Why should I consider Acupuncture for my pet?
Acupuncture offers the opportunity to maintain a state of balance and health even in seemingly healthy pets. It can also help prevent future health issues. It is a natural alternative to conventional medicine that can be used:
•when conventional medicine has no effective treatment, especially for pets suffering from chronic conditions such as arthritis, chronic skin and ear disease and chronic gastrointestinal problems.
•when a pet cannot take medications due to the side effects or cannot undergo surgery due to age or other debility
•to maximise outcomes and diminish the side effects of conventional therapeutics
•as an aid to post surgery recuperation, especially to promote healing and reduce inflammation and pain after major orthopaedic surgery.
How can I access acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatments for my pet?
Acupaws is a mobile service that offers your pet treatment in its home environment. It aims to work in conjunction with any treatment your pet is receiving from your Veterinarian. Never stop current medication or treatment protocols without first discussing it with your Vet. Rowena is happy to be contacted by phone or email to discuss if Acupaws’ services are suitable for your pet.
What does treatment involve?
The first appointment usually takes at least 60 – 90 minutes at which time a thorough clinical history is taken and your pet examined. Acupuncture needles will then be inserted and left in place for at least 10 – 20 minutes. Although there may be momentary discomfort when the needles first go in this soon passes and some pets may even go to sleep.
Subsequent treatments generally take less time (45 – 60 min) and involves owner feedback, pet examination and Acupuncture treatment. The Acupuncture points used may vary depending on how the pet has responded, just as the number of treatments required varies from case to case.
Will it hurt my pet? Are there any side effects?
Unlike hypodermic needles that are hollow, acupuncture needles are very fine and have solid centres, so cause very little trauma as they are inserted. Some animals react to the needles going in and others to brief sensations such as a dull ache, a feeling of warmth, or tingling. Pets may react by looking in the vicinity of the needle or moving or shuffling their feet. Once the needles are inserted most animals relax and some even go to sleep.
The side effects associated with Acupuncture are very limited. The needles are sterile and single use only so the risk of infection is negligible. Due to the nature of the needles and the Rowena’s expertise the risk of tissue damage is minimal. It is not unusual for animals to sleep more than usual after treatment.
Occasionally an animal’s symptoms may worsen after a treatment before improving – this is actually a sign that the Acupuncture treatment is working well and a positive outcome will result.
How many treatments will be required? How long does it take to see a response?
The number of treatments required varies according to the condition being treated, the pet and how long the condition has been present. More chronic conditions usually require a greater numbers of treatments – allow at least three to four treatments before making a decision as it will be apparent by this stage if the Acupuncture is working. Chronic conditions generally require more treatments while acute conditions require more intensive treatments. Initial treatments should be scheduled weekly and as the pet responds the interval between treatments may lengthen. Many conditions may resolve completely and even chronic conditions may only require one or two treatments per year.
Which conditions can be treated by acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be used to treat virtually any injury or illness, including:
•gastrointestinal problems (constipation, colitis, chronic idiopathic diarrhea/ vomiting)
•musculoskeletal disorders (arthritis, hip dysplasia, tendonitis, sprains, limping of unknown origin, intervertebral disc disease, post surgery recuperation)
•skin conditions (lick granuloma, allergic dermatitis)
•urinary conditions (incontinence, cystitis)
•respiratory tract disorders (feline asthma, persistent idiopathic coughing)
•neurological disorders (nerve injury, paralysis, stroke, vestibular syndrome, epilepsy)
•behavioural problems (anxiety problems, obsessive compulsive disorders)
Which conditions can’t Traditional Chinese Medicine treat?
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a very flexible and extensive method to treat all kinds of disease conditions both acute and chronic. Like western medicine, it is not a “cure-all”. What it does offer is an alternative diagnosis and treatment options, many of which are superior to conventional medicine. This is especially true for chronic disease conditions.
Some severe acute conditions may require conventional medical or surgical therapy. As a Veterinarian Rowena’s primary concern is the welfare of your pets and will suggest if conventional therapy or tests are required
How does Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine work?
Traditional Chinese Medicine works by having an effect on the body’s Qi. Qi is a substance that is essential for life and flows throughout the body in an interconnecting network of channels.
We can compare this network of channels to a city’s underground railway network, for the most part unseen and only really accessible at stations (Acupuncture points). When the system is functioning well the trains (Qi) move efficiently and on time. When part of this system breaks down (as during disease) there are consequences locally for the movement of trains (Qi) and eventually the whole system (body) may be affected. The use of Acupuncture or Chinese Herbal Medicine helps the balance to be restored and the system flows efficiently once more.
Are animal products used in Acupaws Chinese Herbal Medicines?
Rowena has an intrinsic respect and love for animals. She believes there is enough depth in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine that the use of animal parts in treatment is an unnecessary practice.
How does Traditional Chinese Medicine differ from Western Medicine?
Western Medicine devotes much energy to treating the symptoms of a disease. In comparison, Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to treat the cause, and in doing so the pet’s signs and symptoms are alleviated and a more lasting recovery follows.
As an example, while Western Medicine tends to treat arthritis with medications such as NSAIDS (anti-inflammatories) to reduce the pain and swelling associated with the condition, the underlying problem remains. The medication may also cause undesirable side effects. In comparison, Chinese Medicine will identify the cause, which is often due to Exogenous Pathogenic Factors obstructing the channel, work to expel the Pathogenic Factor and alleviate pain through promoting the flow of Qi and Blood in and around the affected area.
Western Medicine emphasises anatomy or structure, breaking the human or animal body into parts, organ systems, tissue, blood cells and smaller components such antibodies and hormones. Traditional Chinese Medicine, however, doesn’t see the human or animal body as a collection of small parts, but as a small world of interdependent systems, cycles and patterns interacting with and part of the outside world. In Traditional Chinese Medicine mental, physical and emotional factors all play their part in maintaining health.