Acupuncture is a therapy that orginated in China around 4000 years ago. The therapy aims to balance the bodies energy by stimulating selected points of the body using small thin needles. It is often used as an alternative therapy when conventional techniques are having adverse effects or when surgery is not feasible. It can also be used to keep the energy in the body of the pet in balance to prevent problems.

Usually accupuncture treatments last from 10 seconds to 30 minutes, depending upon the problem being treated. The treatment will be repeated 1-3 times per week for 4-6 weeks. A positive response is often (but not always) noticed within the first 4-6 treatments, sometimes earlier, depending on the condition treated.Some of the conditions that may respond to acupunture include:

1) Musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, intervertebral disc disease

2) Dermatological conditions such as chronic ear infections and chronic allergic dermatitis

3) Respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic viral infections

4) Neurological conditions such as traumatic nerve injury and epilepsy

5) Gastrointestinal conditions such as chronic diarrhea and constipation.

6) Urogenital conditions such as chronic urinary infections, bladder stones or incontinence

The American Academy of Veterinary Medical Acupuncture, in conjunction with the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (CSU-CVMBS) and the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association offer a couse in Veterinary Acupunture at their website. Other courses are offered by the International Veterinary Accupunture Society.

Accupuncture is provided by some veterinarians as a supplementary service to their clients and others choose to specialize solely in holistic medicine techinques such as accupuncture. A directory of veterinary accupuncturists can be found online at the International Veterinary Accupuncture Society and the American Academy of Veterinary Accupuncture.