Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) includes acupuncture and herbal therapies. Integrative medicine may include these methods, used in conjunction with traditional western medicine to treat and manage a variety of diseases. Acupuncture seeks to bring the body back into balance; stimulation of appropriately chosen acupoints leads to neurotransmitter release, which decreases inflammation and pain.
Veterinary acupuncture is most often used to help manage conditions such as arthritis or intervertebral disc disease. Electrical stimulation can be added to acupuncture treatment plans in some cases. Patients with decreased mobility or partial paralysis may benefit from this addition, as electricity stimulates nerves and may return the patient to walking with improved comfort more quickly than conventional medical intervention alone. It is also used in conjunction with surgical interventions for orthopedic conditions such as cruciate ligament injury, to improve long term outcomes after surgery.
Additionally, acupuncture may be used to help with management of many other medical conditions. These include but are not limited to: chronic constipation or other gastrointestinal illness, feline asthma, acute injuries of the soft tissues and geriatric internal medicine conditions such as kidney dysfunction.
While an integrative approach is generally the most successful, TCVM may be used alone for patients who cannot tolerate western therapies due to adverse drug reactions or intolerance’s. Laser therapy can also be performed to help reduce inflammation, increase circulation and decrease pain. Laser is often used in conjunction with acupuncture to provide an even quicker resolution of inflammatory issues.
Most patients tolerate these minimally invasive treatments very well. We will be happy to answer any additional questions you have regarding the use of integrative therapies in our practice!