Acupuncture provides an excellent integrative addition to current western medication. It is non-invasive, it has minimal to no side effects, and needle placement is generally well-tolerated. The whole health of the pet is taken into consideration during appointments, and therefore treatments should only be performed by a licensed, certified veterinarian to incorporate underlying knowledge of veterinary medicine with proper acupuncture approach and technique.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin, sterile, stainless steel needles into specific locations and depths on a patient. Needling causes biochemical and physiological changes through stimulation of the nervous system. These changes increase circulation, relieve muscle spasms, stimulate nerves, stimulate the body’s defense systems, and cause a release of many neurochemicals, including endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing hormones. This technique has been used in veterinary practice for over 3,000 years to treat many disorders and is a valuable adjunctive therapy to western treatment. Acupuncture is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association as a valid modality within the practice of veterinary medicine and surgery.
Treatments can improve comfort and recovery from injuries and many disease processes. Examples include:
The length and frequency of treatments depend on the condition of the patient. Appointments range from a half hour to an hour, and needles are typically in place for 10-15 minutes. The pet’s history, an exam, and massage are also incorporated during the appointment. In addition, laser is available and used regularly. A simple acute problem, such as a sprain, may only require a single treatment, while chronic conditions, such as arthritis, may need once-a-week treatments for 3-6 weeks for maximum response. Treatments are then tapered according to the pet’s response and can range from every several weeks to every few months as needed for maintenance. Treatments are performed at your home in your pet’s own comfortable and familiar surroundings.
Regular wellness visits with your primary veterinarian are still recommended and encouraged. Acupuncture treatments are intended to provide a synergistic approach to your pet's health care.
Photomedicine, or laser therapy, uses specific light wavelengths to cause a photochemical reaction in the cell’s mitochondria when the light photons are absorbed by the cell’s chromophores. This photobiomodulation ultimately helps to improve circulation, reduce inflammation and edema, and decrease pain. Laser therapy is regularly incorporated during acupuncture treatments, especially for particularly sensitive areas, allowing the treatments to be as comfortable as possible for your pet. The type of laser used is a Class 1M laser with superpulse technology. Due to this technology and the class of the laser, it is safe to use without eye protection and there is no concern for thermal burns. This laser is also capable of emitting a 470nm blue radiance which is effective against bacterial infections – great for treating wounds, ear infections, hot spots, and more!
Prices for acupuncture treatments include individual treatments and packages. Call, text, or email for more information!
Dr. Kelli Ator earned her Bachelor of Science in Cell Biology and Neuroscience from Montana State University in 2002. In 2006, she received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University, followed by the completion of a small animal medicine and surgery internship at Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Greensboro, North Carolina. Dr. Ator earned her acupuncture certification in 2010 through Medical Acupuncture for Veterinarians, and she began incorporating acupuncture into her western medicine to provide a synergistic approach to healing. In 2018, she decided to follow her interest in integrative medicine and established her own mobile veterinary acupuncture practice.
Narda Robinson, DO, DVM, MS, FAAMA, founder of Medical Acupuncture for Veterinarians and CuraCore Integrative Medicine and Education Centers, speaks about using acupuncture in veterinary medicine.
Harlie and her treatment