no change in clinical symptoms may be observed.
Acupuncture is considered to be extremely safe when performed by a certified or qualified acupuncturist. The needles used are different from the hypodermic needles used to pierce through skin during injections. Nevertheless, certain side effects may occur at any time during the course of treatment and these include:
- bruising, redness or swelling at the insertion points. This is uncommon and if they do occur, usually dissipate within a few hours to days
- Soreness or sensitivity at treated areas. This is common and often indicate a strong response to the treatment which generally resolves after a few days
- Apparent lethargy after treatment which is a positive effect due to the deep relaxation state created
Before treatment, it is recommended to:
- offer a snack or a small meal to your pet (preferably, your pet should not be completely fasted or full from a heavy meal)
- walk your pet (dogs only) to facilitate elimination of waste
- rehabilitative exercises or therapy and all other necessary activities should be carried out before and not after acupuncture
- inform the veterinarian of any pre-existing medical conditions or update on any new health-related concerns especially, preganancy status, epilepsy, etc
After treatment, it is advisable to:
- allow your pet to rest and/or sleep as they desire
- avoid exercise or vigorous activity
- avoid stress factors eg. travel, boarding, grooming, etc
Acupuncture has been found to have significant effects but about 10% may not respond. We will rely on your evaluation of the changes in your pet's condition and behaviour to determine the response and alter our treatment.