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Acupuncture For Pets

Holistic Veterinary Clinics

— April 2, 2007 — Lifestyle
As more and more people turn to alternative medicines for their health needs, it is no surprise that they now seek similar holistic treatments for their pets as well.

Specifically, these vets use a combination of prescribed organic foods and herbal treatments with chiropractic and massage therapy techniques, and yes, even acupuncture.

Being increasingly more popular, holistic veterinarians are trained in both the natural and scientific aspects of healing and use a combination of Eastern and Western practices for pet treatment. While Western medicine tends to focus on relief, alternative medicines focus on prevention and addressing root causes of ailments and disease.

Certified veterinary acupuncturists are springing up across the world. Canada has holistic vets scattered across the country from the coastal practitioners of Qualicum Beach, B.C., to the small-towns like Strathmore, A.B. There is no lack of these specialty vets, nor is there a lack of demand. All the way to Dartmouth, N.S. and every major town and city along the way, acupuncturists are available for your pet, farm animal, or live-stock.

Those unfamiliar with acupuncture may be envisioning an array of needles protruding from Fido or little Cleo right now. A horrified look glazes over you as you picture your precious pet looking more like Sonic the Hedgehog than your family pet.

Fear not. Developed by the Ancient Chinese, acupuncture is the technique of using pin-point precision to stimulate certain pressure points with fine needles to move stagnant energies. If your pet—or you—can't handle the little pricks, there are alternatives.

Moxibustion uses heat to stimulate these same areas. It is made up of mugwort herb which is either ground into a fluff, or packed in a cigar-like tube called Moxa sticks. The end of the incense-like stick is lit and held near the problem zones to create heat.

It gets fancier than that though. Acupuncture now combines modern technologies for even stronger results which includes the administration of electrical pulses through the needles, or, at very advanced clinics, low power laser.

As a non-profit organization, the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS), is celebrating its 33rd year and includes hundreds of doctors around the world. To find an acupuncturist for your pet, their website ( has an extensive directory.