Written by Natasha Lilly, DVM

Acupuncture is most associated with ancient China where it is rooted in TraditionalChinese Medicine (TCM). The first written record of acupuncture is found in a 2,700 year-old Internal Medicine text, and exists as one of the oldest medical texts in the world. The first veterinary text was written in China around 450 BC, addressing the treatment of horses with acupuncture and TCM herbal medicine. Today, acupuncture is practiced world-wide, from extremely rural locations to areas where sophisticated western medicine is the standard of care.

The practice of acupuncture employs solid metallic needles for skin penetration.Needles are placed in specific points that effect various changes in the body to aid in healing injuries or disease conditions, decrease pain, stimulate or regulate immune responses, and/or help decrease anxiety or behavioral issues. Research involving acupuncture has shown physiological responses in the body including increased blood and lymphatic flow, stimulation of nerve function, increase in the release of neurotransmitters, influence of inflammatory responses and stimulation of hormone release. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions. Some of the more common conditions for which acupuncture is used in veterinary medicine are listed below.

Musculoskeletal Conditions- arthritis, spinal disease, trauma, muscle atrophy problems
Immune system disorders- allergic dermatitis, chronic allergic diseases, lick granulomas, chronic skin conditions
Neurologic problems- nerve injury, paresis, paralysis, degenerative neurologic conditions, seizures
Systemic diseases/urologic diseases- chronic kidney disease, liver disease, incontinence

If you have questions about acupuncture or think your pet may benefit from treatment, please call us or come by!