Q: WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture may be defined as the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to cause a desired healing effect. This technique has been used in China to treat many ailments for at least 3000 years and also as preventive medicine against diseases. Acupuncture is used all over the world, either by itself or in conjunction with Western medicine, to treat a wide variety of maladies in every species of domestic animal and in exotic animals. Acupuncture is not a cure-all but can work very well when it is indicated.
Q: FOR WHICH CONDITIONS IS ACUPUNCTURE INDICATED?
Acupuncture is indicated mainly for functional problems such as those that involve paralysis, noninfectious inflammation (allergies), and pain. Some of the general conditions which may be treated with acupuncture are:
Musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis or vertebral disc disease
Skin problems such as lick granuloma
Respiratory problems such as feline asthma
Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea
For dogs that are involved in any athletic endeavor, i.e. racing, showing, hunting, agility, herding, or police work, acupuncture can help keep them in top physical condition.
Q: HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
According to ancient Chinese medical philosophy, disease is the result of an imbalance of energy in the body, and acupuncture is believed to balance this energy and thereby assist the body to heal.
In Western terms, acupuncture can assist the body to heal itself by affecting certain physiological changes. Acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasm, and cause the release of hormones such as endorphins and cortisol.
Q: IS ACUPUNCTURE PAINFUL?
The insertion of needles in small animals is virtually painless, and most animals become very relaxed or even sleepy during treatment. Nevertheless, acupuncture can cause some sensation of stimulation which may be uncomfortable to certain individual animals.
Q: IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?
Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment for animals when it is administered by a properly trained veterinarian.
Q: HOW SHOULD YOU CHOOSE AN ACUPUNCTURIST FOR YOUR PETS?
There are two important criteria you should look for when choosing an acupuncturist:
1. Your veterinary acupuncturist MUST be a licensed veterinarian. Veterinary acupuncture is considered a medical procedure that only licensed veterinarians may legally administer to animals.
2. Your veterinary acupuncturist should have formal training from an accredited program in the practice of acupuncture for animals.
Q: HOW DO I SET UP AN ACUPUNCTURE APPOINTMENT FOR MY PET?
To schedule an appointment please call (540)667-4290. An appointment for acupuncture typically lasts about 30-45 minutes. All acupuncture treatments are performed by Joseph Schmitt, V.M.D., CVA. Dr. Schmitt is certified in veterinary acupuncture by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS).