Sometimes, our pet's health problems become complicated and confusing, and the testing and treatment options can be overwhelming.
My treatment plans follow a true holistic medicine approach which means looking at the WHOLE health of the pet, not only addressing the single isolated source of pain or disease, but also the long-term and total body effects an injury or disease can have on the individual. I'll look at all of the treatment options to create a plan that maximizes all the tools available to not only help treat the symptoms, but also to treat the underlying disease. This is truly the definition of holistic care.
Lilly is a 13-year-old Jack Russell. She suffers from back pain and anxiety. By starting her treatment with just two points for anxiety (top of head and neck), I can follow up by also treating her back pain.
Some animals become so relaxed, they fall asleep during their treatment.
Acupuncture is the gentle insertion of extremely thin needles at very specific points on the body that directly correlate with nerves and vessels, or at the site of muscle pain. Chemical changes occur both locally (where the needle is inserted) and at a distance (effects of chemical changes around nerves and vessels lead to transmission of other chemical messages to the brain and spinal cord) to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, provide pain relief and enhance the immune system's function.
Pet acupuncture is very similar to human acupuncture- the same principles are applied, and many animal acupuncture points are similar to those used in people.
You may notice beneficial changes following the first treatment, but it often takes several (~3-5) to appreciate significant improvements. The frequency is determined by your pet's condition as well as response to each treatment. Depending on the severity of symptoms, we may start with weekly visits and then taper over time, based on your observations and a thorough physical exam, which is done at every visit.
Many pets can have their treatment frequency reduced to monthly or less often, which is not the case with many other treatments and drugs. This is a type of medicine that truly builds on itself, which is what makes it so beneficial for long-term management of many conditions!
Check out this short but informative clip from
National Geographic on acupuncture!
E-stim, or electrical stimulation, is the application of a very small electrical current to an acupuncture needle. The goal is NOT to cause pain, but to provide an additional stimulation to the acupuncture sites and enhance the anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects. Whether or not we use this additional form of treatment for your pet depends on the medical condition.
Francis is 14 years old. She is in good overall health but suffers from chronic mid- and lower back pain. For a fairly nervous cat, she is very easy to treat with acupuncture.
Click play or scroll through the images of Francis's e-stim treatment.
Low level laser therapy, also called cold laser therapy, provides very similar benefits as acupuncture and e-stim: it reduces inflammation and pain, and improves the ability of tissues to heal.
By improving blood flow, promoting release of endorphins (those "feel-good" chemicals our own bodies produce), and encouraging the action of immune cells and chemicals that help reduce inflammation and encourage healing, laser is an excellent treatment to add to acupuncture protocols. For patients that are too sensitive for acupuncture, or for certain conditions, laser is a great primary tool. For example, it can speed the healing time of wounds. Frequent treatments are often needed initially, but the response can be profound.
RENT A LASER?
Yes, you can! Laser treatments are often more successful when done more frequently initially, especially if that is the primary mode of treatment chosen. I have a laser unit that is available for rent and is safe to use at home. Please call or email for more information on renting a laser for your pet.