Monthly Archives: April 2017
By: Erica F. Monaco DVM MSPH cVMA
Acupuncture is a technique that allows the practitioner to interface with the nervous system and tap into the body’s own mechanisms for modulating main perception, inflammation, endocrine and metabolic functions as well as healing. This complementary therapy is used to treat pain and other conditions in humans and animals. Dr. Monaco integrates traditional and non-traditional approaches to medicine to provide high quality evidence based veterinary care.
Acupuncture is administered by strategically placing very thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body, commonly referred to as “meridians.” There are 150 main acupuncture points on the animal that serve to treat different illnesses and ailments. By stimulating these points the doctor can alleviate a host of health-related conditions in your pet.
The body naturally makes its own narcotics to manage pain sensation. Acupuncture works by changing the way that the brain perceives pain signals, by discharging pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory neurotransmitters in to the body. Neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins modify and lessen pain felt by patients.
Veterinarians use this therapy in conjunction with modern medicine to help decrease inflammation in their patients, promote healing, stimulate neuro retraining, and break chronic pain cycles. Clinical studies that have been conducted show progressive results in both human and animal trials.
According to research conducted by Georgetown University Medical Center” The practice of acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of blood hormones and peptides secreted by the sympathetic nervous system.”
The hair-like needles used in acupuncture are so tiny that they activate different nerve receptors than those triggered by painful stimuli. These needles are designed not to cause tissue trauma but rather go between tissue fibers to elicit nerve responses. A licensed veterinarian, who has completed formal training in the practice of veterinary acupuncture, is the best person to recognize and properly diagnose an animal’s health related problems to determine if the pet will benefit from the treatment.
Acupuncture can be beneficial for neurologic and pain conditions as well as sports injuries in agility dogs. Pets that experience muscle and or joint pain should be seen to discuss a trial round of acupuncture with a veterinary acupuncturist. If your pet is currently undergoing chemo therapy for cancer or post-operative rehabilitation you should talk to your veterinarian about beginning an acupuncture regimen as it will aid in the speed of the recovery process.
Acupuncture session times vary depending on the animal’s specific needs. First time sessions are scheduled for 60 minutes while subsequent sessions are between 20 -30 minutes. As certain points on the body that produce a calming effect on the patient, after your session, it is not uncommon for your pet to sleep for several hours after returning home. Pain relief from acupuncture can take place as quickly as 20 minutes to a few hours or days depending on your pet’s response to treatment.
There are three types of acupuncture that we may choose to administer to your cat or dog.
Traditional: The needles are strategically placed into the skin at named acupuncture points.
Electro-acupuncture: Electrodes are hooked onto the needles and low levels of electricity are slowly released to help stimulate nerves an increase neurotransmitter release.
Dry Needling: Needles are placed into muscle bellies where there is increased tension or knots
To determine how your pet will respond to acupuncture, we ask that you commit to an initial three visit trial period performed on a flexible schedule. Acupuncture therapy can provide relief of a wide variety of ailments, the list below provides examples of some conditions commonly treated.
- 1.Neurological disorders including paralysis, seizures, and anxiety.
- 2.Musculoskeletal problems including, arthritis, intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), sports injury, hip dysplasia, and generalized pain.
- 4.Skin conditions and allergies.
- 5.Gastrointestinal problems such as IBD, motility disorders, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and appetite stimulation.
- 6.Post-operative healing and pain relief.
- 7.Urogenital problems including incontinence and reproductive dysfunction.
Dexter was adopted from a local animal rescue facility by David S. of Las Vegas. Dexter is an energetic sixteen-week-old Pekingese mix. After eight weeks together David says that the most rewarding part for him is knowing that he is that he got to be the one to adopt Dexter and providing him a better life.
Dexter’s favorite toy is his big brother, a schnauzer mix that David has had for five years. He says that his dog needed a companion for the times when David is away so he decided to seek a new addition to the family by searching at local shelters. He is happy that the two get along and keep one another company. Dexter is a typical curious, and playful little brother. Dexter loves his toys and playing chase and just being a puppy.
Congratulations Dexter you’re our pet of the month for April 2017!
If you would like to submit your pet for Pet of the Month, please use the form here
(don’t forget a picture!) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re excited to introduce Jennifer, our latest D.V.M extern at Craig Road Animal Hospital. Growing up in Sacramento, California, Jennifer had a wide variety of pets, including birds, bunnies, rats, fish, cats, and dogs. “I’ve always wanted to be a vet, I took a nontraditional route experimenting with engineering but ultimately I came back to my love of animals.”
Jennifer completed her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Biology at The University of California, Davis. Jennifer is currently attending Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona where she is pursuing her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.
Jennifer has an active interest in “ One Health Initiative,” this organization is a coalition dedicated to the health of humans, animals, and the environment. She currently serves as President of Midwestern University’s One Health Initiative Club.
Jennifer expects to learn as much as possible, complete more “Hands on training” and come away with unique experiences from Craig Road Animal Hospital’s Externship Program. She’s most excited for the diversity of career opportunities that becoming a veterinarian will afford her.
Although she doesn’t currently have pets, her parents still care for their 13- year-old golden retriever named Gabby. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys spending lots of time outdoors. She most enjoys activities such as hiking, golfing, soccer and recently learned Argentine tango dancing.