In efforts to continue our theme of helping your cat “Live Beyond 9 Lives”, acupuncture can be a great non-invasive addition to your cat’s health care plan. By incorporating eastern and western medicines, you can help your cat be more comfortable and increase the quality of years.
Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with long-term pain management, arthritis, asthma, allergies, chronic kidney disease and liver problems. Or it can be useful for acute problems like a sprain or an isolated gastrointestinal issue. As it does with humans, acupuncture can also ease the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy in cats that require cancer treatments. For our aging feline friends, acupuncture can provide comfort and relief from pain and stiffness, increasing the quality of life and even their energy level.
Appointment time and frequency can vary from cat to cat and depend on the issue, but typically your first visit would be 1 hour, and follow ups would be about 30 minutes.
Today, the most frequent reasons for acupuncture referral among veterinarians are:
Musculoskeletal problems: back pain, arthritis/degenerative joint disease, muscle soreness
Neurological disorders: weakness and paralysis resulting from intervertebral disk trauma, spinal or nerve problems
Gastrointestinal conditions: diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease
Other chronic conditions not responding to conventional therapy, including (but by no means limited to): skin allergies and dermatitis, lick granulomas, epilepsy, respiratory conditions, hormonal imbalances, infertility, internal organ dysfunction
Prevention of disease and promotion of well-being, geriatric support, and performance enhancement.
What can you expect at your first appointment?
For the initial appointment, Dr. Laura will do an initial work up and discuss your cat’s particular needs and treatment plan. The appointment will include the first treatment and will last about an hour. This initial appointment is followed by a commitment to at least 3-5 once-weekly treatments which are 30-40 minutes long. A single treatment may be enough for an acute condition. A series of 3-10 treatments can resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may continue to need repeated treatments over time.
If you are not sure if acupuncture is right for your cat, you can also schedule an abbreviated acupuncture consultation with Dr. Laura to discuss the case and your goals.
What is acupuncture?
The insertion of very fine needles into specific predetermined points on the body to produce physiologic responses. Modern research shows that acupoints are located where there is a high density of nerves, immune cells, and small blood and lymphatic vessels. As more studies are conducted, the mechanism of this ancient therapy will be better understood.
Does it hurt?
95% of animal patients are comfortable with acupuncture therapy. Some animals will even fall asleep during treatment.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture is very safe when administered by a qualified and certified practitioner. There are also no negative side effects unlike many Western drugs.
How do you know where to put the needles?
The points used vary according to the condition being treated. Each point has specific actions when stimulated. When points are used in combination with other points, the results may be tailored to the specific problems being addressed.
Are there other holistic modalities besides acupuncture?
Herbs, chiropractic, massage, diet, homeopathy, and various other forms of complementary medicine are available to veterinary patients. Dr. Laura is currently pursuing certification in herbology, but there are many other holistic veterinarians in our area that we can refer to if needed.