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Acupuncture for Dogs

Most dogs seem to really enjoy acupuncture.  They are used to being touched and petted, so the close human contact is comfortable for them.  The needles used for acupuncture are so small and gentle that they are much less noticeable than getting a shot or having blood drawn.  Many dogs require little or no restraint for their treatments, although it can be helpful to have a reassuring owner at their head.  Dogs are usually very tolerant of needles in their head, back and upper legs, but often object to needles near their feet due to their natural instinct to protect the feet.


The stimulation of acupuncture points causes an endorphin release in the body which has a natural calming effect and helps dogs relax and stay still - some even sleep during treatment. Dogs who are aggressive to strangers in their home or who do not like to be touched may not be good candidates for house call acupuncture. If you have concerns about your dog tolerating this treatment, call to discuss them before setting up an appointment.


Some conditions that respond well to acupuncture in the dog include:


  • Pain & weakness from arthritis: dogs who struggle to get up and down, don’t walk well on slick floors, can’t go up the stairs anymore

  • Acral lick sores: chronic sores that dogs perpetuate by licking

  • Urinary Incontinence: dogs who leak urine while sleeping

  • Intervertebral Disk Disease and other back problems: dogs who have a “hunched up stance” and may have trouble with defecation, panting can also be a sign of pain

  • Heart Disease: dogs who are coughing and out of breath easily

  • Gastrointestinal Problems: chronic diarrhea or vomiting, poor appetite

  • Immune Support: dogs who are healing after surgery or struggling with chronic infections or immune suppression while on chemotherapy


There are many other problems that respond well to acupuncture. Almost any disease can be treated with this healing art. Experience has shown some to be more responsive than others. If your dog has symptoms that are not on this list, acupuncture may still be quite helpful for him or her.


"Dr. Schaubert is a very kind, compassionate vet who is great with acupuncture.  At the first visit, she asked a lot of questions and took a lot of time to physically examine my dog before she designed a treatment plan.  Once acupuncture began, the results were dramatic for my dog Scout, an elderly border collie with a spinal injury, hip dysplasia, arthritis and other issues. After a couple of treatments, Scout began to enjoy life once again and seemed to be much more comfortable physically and emotionally, which was a tremendous relief to me.  


Over time, I liked that at each visit Dr. Schaubert was concerned with where Scout was at that particular day - in other words, she didn't just develop an initial plan then mindlessly put the needles in the same places every time.  She was interested in tweaking the plan each time, depending on where Scout was at that day and what was going on.  My dogs just love her and I can't recommend her highly enough. "


Dianne Coker

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