CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A traditional Chinese medicine technique is said to help relieve pain from an injury, is being used on more than just people.
Veterinarian Dr. Lynn Shiner has been doing acupuncture for pets for more than 20 years and says veterinarians have been using acupuncture on animals for close to 50 years.
Dr. Shiner said acupuncture is putting needles in certain areas of the body that seem to heal the injury and relieve the pain. She said its great for athletic treatment and toning, and its not just for cats and dogs.
“Racehorses, performance horses, Leinster horses, rabbits, ferrets, birds...” said Shiner.
Dr. Shiner said acupuncture should not be stressful or painful for the animal. She said they stick a needle on a point that’s on top of the animal's head called, the permission point.
“It’s basically a point to say relax this is ok, this is how it feels,” said Shiner.
“I know it sounds weird at first but I do recommend it but it does help with stuff like inflammation and pain,” said Joshua Markos, owner of dog MiMi.
MiMi has been going to Animal Medical for 10 years to help with her severe arthritis.
“Dotsons tend to have back problems its totally normal acupuncture was brought up. So I started with acupuncture and you know it just started working,” said Markos.
Shiner said when they see a patient for the first time they examine what’s going on to find out if acupuncture is appropriate for the patient. Then treatment can vary.
“How often we treat, how many needles we put in, how those needles are stimulated. Sometimes we will inject a little something a little vitamin B-12 in the acupuncture point to make it work a little better, that works well with nervous dogs that don’t want to sit still for 15 minutes with needles in them,” said Shiner.
Shiner said acupuncture can be used on pets for issues besides injury and pain like asthma, behavior modifications, and appetite stimulation.
“Dogs and cats with cancer often respond to acupuncture because it helps them feel better and it helps stimulate their appetite,” said Dr. Shiner.
Shiner said to check with your pet insurance to see if they cover pet acupuncture.
For more information on acupuncture for your animal visit here.