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Dec 08 2017

Veterinary Acupuncture at Bayview Seven Animal Hospital

Acupuncture has been practiced in both animals and humans for thousands of years in China. Veterinary treatment protocols using acupuncture are well documented and are a part of the mainstream veterinary medical system in China.  Whether you should pursue acupuncture for your pet is a ‘prickly’ question that should be answered by your veterinarian in Richmond Hill that has been trained in traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM). The appropriate application of TCVM treatments, including acupressure, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and food energy therapy can be integrated into western (conventional) treatments as there are aspects of both perspectives that can work synergistically.  By integrating western and TCVM approaches, a veterinarian can achieve a thorough evaluation of a pet’s entire body to appropriately suggestion a combination of prevention and treatment.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the four main components of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM).  It involves the insertion of thin sterile needles into body tissue where nerve bundles and blood vessels come together in order to cause a therapeutic effect. These collections of nervous and vascular tissue are termed “SHU-xu” or acupuncture points (acupoint), which course over all aspects of the body’s surface on meridians (energy channels). The meridians permit a cycle of energy to occur throughout the entire body over the course of the day’s 24 hours. The ancient Chinese discovered 361 acupoints in humans and 173 in humans.  Most acupoints are motor points.  Research shows stimulation of these acupoints induces release of beta-endorphins, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters.  What is a channel or meridian? A channel or meridian is where “Qi” flows inside the body.  There are 12 Regular Channels and 8 Extraordinary Channels.  The most commonly used acupoints are located along these channels. “Qi” (pronounced ‘chee’) is life force or vital energy.  Physiologically, Qi flows throughout the body all the time.  When the flow of Qi is interrupted by any pathological factor (such as an infection) the balance of this energy is disrupted and disease may occur.  Pain is interpreted as the blockage of Qi.  Acupuncture stimulation is meant to resolve this blockage freeing the flow of Qi and enabling the body to heal itself.

The goal of acupuncture is to promote the body to heal itself. From a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) perspective, veterinary acupuncture encourages healing by correcting energy imbalances in the body. Acupuncture enhances blood circulation, nervous system stimulation, and the release of anti-inflammatory and pain relieving hormones.  In conjunction with acupuncture the veterinarians in Richmond Hill may use herbal medicine, food therapy or Tui-na (medical manipulation).


What can Veterinary Acupuncture do for my pet?

  1. Veterinary acupuncture stimulates the release of the body’s own pain relieving and anti-inflammatory substances.
  2. Relaxation of muscles at the site of needle insertion and more distant body locations is achieved with veterinary acupuncture treatment, creating both a local and generalized pain relieving effect.
  3. Veterinary acupuncture improves tissue blood flow, oxygenation, and removal of metabolic wastes and toxins.
  4. Unlike prescription and over the counter pain medications, veterinary acupuncture lacks potential adverse side effects for your pet’s internal organs.
  5. Your pet’s medications or supplements will not adversely interact with veterinary acupuncture treatment; therefore it can safely be used to treat a variety of illnesses.
  6. Acupuncture stimulation induces hormone and reproductive regulation

Additionally, because the needles used are almost as thin as hair over 95% of patients are comfortable with acupuncture therapy and due to the relaxation effect often fall asleep during the 20-45 minute session.  Sedation in general is not needed prior to the acupuncture treatment.  Some results are seen immediately but generally a minimum of 3-5 treatments 1-2 weeks apart for chronic conditions are needed before one can expect notable improvement.  As with all medicine, treatments are dependent on the situation and may be done daily, weekly, monthly or even further apart.  Your veterinarian in Richmond Hill, Dr. Victoria Tong will design a treatment plan specific to your pet’s needs during your first session.  For more information on what when acupuncture is recommended and to book an appointment call Bayview Seven Animal Hospital at 905.764.1144

Julia Lohasz

Practice Manager

Bayview Seven Animal Hospital


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“Your healthy companion is our pride & joy”

Bayview Seven Animal Hospital, a veterinary clinic located on Hwy.7, one block West of Yonge, serving all pets in Markham, Richmond Hill, Thornhill, Vaughan and North York since 1988. We are your family vets for dogs, cats, rabbits, pocket pets and birds.

Disclaimer: No part of this website constitutes medical advice. Readers are advised to consult with their veterinarian.


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