Giving Horses the Acupuncture Needle

| July 10, 2011 | 0 Comments | 390 views

Vets trot toward alternative medicine

Acupuncture is not just for people any more. The 2,000-year-old Chinese medical treatment is being used by veterinarians, too, usually on last-ditch cases like Gandolph, a horse who was having trouble competing in dressage events, and a Scottish wolfhound who "would let out bloodcurdling screams if you touched her nose or her ears."

How exactly does acupuncture work on animals? Take Piper, an 11-year-old thoroughbred whose right hip used to kick up every few months. She was miraculoulsy pain-free after she had pins stuck in her temples and in the base of her tail, in her hips and above her hooves, and had her jaw wiggled, her legs rotated and her spine palpated, according to the Washington Post.

Horses the Acupuncture Needle

Horses the Acupuncture Needle

Scott Dove, the veterinarian who treated the wolfhound, says animals respond to touch, which makes them excellent candidates for the hands-on nature of acupuncture and chiropractic treatments. "Learning to accept information through your hands is a huge advantage for a doctor whose patients can't talk."

All three vets quoted in the Post story did postgraduate work under the auspices of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (established in 1989) and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (1974.) The 150-hour chiropractic course and the 250-hour acupuncture course require vets to pass oral and written exams, present cases and attend periodic refresher sessions. About 1,100 veterinarians in the United States have passed one or both of these courses.

A companion story on alternative medicines looks at one veterinarian who has used Chinese herbal medicines and homeopathy on animals for 10 years.

For more details on alternative therapies for animals, try the AltVetMed site. For case histories on horses helped by acupuncture, visit Pacific Coast Equine Acupuncture.


Category: Acupuncture Treatment, News & Events for Health

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