Did you know that Dr. DiMaria is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist? Acupuncture has been used for over 3,000 years to treat all kinds of medical problems. The basis for acupuncture is that energy (Qi) flows along pathways called meridians throughout the body. At certain points the meridians can be accessed up near the skin surface. Traditional Chinese Medicine is developed on the premise that in order for the person or animal to be experiencing pain/swelling/inflammation or other malfunction, there must be a blockage of the energy flow. Inserting extremely thin needles at specific points along the meridians is believed to re-balance the energy flow. From a conventional medicine stand point, some effects of acupuncture are measureable. The body's own pain-killing endorphins are released and levels of inflammation-causing prostaglandins are decreased. Other beneficial effects are observed but cannot yet be explained scientifically.
We have found that most clients ask for acupuncture to help treat their pet's problems when conventional medicine has failed to help, when undesirable side effects are caused by the prescribed medication, or because the owner prefers a non-drug therapy when possible. The usual course of treatment begins with a 45 minute appointment that consists of an initial consultation examination followed by the first acupuncture treatment. After that, treatments are done twice a week for two weeks (if schedules permit), or at least once a week for four weeks, then every two weeks or whatever time span the treatments are lasting (3, 4, 8 months, etc.). A chronic problem, like old dog arthritis usually requires chronic treatment. It is difficult to predict which pets will respond terrifically; which less so. You will see how much it is helping by three to six treatments. The treatments are very well tolerated by dogs and some cats.
There are no negative side effects other than convenience and cost. We prefer that you think of acupuncture as a complementary treatment, not necessarily an "alternative" one. It can be one more tool in our arsenal of therapeutics.
Dr. DiMaria is happy to discuss if your pet may benefit from acupuncture treatments.