Acupuncture can be effective in treating canine joint disease

Arthritis and hip dysplasia are some of the the most common conditions that adversely affect our old dogs. It’s a shame to think that their twilight years may be marred by pain and difficulty getting up and about.

Many dog owners would like to try and avoid using potentially toxic pain medication to help their stiff and sore old dogs. Instead, they prefer to look for natural alternatives to manage their discomfort.

Acupuncture has been found to be particularly effective in treating arthritis in older dogs, either on its own or in conjunction with other natural treatments such as Joint Resolution .

Pins and Needles

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine, and practitioners believe that the body’s vital energy, or Qi force, flows throughout the body in channels. If these channels become blocked, symptoms of disease occur. Stimulating specific points in the body unblocks the channels, allowing the energy to flow freely again.

There are many ways to stimulate these acupuncture points. The one most people are familiar with is the acupuncture needle, which is inserted into the skin. However, an acupuncturist may also use acupressure or laser energy.

How does acupuncture work? There are several theories. although nobody knows for sure. Some followers believe that the needles help release endorphins and other hormones, and others believe that they relieve muscle spasms. The needles may also cause little areas of inflammation in the area, which encourages the body’s healing response.

The real advantage of acupuncture is that in the hands of an experienced veterinarian, there are no adverse effects; it’s quite safe and won’t do your dog any harm.

An Acupuncture "Prescription"

To work out where he needs to place the acupuncture needles, your veterinarian will need to make a Chinese medical diagnosis, which is quite different to the usual western medicine diagnosis. He will will ask questions such as if your pet prefers hot or cold water, if they drink enough, the health of their skin and coat, and several other things.

From there, he will develop a list of points in the body that he will stimulate with needles. Acupuncture treatments are initially given once or twice weekly for around 6 treatments. The needles remain in the dog for 20 minutes, and this doesn’t seem to stress them at all. In fact, many dogs snooze through their acupuncture session. When your dog is feeling better, the treatments can then be spread out a bit further, which is much better for the budget.

It’s important that if you’re looking for acupuncture treatment for your arthritic dog, you find a vet who is skilled in this form of treatment. A veterinarian can become a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist by completing courses through several organisations, but most commonly this is done through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.

100% Successful?

Unfortunately not. No treatment is completely effective in every animal, not even the conventional pain medications. Some dogs just don’t respond well to acupuncture. If that’s the case, your vet may want to re-evaluate the acupuncture points he’s stimulating, and see that improves your dog’s comfort level.

Because arthritis pain often responds best to the use of multiple treatments, acupuncture can be combined with other medications and natural remedies, such as Joint Resolution . This all natural arthritis treatment contains several ingredients which not only help to restore damaged cartilage, but improve the joint fluid and make it more cushioning. The result is pain free movement, and a better quality of life.

Arthritis, hip dysplasia and luxating patellas can affects dogs at any age but particularly as they age. Fortunately we have safe, natural treatments that can ease their pain, and allow them to again enjoy their daily stroll.

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