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Animal Acupuncture

     Animal acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in China to help heal many ailments, including acute and chronic physical, mental and spiritual ailments. Over the last few decades, Western medicine has recognized the efficacy of Chinese medicine, especially acupuncture, and animal acupuncture is now endorsed by many veterinarians here in the United States.

     During a treatment session, an acupuncturist uses very thin needles to affect the energy flow in the body. Specific points are chosen based on each animal's acute and overall presentation of symptoms, behavior, health and lifestyle history. The insertion of needles at these points assists and activates their body's innate healing abilities.

What are the requirements for being an animal acupuncturist?

     An animal acupuncturist must graduate from an accredited acupuncture school (which includes at least 1800 hours of classroom instruction and clinical experience), become licensed, take an animal acupuncture course (which includes additional classroom instruction and clinical experience specifically for animals), and then apply to the Board of Acupuncture to be certified. In the state of Maryland, an acupuncturist can then practice on animals as a Certified Animal Acupuncturist.

Is acupuncture only for dogs/cats with physical problems?

     Definitely not! Acupuncture can be a wonderful way to help your dog stay as healthy as possible.

What are some of the benefits of acupuncture?

     Acupuncture supports the immune system, helps reduce chronic pain, helps speed recovery after surgery, helps relieve digestive troubles, acts preventively to help ensure good health, enhances mental clarity and focus ,increases circulation of Qi (energy) and blood, helps support emotional balance, and helps improve overall quality of life.

Are there any side effects from acupuncture?

     No. One of the benefits of acupuncture is that there are no side effects.

Will my dog/cat feel any pain/sensation from the needles?

     Generally most dogs/cats do very well with the insertion and retention of the needles. Occasionally some dogs/cats are more sensitive to the needles and sometimes display a mild visible reaction, such as movement/twitching of their coats or a shifting of position during the insertion of a needle. Once the needles have been inserted, however, they usually experience a period of calmness and serenity. Some dogs/cats have even taken short naps during a treatment session.

How often should I bring my dog/cat for acupuncture?

     For the best results, your dog/cat should receive an acupuncture treatment at least once a week for four to five weeks.  Some acute issues may require treatment twice a week in the initial stages.  During this initial period of treatment, you and your dog/cat’s acupuncturist will discuss how your dog/cat is responding to the acupuncture treatments and will evaluate the frequency of future visits. Generally most dogs/cats will do well with extending the time between treatments fairly quickly after this initial period.

What do I need to do bring with me to my dog/cat’s first acupuncture appointment?

     You will need to bring your dog/cat’s shot record with current Rabies, Distemper, and Bordatella vaccinations. A dog/cat will need to have been seen by a veterinarian for an exam no more than 14 days before the first acupuncture treatment in order to begin treatment. You must bring a receipt or letter from your veterinarian with a current date to meet the above requirement. Treatment cannot begin without these documents.

George S. Barnosky, L.Ac., M.Ac.

Phone - 443.794.7552

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