Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine practitioners use acupuncture for a large variety of medical problems and diseases including behavioural disorders such as fear, anxiety, depression and anger, or behavioural changes of unknown origin.
Cardiovascular problems such as cardiac arrhythmias and weakness leading to heart failure or obstructive pulmonary disease are amenable to acupuncture treatment. Moreover, acupuncture may be use as an emergency therapy at home or in the clinic for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Pulmonary weakness that may lead to exercise intolerance, chronic coughing, frequent upper respiratory tract infections or chronic nasal discharge may be successfully treated with acupuncture. Again, the equine patient, with an emphasis on performance, may benefit from acupuncture for asthmatic disorders, various infectious lung diseases, pulmonary bleeding, or simply exercise intolerance.
Ocular disorders such as difficult to heal corneal ulcers which are all too common in the equine patient, chronic conjunctivitis, and eyelid muscle weakness may be helped by acupuncture treatment. Many forms of dental pain, redness, swelling and inflammation may have symptoms greater reduced or relieved by acupuncture. Some forms of chronic ear problems such as external auditory canal and middle ear inflammation may be relieved more rapidly by acupuncture when used concurrently with western medications.
Acupuncture may be best known for its positive benefit in a large variety of gastrointestinal disorders including inappetence, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation, bloating, and both stomach and large bowel ulcers.
Hepatic disease of both infectious and endogenous origin may be soothed and hepatic regeneration encouraged with acupuncture treatment. Various forms of renal disease including kidney failure and urinary problems such as inflammation, infection, and urinary leakage may be successfully alleviated and sometimes cured by acupuncture.
Most muscular-skeletal problems including pain, strain/sprain, inflammation, and weakness are amenable to significant benefit from acupuncture.
This is especially important and safe for enhancing performance in competition horses and dogs.
Equine acupuncture has the longest history of successful use among all non-human species in China. Small companion animals such as cats and dogs as well as exotic animals are candidates for acupuncture treatment. Because they were not as important as equine patients in Chinese history, their acupuncture is a relative recent development.
With respect to horses, which have been used for agriculture, transportation, and war, Acupuncture is the 2,300 year old Traditional Chinese Medical art and science of using small needles inserted into specific body points to effect healing changes. Acupuncture is known through research inmodern times to positively influence immune system function, gastrointestinal function, and internal organ function and give pain relief (see www.nih.gov website and CAVM therapies).
Neurological disorders including paresis, paralysis, and vestibular disease may be resolved more quickly when acupuncture is added to the animal's western biomedical protocol.
Most companion animals including horses readily accept acupuncture treatment. Although the actual needle insertion is slightly painful, the majority of companion animals actually pull their caretakers into my office for re-checks and further treatments. My equine patients are commonly vigilant before the first needle is inserted, but soon drop their heads, lick and chew, and push their heads against me in gentle appreciation after the first needle is inserted. It is as if they have experienced the positive effects of acupuncture and desire another treatment.
We use small, thin, sterile metal needles that are discarded after each treatment. We discard the needles because they are dulled after the first insertion and also to eliminate the possibility of iatrogenic or acupuncturist-caused infection. Occasionally other acupuncture modalities such as electroacupuncture, aquapuncture, pneumoacupuncture, or gold-bead implants are used to increase the duration and effectiveness of an acupuncture treatment. Each patient is unique and will have acupuncture sessions individually designed for their current medical problems.