Benefits of Veterinary Acupuncture in Clifton Park, NY
Use of acupuncture on animals has become increasingly popular in recent years, accompanying client interest in seeking more alternative, natural, or organic therapies, and veterinarians’ desire to provide it. Acupuncture has been practiced on humans for thousands of years, and some speculate that it’s been practiced on animals for just as long. So, why should you choose veterinary acupuncture for your pet in Clifton Park, NY?
It is touted to be useful for a variety of conditions when done properly by a professional. In “western” medicine (what is most commonly practiced here in the U.S.) if acupuncture is used, it’s more often as an adjunctive therapy – meaning it is used in combination with other treatment options, all of which may provide different solutions to the same health problem.
Westerners consider it to be an “alternative” medicine – meaning we have a different set of primary treatment options that we generally reach for first. Other alternative therapies include chiropractics and massage, natural herbal remedies, and homeopathy.
How Does Veterinary Acupuncture Work?
If you didn’t know, acupuncture involves the use of a specialized needle, inserted at a variety of specific areas of the body (the locations are specific to the condition being treated.) The intent is to cause a change of some kind, like relieving pain, reducing inflammation, stimulating relaxation, and others.
Those who practice Traditional Chinese Medicine say that it alters the flow of “Chi”, which is energy flow throughout the body. “Chi” travels along pathways called “meridians”, and involves the balance of Yin (negative energy) and Yang (positive energy).
What we know medically speaking, is that the needle insertion at these specific locations can cause the body to release natural chemicals, which are responsible for everything from altering pain reception, to reducing inflammatory reactions, to controlling immune response.
We’ve all heard of endorphins. They’re powerful, completely natural chemicals that your body produces on its own to create an uplifting, potentially pain-relieving experience. Endorphins are just one of the many chemicals known to be released with acupuncture therapy.
We also know that enkephalins are released- these are natural chemicals that connect to the same receptors that opioid medications (hydrocodone, morphine, etc) work on. Imagine, pain relief without the use of potentially addictive medications that may have other negative side effects? This is what drives many people to seek acupuncture for themselves, and veterinary acupuncturists can offer the same to our pets in Clifton Park, NY!
Why Choose Acupuncture for Pets in Clifton, Park?
When we think of acupuncture, we most commonly associate it with treatment of muscle and joint problems. Front of mind are dogs with arthritis as part of the normal aging process. It’s also popular with those who have congenital joint issues (hip or elbow dysplasia, bad knees, etc), or with sudden trauma, or even long term problems resulting from injuries like joint dislocation, ruptured tendons and ligaments, or bone fractures.
It can also be used in athletic animals to keep them running soundly, and free of pain between grueling exercises.
This therapy also has applications for long-and-low dog breeds like Dachshunds and Basset Hounds who are known to be prone to back problems because of their physical structure. These dogs might also benefit from acupuncture, which has been used to manage disc disease and other spinal problems.
Did you know that acupuncture can be used in a wide variety of species too? There’s documentation of acupuncture use in everything from birds and little mammals, to dogs and cats, and even in horses and cattle!
Other Relevant Uses for Veterinary Acupuncture
Some lesser known applications for acupuncture include feline asthma, chronic gastrointestinal issues, and even skin disease and allergies.
Asthma is most often controlled with oral and inhaled steroids and bronchodilators. While acupuncture will not cure asthma, and may not work at all in some cases, it is helpful to some patients as an adjunct therapy (as discussed above.)
Gastrointestinal disease can have a variety of different causes, and can present with a variety of different symptoms. Vomiting, diarrhea, regurgitation, reflux, constipation, and diarrhea are the signs most evident to owners.
We know that acupuncture can be effective at causing changes in the speed with which food moves past the mouth and out the other end; it can also change the quantities of normal digestive enzymes that are secreted, reduce inflammation that causes disturbances in gastrointestinal function and intestinal bacteria, and relieve discomfort associated with all of these symptoms.
Acupuncture Could Help Your Pet’s Skin
Skin disease and allergies are becoming an increasingly common concern among pet owners. As irresponsible intentional breeding leads to genetically inferior offspring, and as indiscriminate creation of mutt mixes continues, we see more animals that are prone to have poor skin health.
These animals might have allergies, or they might just lack the ability to maintain normal healthy skin appearance and function. Allergies are a result of immune system sensitivity to a substance that doesn’t belong to the body. Allergic reactions cause inflammation, which leads to discomfort and itchiness.
When the allergic animal starts scratching, chewing, or rubbing, they damage the normal skin barrier, inviting infection, which just makes everything worse! The same happens for animals who just have poor skin health- the skin barrier is already damaged, so they’re prone to infection.
Veterinary acupuncture can manage both the symptoms and origin of these problems. It can control the immune system’s response to allergens, and it can help manage the inflammation and pain associated with the conditions.
When You Should Consider Veterinary Acupuncture in Clifton Park, NY
Alternative therapies such as acupuncture are often left as a last resort when nothing else has worked well enough. This is likely because pet owners and veterinarians aren’t always familiar with the practice of veterinary acupuncture, and are hesitant to take the plunge for fear it won’t work. Others may view it as “hokey”, or some sort of baseless voodoo. The truth is, it has some real, proven benefits for pets and owners.
At Cornerstone Veterinary Hospital of Clifton Park, we’re proud to offer pet owners in the area with veterinary acupuncture services to help relieve your pet’s pain!
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Cornerstone Veterinary Hospital of Clifton Park was founded in 1989 as Animal Care Hospital of Clifton Park. We began with 10 employees, 4 of whom are still working with us today. The name “Cornerstone” has special meaning to Dr. Knott and his family, both because it symbolizes their commitment to “faith, family, and then everything else,” and because it promotes the animal hospital as a cornerstone of the Clifton Park community.