Portland Pet Acupuncture

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is performed by placing tiny, solid, metal needles into specific locations in the body, called acupuncture points, to help prevent and treat disease. The term acupuncture is derived from two Latin words: acus, meaning needle and pungare, meaning to pierce. Acupuncture is used all over the world to treat a wide variety of maladies in every species of domestic and exotic animals.

Who performs acupuncture at North Portland Veterinary Hospital?

We do not currently have any veterinarians who offer acupuncture as a service.  Please check back with us as this may change in the future. 

What are some conditions that acupuncture is used to help treat?

Acute or Chronic pain
Arthritis/Degenerative Joint Disease
Intervertebral Disc Disease
Chronic renal (kidney) failure
Acute or Chronic cough
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Recovery/Rehabilitation after surgery or injury

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of uses for acupuncture; if your cat or dog has a condition/ailment that is not on the list, please contact your primary care veterinarian to ask if your pet may benefit from acupuncture.


How does acupuncture work?

According to traditional Chinese medical philosophy, disease is the result of an imbalance of the flow of chi, or energy, in the body. Acupuncture is believed to balance this energy and, thereby, assist the body to heal. Acupuncture needles are placed in particular acupuncture points to redirect flow of chi and correct the energy flow imbalance.
In Western terms, acupuncture helps the body to heal itself by effecting certain physiological changes. For example, acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasms, and lead to the release of hormones, such as endorphins (one of the body's pain control chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid).


What should I expect with the acupuncture treatment?

During treatment, most animals exhibit no pain or discomfort, although a pet may occasionally experience a brief moment of sensitivity when the needle enters the skin. Once the needles are in place, most animals relax and many even fall asleep during treatment. A typical acupuncture treatment lasts about 15 to 30 minutes.


How often will my pet need acupuncture?

While there are some conditions for which a single treatment is all that is required, multiple sessions are required to treat many chronic conditions. A typical patient will start with weekly treatments for 4 to 6 weeks, with a positive response often noticed within the first several sessions. After the initial treatment period, sessions are on an as-needed basis; most patients with chronic conditions are seen every 1 to 6 months for maintenance therapy.


How are acupuncture appointments scheduled?

The initial visit is a one hour acupuncture consultation. This includes a complete physical examination, full review of medical history, and discussion of any additional recommended diagnostic tests and x-rays. The consultation is used to evaluate the nature of the disease condition, discuss recommended procedures, treatment goals and expectations as well as possible complications or side-effects. If additional diagnostics are necessary, a diagnostic/treatment plan and additional fees will be discussed.
Follow-up acupuncture appointments typically last about 30-40 minutes. You may stay with your pet for the appointment or you may drop him/her off for the appointment.


How can I schedule an acupuncture consultation or get more information?

We do not currently offer acupuncture as a service.  Please check back with us at (503) 285-0462 to see if this has changed.