‘Heal, Fido’: Acupuncture Could Help an Ailing Dog

Could an Ancient Chinese Medical Therapy Work for Your Dog?

Acupuncture is one of the most common natural therapies used by holistic veterinarians.

The practice of acupuncture involves stimulating the nervous system by penetrating “acupuncture points” with needles, injectable liquids (such as vitamins or homeopathics), or electrical stimulation.

Acupuncture is most effective for dogs suffering:

  • Musculoskeletal problems such as hip dysplasia, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, and osteoarthritis;
  • Allergies and immune disorders;
  • Bladder problems and gastrointestinal disorders.

Most holistic vets won’t use acupuncture as a sole therapy, but incorporate it into a treatment regimen. For example, some vets typically begin a treatment with acupuncture and laser therapy three times a week for a month and then follow up with procedures on an as-needed basis.

Nutritional supplements and herbal remedies are often used to provide immediate relief for some health problems.

The original version of this column, “The Natural Vet” by Shawn Messonnier, DVM, was published in AKC Family Dog.