• Vet's First Choice

Alternative Therapy


What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into specific locations along the body. It originated in China thousands of years ago and is still practiced there today.

How does it work?

Acupuncture is based on neurophysiology. The points are located over areas rich in vessels and nerves. The needles stimulate the underlying tissues and activate the endogenous pain inhibitory system. Messages are sent up to the brain resulting in the body's release of neurotransmitters, which temporarily block pain. The main neurotransmitters are endorphins. These bind to the same receptors that bind exogenous opioids like morphine. Additionally, changes in blood flow occur, which regulates circulation, and the body's immune function is enhanced. In summary, acupuncture stimulates the body to heal itself and achieve a state of homeostasis.

Does it hurt?

Occasionally animals may respond to the initial prick through the skin, but in general, animals will not respond at all to the insertion of the needles, and become very relaxed during the treatments.

Is it safe?

When performed correctly, acupuncture has very minimal risk and complications are easily avoided when a trained veterinarian is performing the treatments.

Are there any contraindications?

Yes. Animals with a history of bleeding disorders or severe immune compromise are not good candidates for acupuncture.

What conditions might benefit from acupuncture treatment?

  • Arthritis (hips, shoulders, elbows, back)
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Seizure disorders
  • Soft tissue injuries such as sprains, muscle strains, and neck pain
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) "dry eye"
  • Lick granulomas
  • Neurological conditions
  • Pain and nausea related to cancer

Tuina Chinese Therapeutic Animal Massage

Tui Na, one of the five forms of traditional Chinese medicine, is a form of manual massage designed to prevent medical issues, not just correct them. Tui Na helps restore balance, and improved health can be achieved more effectively. Tui Na helps keep the body's energy in balance, which impacts your pet's physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. This is accomplished through range of motion, traction, massage (kneading, rolling, pressing, vibrational techniques) and acupressure.

Tui Na works on the muscles, bones, and joints and the energy of the body at deep levels. Life transitions are hard on humans and animals alike. Effects of these varied transitions can be stored in the body. Whether your pet was adopted, had many homes or is transitioning from babyhood to adulthood, Tui Na can help build up and maintain a happy, healthy pet!

We can also demonstrate patient specific Tui Na techniques on your pet you can practice at home.