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Pet Acupuncture 101: Health Alternative for Your Dog

Published on May 21, 2012 by in Health

About today’s guest writer: Staci Marks is currently a writer for an Affordable Health Insurance site. Her passion for fitness, health and reading has allowed her to pursue a career in writing.”

Is your pet suffering from arthritis? Does your dog have problems breathing due to respiratory issues? Does your cat have a gastrointestinal ailment? Pet acupuncture may be a medication-free solution to your pet’s medical issues.

What is pet acupuncture?

The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society explains that acupuncture is a treatment method that uses needles inserted into specific points in the body to relieve a variety of medical problems. Arthritis, respiratory problems, stomach issues and allergic reactions are all ailments that can be treated with the use of acupuncture. While acupuncture is often recommended for humans, pet acupuncture has also gained popularity in recent years.

The concept behind acupuncture is that the insertion of needles into specific points on the body can help stimulate the release of hormones, regulate blood flow or even simply cause muscle pain relief. Acupuncture is an Eastern medical practice that originates from China. The initial thought was that the insertion of needles would correct an imbalance in the body.

Some people believe that acupuncture is simply a matter of people tricking themselves into believing that the treatment works. However, the placebo effect cannot be observed in animals because they do not know that they are supposed to feel better. Successful treatment in animals using pet acupuncture helps support the claims of the legitimacy of acupuncture.

Where can I find pet acupuncture services?

A reputable pet acupuncturist holds a license in veterinary medicine. This means that pet owners may be able to take their pets to their current veterinarian for these services. While some veterinarians provide this service, not all veterinarians are trained in the art of acupuncture. Accredited pet acupuncturists have taken certification courses through the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture. Acupuncture is typically a skill that is not part of a basic veterinary medicine degree program.

Pet owners can use the searchable database at the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture’s website to see if there is a licensed pet acupuncturist in their area.

Does my pet really need acupuncture?

While pets do not need to be treated through the use of acupuncture, past successful cases of pet acupuncture have shown that the treatment can improve a pet’s quality of life without the use of medications. Pet owners can attempt treatment with medication, but medicines often come with risks of uncomfortable and even dangerous side effects.

Metropet Magazine notes that pet acupuncture can be used to help give a pet’s body the boost it needs to treat injuries, cure common ailments and even to manage pain.

How much does pet acupuncture cost?

The New York Times reports that canine acupuncture treatments cost approximately $120 per session. The number of sessions necessary to treat an animal is dependent on the animal’s specific ailment. The example case that was used in the New York Times required that the dog be taken back for weekly treatments. Some pet acupuncturists suggest biweekly treatments.

Equine acupuncture may cost slightly more than canine and feline treatments. Package deals may help lower the total cost of treatment.

While the success of pet acupuncture varies, veterinary clinics that offer the service observe an average success rate of 80 percent. The exact success rate for treatment depends on the ailment that is being treated. Acupuncture gives pet owners an option for having their pet’s ailment treated without risking the side effects that are associated with medicines.

About the Guest Writer:

Staci Marks is a researcher and writer for HealthInsuranceQuotes.org, which provides tips on shopping for your insurance policy and instant health insurance quotes, including pets.

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