Jackson, my 8 year old pug, has very weak back legs and periodically falls down. He is on medication, but not doing much better, and my friend says I should consider acupuncture. Does that work on dogs?
By Dr. Gail Cutler
Yes, it does. In fact, most pets seem to relax and enjoy acupuncture.
A month ago, I saw a Chihuahua with whose back legs were so weak that she was almost paralyzed, and was unable to walk. Medications were not working, and a back injury was suspected but the owner couldn’t afford back surgery. After three acupuncture treatments her dog is now taking walks around the block and is back to normal.
As a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist, I have seen some remarkable results, including a dog that came into the clinic on a stretcher and walked out on her own after a single treatment. That was a very unusual case in that they usually require multiple treatments before a good response is seen.
Acupuncture is an approximately 5,000 year old practice. Medical research has shown that acupuncture points have more density of nerve bundles and inflammatory mediators than other parts of the body. This process is believed to adjust and alter the body’s energy and blood flow into healthier patterns. Very thin needles are placed at specific points in the body to accomplish this change.
Acupuncture can address pain as well as help improve neurological function and strengthen muscles. Acupuncture can also be used for skin issues, respiratory issues, nausea, and a host of other conditions.
Sometimes we need to think outside the box when western medicine isn’t giving all the results that we hope for. Acupuncture is a treatment that has no negative side effects and has the potential to help with Jackson’s situation.