Acupuncture for animals? How cool!

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that has been used successfully for over 4000 years in both humans and animals. According to Chinese philosophy, disease is an imbalance of energy, called Qi (pronounced “chee”), in the body and acupuncture helps to correct the flow of this energy.  Qi flows throughout the body in pathways called meridians, which connect to all of an animal’s internal organs.  Acupuncture points are located along these meridians.  Acupuncture triggers these points to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain which help to decrease pain and inflammation and help the body regulate itself from within; therefore, the goal of acupuncture is to help the body heal itself.

But what about the needles?

Here at Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center, we use light in the form of a laser to trigger the acupuncture points located throughout your pet’s body. Treatments are very safe and take about 2-3 minutes to complete.  Pets do not feel a thing and tend to be very calm and relaxed during these treatments.

Awesome! So what is acupuncture used for in animals?

Veterinary acupuncture is used to help relieve symptoms and lessen the discomfort of many health issues including, but not limited to the following:

  • Musculoskeletal problems, including hip dysplasia and arthritis, as well as acute injuries
  • Nervous disorders, including certain types of paralysis treatment
  • Respiratory disorders such as feline asthma
  • Reproductive disorders, such as infertility
  • Behavioral disorders, including separation anxiety
  • Cancer therapy, such as mast cell tumors
  • Immune system disorders, such as autoimmune disease
  • Internal diseases, such as kidney and liver disease, and bladder problems

Do you see results right away?

Acupuncture results are best seen after 3-4 treatments. Depending on your pet’s condition, we recommend one treatment once a week for 3-4 weeks.  If improvement is seen, we then taper down the treatments to every two weeks up to every 8 weeks.  Some pets do not need any more acupuncture once symptoms resolve and other pets receive acupuncture prophylactically as needed.


For more information on veterinary acupuncture or to schedule your consult with Dr. Wilke, please call us M-F from 8 to 5 pm at 515-274-3811.

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