VCA Heritage Animal Hospital

Acupunture/Laser Therapy

We are now offering medical acupuncture and laser therapy as new forms of medical treatment at VCA Heritage Animal Hospital.  We have long been frustrated by the inability of conventional medicine to adequately treat many medical conditions that result in chronic pain and chronic inflammation.  Often, the medications used for these conditions cause unacceptable or rarely, dangerous side effects.  The advantages of acupuncture and laser therapy are that they are side effect free and can be used safely even in very sick or elderly pets.  Both acupuncture and laser therapy have been in use in human and veterinary medicine for many years and have accumulated a large body of peer-reviewed medical literature that objectively demonstrates safety and efficacy.  Although some controversy remains, we feel that it is time that these therapies were offered to our patients.

Acupuncture has been practiced for over 3000 years, but only in the last few years has basic research been done to establish the neurological and physiologic basis for its effects.  There is now a basic understanding of medical acupuncture in terms of western, conventional medicine.  We are not adherents of traditional Chinese medicine and use acupuncture within a framework of conventional medicine as an additional therapeutic tool.  Acupuncture can be used as a primary form of treatment or as an adjunct to other medicines and treatments.  Acupuncture is widely used for pain management secondary to osteoarthritis and is also used for a variety of neurologic conditions such as intervertebral disc disease, urinary incontinence and inflammation, gastrointestinal motility issues (vomiting and diarrhea) and other medical problems as well.  Acupuncture has very few risks and the needles are well tolerated by most patients.  A number of treatments are usually required for full benefit, so treatments are scheduled as a series.  Some chronic problems may require periodic maintenance treatment.  Dr. Nancy Rhodes has recently become certified as an acupuncture practitioner, one of very few in our area.

Laser therapy is a much newer form of medical treatment than acupuncture with a similar but more narrow range of clinical applications.  Laser is effective at controlling pain, reducing inflammation, improving blood supply and minimizing scarring that results from inflammation.  It is used primarily on problems involving the skin and musculoskeletal structures that are relatively close (within two inches) to the skin surfaces, such as arthritis, dermatitis and trauma.  Because laser is essentially a form of energy that is delivered to a body cell's energy pathways, effect is limited by overlying tissue absorbing laser energy intended for the target tissue.  Laser therapy is extremely safe, virtually side effect free and causes no patient discomfort.  Like acupuncture, several treatments may be necessary to achieve control and long term problems may require longer treatment periods.

If you have questions about these new forms of treatment, give us a call.  Dr. Rhodes is our g0-to person for acupuncture, Dr. Dust is the answer man for laser therapy.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency during normal business hours, please call us immediately. If you have an emergency outside of our normal business hours, please contact a local emergency animal hospital.