Saturday, November 15, 2008

A New Method

Acupuncture is something several of us I'm sure still may be skeptic about, but recently, it has been one type of therapy to treat animals. Dr. Bess Pierce, an associate professor in the Department of Small Animal Clincal Sciences at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, is leading the hospitals practice in this new method. A relatively painless and safe treatment for illnesses in animals; Gypsy, a horse who had an infection in her ankle, was treated with acupuncture, along with traditional therapy, to help strengthen her bones and her immune system. Some of the common conditions treated in animals are general pain and often osteoarthritis.
Although there are only a select few who are certified at the moment to practice acupuncture, the count is slowly going up. Veterinarians who wish to go this path must pursue additional training. Dr. Beverly Purswell, a professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, recently brought the total veterinary acupuncturists in the college to four. "Acupuncture certainly does not replace traditional veterinary medicine," says Purswell. "It can, however, compliment the therapies we already use."

The full article can be found here.

Posted by Dan Hong (9)


Acupuncture is usually used as a method for sedation to alleviating joint and back pains, caused by a range of arthritis to diseases.
It may be used along with other treatments such as medication, surgery, and post-operative treatment.
The duration and frequency of treatment is dependent on the animal and type of illness however, treatment is recommended once or twice a week for several months.


At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...
as seen in this article it might not be the act of actually piercing the skin to see affects. and a placebo needle folds into the handle making it look like you are getting poked and it got better results than real acupuncture.

-Matthew Sousa

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is incredible but I'm not surprised that acupuncture is now being used on animals - It was only a matter of time. In terms of the horse whose ankle was treated with acupuncture, among other things, I wonder how well it really worked. Have there been any instances where acupuncture was the only technique used?

-Sarah Moltzen

At 11:27 PM, Blogger PWH said...

This really surprised me. I would have never guessed they would use acupuncture on animals. Have they proven that the acupuncture actually does help the animals or have they only used it with other treatments and are assuming that it does help?

-Tara Quist

At 1:47 PM, Blogger PWH said...

very surprising, I never would've guessed that acupuncture would have been a possibility for animals of that size. I am curious what are the other treatments that were used in conjunction with the acupuncture?

-Joe Alonzo

At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really interesting! My dad gets acupuncture for his allergies which he has had for over twenty years. It really seems to work so it doesn't really surprise me that animals too can benefit. Do vets have any idea if the relaxation of acupuncture helps animals? Or do they think it could be something more? Nice work.

Ericka Adey

At 3:24 PM, Blogger PWH said...

You are right, I am very skeptical about the "positive effects" of acupuncture on humans, never mind its relative effects on animals. It is good to know that research looking into acupuncture and its effect as new pain remedies animals, but do you think acupuncture will ever serve as a sole remedy to help alleviate physical stress or pain to animals or even humans? Do you know if there has been any written recordings proving an increased improvement, of even a slight degree, of pain recovery with the aide of acupuncture?

-Kiel Boutelle

At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long do the effects of acupuncture lasts? What other symptoms can it cure?
-Sasha Rogers

At 5:13 PM, Blogger PWH said...

I wonder what exactly acupuncture does,that promotes healing. I don't really know a lot about the therapy but I am pretty skeptic. This article can also mislead the reader though. If the horse did the regular treatment along with the acupuncture how do you actually know that the acupuncture worked? The should try using only the acupuncture method to see what its exact effects actually are.

Patrick Salome

At 5:59 PM, Blogger PWH said...

Working with cats and dogs at a veterinary office my boss, the doctor, has on occassion reccomended acupuncture for some patients. These patient have generally already been on a traditional non-steroidal medication and have had success for a short period but the efficacy of the medecine over time wore off. I think that acupuncture in animals is a great way to test how well acupunture works. Since animals cannot be knowingly biased of whether the treatment is working or not. I think it's a relatively non-invasive way of healing that over time probably has a ton less or no side effects compared to prescription medications. Another method of non-invasive theraphy that I have heard about is reiki. This method is also used on people and involves using ones energy to heal. What is your opinion on these alternative medecine practices?

Posted by: Lindsay Goodyear

At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it is that suprising that they would use acupuncture on animals. It is often used on humans and therefore would make sense to use on animals as well. I wonder how much acupuncture actually helps and why it is still not a universal practice. How much additional training do vets need to go through to be certified? Interesting article.

At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it is that suprising that they would use acupuncture on animals. It is often used on humans and therefore would make sense to use on animals as well. I wonder how much acupuncture actually helps and why it is still not a universal practice. How much additional training do vets need to go through to be certified? Interesting article.

Posted by Julie Riley

At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really interesting... are the animals under anesthesia while going through acupuncture therapy? I'd guess that they dont like to be poked with needles too much... And how long do they do this? How long is it affective for? If the animals are awake while going through acupuncture therapy, I wonder if they feel any pain...

Brena Sena

At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really neat article. I know many people are skeptical of acupuncture, but my friend had it done recently and he said it was an amazing sensation. When they put pins in his food he could feel it in his back and shoulders. He also said that for hours after the appointment he felt euphoric and the most relaxed he's felt in a long time. One thing though, is that if you move while the treatment is being done it can be really painful, so I wonder if they take any precautions or how they manage keeping an animal still enough so that it doesn't hurt itself. It might seem like a weird form of medicine, but I think acupuncture would be a better approach towards easing arthritis and joint pain then doping the animals up on painkillers and other prescription drugs.

Rachel Carboni

At 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't surprise me that they are starting to use this on animals. It was just a matter of time. I wonder how the animals react to seeing this.

-Duy Nguyen

At 10:43 PM, Blogger PWH said...

I have actually used acupuncture as an alternative to surgery for my bad knee so I definitely see the usefulness of the treatment. However, I am a bit surprised that the treatment is now available at veterinary hospitals. I always thought acupuncture was used for lessening pain. How do they know about how many treatments are needed if animals cannot verbalize the pain?

-Helen Thi

At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never understood how poking an animal's skin could cure disease. I have not been skeptical, just baffled by the fact that it really works. I wonder if there are other ways, besides acupuncture, to stimulate your qi, the vital energy that is targeted by acupuncture points in Chinese theory.

Posted by Jordan Grinstein

At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there any studies that show acupuncture alone rehabilitating an animal? In yours you mentioned that the acupuncture was couped with traditional methods. If you are a skeptic, one could argue that the traditionally methods healed the horse. I would be interested to see if there are an statistics of animals healed with standard practices alone, compared with those treated with both acupuncture and traditional methods.

-Stephen Lee

At 11:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really neat! I am wondering how acupuncture helped with an infection though. If acupuncture is so helpful, why hasn't it been done more? I really don't understand the whole process of it I guess, but it is pretty cool. If it is so helpful for humans, why has it taken so long for us to realize that it could help animals?

Alyson Paige

At 11:51 PM, Anonymous Jen Kodela said...

My aunt and uncle are both acupuncturists and they have been able to provide lasting relief for many things, including patients that suffer from the effects of chemotherapy. Have vets been able to use acupunture as an alternative way to help with worse illnesses?

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have used acupuncture on my horse as well as a chiropractor to re-align his back and have had great luck with it. More and more medical practices that are succesful on humans are being used on animals with success.

Allison Gamelli


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