Arthritis pain can be crippling and interfere with your dog's ability to enjoy everyday activities. You can opt to treat your dog's pain with conventional medication, but some owners are turning to holistic methods, such as acupuncture. If you are unsure whether or not acupuncture is the right treatment for your dog, here is what you need to know.
Why Is Acupuncture Beneficial?
One of the main benefits of acupuncture is that it focuses on alleviating the pain without the use of medication. As a result, you do not have to worry about the side effects that are usually associated with pain medications. Some dogs do experience small amounts of discomfort, but that generally disappears within a short period of time.
Acupuncture works to relax the muscles and improve blood flow. Good blood flow is essential to healing because the blood helps to transport nutrients that your dog's body needs for recovery. The improved blood flow is also important in helping to remove toxins that are contributing to your dog's condition.
If you do opt to also treat your dog's condition with medication, you can safely do so without fear of an adverse reaction.
What Type of Acupuncture Is Used?
Acupuncture that is used to treat arthritis in dogs is far more than the insertion of needles at various pressure points. Your dog's holistic vet can also use different forms of acupuncture to get the maximum relief possible for your dog.
For instance, electrostimulation is a commonly used form of acupuncture. In addition to inserting the needles throughout the body, the vet will use electric pulses to provide additional stimulation to muscles.
The vet could also apply herbal substances to the needles during acupuncture sessions. The herbs help with alleviating joint stiffness, which is one of the hallmarks of arthritis.
Does It Work?
There are few studies available on the effectiveness of acupuncture on dogs. Most of the evidence of its effectiveness is anecdotal. Due to the low risk of side effects, taking your dog for a session with a holistic vet is the best way you can discern whether or not it is right for your dog.
The vet might recommend more than one session. If you do opt to continue the acupuncture, your dog will need occasional "tune-ups" with the vet to maintain the results.
Schedule a consultation with a holistic vet like Moon Mobile Veterinary Services LLC to further explore the benefits of acupuncture to treat your dog.