Getting to the point – acupuncture in dogs and cats

In the previous blog post we discussed the contribution that muscle pain can make to the overall pain experience associated with osteoarthritis.

Acupuncture has been suggested to have three main benefits in the treatment of chronic pain. Firstly, by targeting the muscle trigger points, which can be identified by careful clinical examination by a veterinary surgeon, acupuncture can help to relieve the tension and associated pain in these points and help restore normal muscle function.

Secondly the introduction of the fine needles into the muscle triggers the body to produce natural pain killing endorphins, which decrease pain and induce relaxation.

Finally, a medical electroacupuncture device can be used to apply a gentle high frequency pulse between pairs of acupuncture needles, which can have a powerful effect on decreasing sensitivity in nerves in the spine and reducing nerve pain.

Acupuncture is classed as an act of veterinary surgery in the UK and can only be performed by a qualified veterinary surgeon. Although it is not a skill that all vets are taught, there are some excellent courses available.

James attended the four day Western Veterinary Acupuncture Course in 2010 and has been performing acupuncture and electroacupuncture on animals since.

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