Q. My 12-year-old dog is starting to show signs of arthritis. Would acupuncture help slow down the deterioration?
Acupuncture complements western therapies in the management of degenerative arthritis – common in older dogs.
It helps provide pain relief and reduce inflammation. From a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) perspective, it also helps improve:
- the flow of Qi (or energy) and blood around the body
- the function of various organs that work together in achieving a holistic state of wellness
Hence, acupuncture helps enhance your dog’s sense of wellness and energy levels.
After your first consultation and physical examination based on TCM principles, your veterinary acupuncturist will select a set of acupuncture points.
The process is painless. In fact, many dogs feel relaxed during the session as it results in the release of calming hormones, such as dopamine in the body.
The sessions are usually conducted once to twice a week for several weeks. Then, the interval between treatments is gradually increased depending on the response to treatment.
Owners commonly observe an improvement in their dogs within two to three treatments.
Depending on the severity of arthritis, your vet may complement the treatments with other western therapies, such as:
- pain relief medication
- supplements like glucosamine and omega 3 oils
- polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG) injections
- physio or hydrotherapy
If you want to learn more about dog acupuncture, head over here.