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Can acupuncture help my pet feel better?

Can acupuncture help my pet feel better?

Have you heard about acupuncture for pets? It's an ancient Chinese therapy that can help your pet feel better if they have chronic pain, arthritis, or gastrointestinal issues. Our Marina del Rey vets can explain how it works.

Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)

Acupuncture has been used in China for a long time to help people feel better and treat illnesses. Now, vets who are trained in traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM) are using acupuncture to help animals too.

They put very thin needles into certain parts of the body where nerves and blood vessels cross to help manage the symptoms of different illnesses and disorders. TCVM includes other therapies besides acupuncture and can be combined with regular vet care to treat pets in a more complete way. Pets of any age can have acupuncture treatment for many different health problems. This therapy is safe and can help ease pain and discomfort caused by injuries or illnesses.

Acupuncture for Pets - The Process

Before starting any treatment for your pet's symptoms, it's important to find out what's causing them. Once the underlying cause is known, treatment can begin to focus on addressing that specific issue.  Veterinary acupuncture aims to help your pet's body heal itself by resetting the balance of energy throughout the body, which is called "chi". This is done by inserting thin needles into specific points on your pet's body where blood vessels and nerves meet.

It's virtually painless, and it can release endorphins (natural painkillers) that can help relieve your pet's pain or discomfort. Acupuncture may also release serotonin, which can reduce anxiety and make your pet feel happier and more content. There are other forms of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) as well, such as acupressure, aquapuncture, laser energy, electrostimulation, and other alternative therapies.

Benefits of Veterinary Acupuncture

Veterinary acupuncture and other traditional Chinese treatments are believed to produce a number of health benefits while avoiding the negative side effects that some conventional medications and treatments can bring on. Benefits of veterinary acupuncture for pets include:

  • Stimulating the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory substances.
  • No negative side effects on internal organs, as can occur with some prescription medications.
  • There are no adverse interactions with other medications or supplements, making acupuncture a safe treatment for animals undergoing conventional treatments.
  • Acupuncture treatments are believed to create elevated blood flow and increased oxygenation as well as improved metabolic and toxic waste removal.
  • Localized pain relief may be achieved at the site of needle insertion due to the relaxation of the muscles in that area.

Animal Conditions That Can be Treated with Acupuncture

Veterinary acupuncture can treat many illnesses and conditions in pets, just like acupuncture can for people. Acupuncture can be particularly effective for health problems that cause inflammation or chronic pain. Here are some examples of conditions that can be treated with acupuncture:

Metabolic Diseases

Acupuncture helps pets with metabolic disorders by regulating their endocrine system, improving digestion, and reducing oxidative stress. This treatment also enhances blood flow to tissues, which increases oxygen supply and removes toxins and waste products.


Acupuncture for pets can relieve the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis by releasing endorphins. This may even lessen the need for regular pain medications. Additionally, pets who cannot handle traditional pain medication can benefit from acupuncture as well.

Degenerative Joint Disease

Joint disease is a common problem in pets that can severely affect their well-being. Acupuncture is a treatment that helps reduce the pain and tension related to joint issues, making it easier for your cat or dog to move around.


Acupuncture for pets with cancer aims to improve the body's ability to heal by boosting blood flow and supporting the immune system. This natural treatment can also help reduce the side effects of traditional cancer treatments and treat the cancer itself. Veterinary acupuncture is a great option for pet owners looking for holistic and complementary cancer treatment.


If your pet gets hurt from an accident, fall, or fight, they may experience inflammation and pain. Traditional Chinese veterinary medicine like acupuncture can be used to alleviate these symptoms and promote their recovery, so they can return to their healthy self.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your pet suffering from chronic pain or illness, or recovering from an accident or surgery? Contact our Marina del Rey vets today to book an appointment for your pet.

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Shane Veterinary Medical Center is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Marina del Rey companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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