What is Integrated Veterinary Medicine? Why are people searching for an Integrated Veterinarian?

Integrated1-300x240While it’s quite well-known that acupuncture can help alleviate the ailments of many humans, few people understand what acupuncture can do for animals as a complimentary or an integrated veterinary service. Veterinary acupuncture is a medical option that can help restore your animals’ health, ease pains, help treat many disease symptoms and treat internal disease.

One of the great things about veterinary acupuncture is that it can be used as a complementary or integrated medical treatment. That means you don’t have to toss out your “go-to” medicine.  You can stick to what you know, and add acupuncture to a Service or Assistant animal’s health regime for extra health benefits.

Kindred-Canines in Motion (KIM) understands that your dog’s health is of the utmost importance, especially if this animal helps ease the difficulties of daily tasks. Kindred-canines In Motion appreciates and advocates for the benefits of veterinary acupuncture. These additional veterinary services can help Service and Assistance dogs overcome numerous health and mobility obstacles.

What Is Veterinary Acupuncture?

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Acupuncture (TCVM) has been practiced in China for at least 2,500 years. Interest and activity spread to other Asian countries including Japan and Korea about 1,500 years ago. During the past 25 to 30 years, there has been tremendous growth and development of veterinary acupuncture in Europe and the United States.  Acupuncture has been used for treatment of diseases in horses, cattle, dogs, and cats.

Integrated2-300x159Acupuncture may be defined as the stimulation of a specific point on the body referred to as an “acupoint.” Physiological changes in response to acupuncture point stimulation is the basis of clinical treatment.

Some of these responses include release of endogenous opioids, immune system stimulation, blood pressure regulation and body temperature regulation. Thus, many techniques have been developed to stimulate “acupoints” such as dry-needle, moxibustion, electro-acupuncture, aqua-acupuncture, hemo-acupuncture, acu-pressure, and pneumo-acupuncture. the stimulation of a specific point on the body referred to as an “acupoint.” Physiological changes in response to acupuncture point stimulation is the basis of clinical treatment.

Kindred-Canines In Motion, has a special mission to apply the applications of  veterinary acupuncture to the following  areas in which acupuncture has proved to yield tremendous benefit : 1) Pain Management, 2) Geriatric Medicine and 3) Sports Medicine and  “Working Dog” needs.

Why offer Acupuncture to Service and Assistance Dogs?

Maintaining your dog’s health should be a priority.  Particularly if you have a Service or Assistance dog – one that has undergone much training and has helped you in so many ways.  Although they may not be the first medical methods you think of, TCVM can help you do just that.

TCVM for lumbar pain and allergies in a Hearing Alert Assistance Dog

A digital radiograph of spinal column degenerative disease in a Service Dog

A dog with a degenerative spinal cord disease. Herbal medicine & acupuncture treatment

Dr. Gerardi is a trained TCVM Practitioner and she can help your animal overcome a variety of diseases. A 2012 study of acupuncture’s effects on arthritis pain shows that it is indeed effective in relieving pain, for example.

Some painful circumstances calling for TCVM include:

  • Arthritis: stiffness or inflammation of joints
  • Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD): advanced arthritis (osteoarthritis)
  • General trauma
    • Muscle, ligament and tendon injuries
    • Sprains and strains
    • Ulcerations and open wounds
    • Post-surgical and soft tissue trauma
    • Cancer: tissue inflammation and pain
    • Metabolic Disease: variety of organ failures leading to lack of energy and/or appetite
    • Hip dysplasia: abnormal hip socket formation potentially leading to arthritis
    • Back and neck pain: chronic or event-induced pain
    • Skin problems: infections and sensitivity
    • Urinary tract disorders
    • Neuromuscular disease: affects peripheral nervous system (nerves around brain and spinal cord)

How does Acupuncture heal animals?

The way acupuncture works is quite interesting.  TCVM can be accomplished by pressing, heating or needling sensitive body parts, allow the body to release pain on its own. Acupuncture triggers the release of pain-reducing and anti-inflammatory hormones, as well as positive neurochemicals like endorphins.

Another aspect of acupuncture is that it helps to ease the flow of positive energy through the body. Chinese philosophy states that this flow can sometimes become blocked, causing pain or illness. By stimulating the body’s pressure points, you can unblock the energy, returning it to its rightful healthy and balanced state.

TCVM is Also a Preventative Care Measure

Kindred-Canines In Motion believes in preventative and Integrative Veterinary Care. KIM knows that if ailments can be prevented they should be prevented! Not only can these procedures heal existing pains and illnesses, but they can also act as a preventative measure stopping the formation of future illness and disease.

KIM seeks to educate the public about these complimentary forms of veterinary care and encourages the use of veterinary acupuncture the next time your animal seems a bit off.  KIM recognizes that TCVM can be practiced to prevent future pain and illness.

Remember…“A dog in Motion can stay in Motion.” Do for your dog what it can’t do for itself: consider acupuncture.