How Do I Know If Acupuncture Works For My Cat Or Dog?

On every pet care website and vet blog you can read about how beneficial acupuncture is also for pets and animals.
Still there are many of us who stay pretty sceptical:

Who can guarantee that my pet benefits from an acupuncture treatment session?

acupuncture treatment guarantee- no such thing
Acupuncture treatment guarantee ? – There is no such thing! Src


Answering just this, nobody can give you any guarantees, as always, concerning everything medical and veterinary.

Every patient is a unique individual that responds and reacts to treatment in its very own, unique way. This is a fact and every veterinary acupuncturist will know about this (and hopefully explain this to you at the beginning).




Determining the Success of Acupuncture Treatments for Your Pet

My advice to pet owners is to find an acupuncturist who has received formal training, and is licensed (this is extremely important).

The success of acupuncture depends on a few factors, including:

• The practitioner’s expertise
• The duration and intensity of the condition being treated
• The number, length and consistency of treatments

Statistically, about 25 percent of patients have an amazing response to acupuncture, showing major improvement to the point of a full cure.

Another 50 percent experience dramatic improvement, but with some symptoms still present.

The remaining 25 percent have no response at all.


What these results highlight 

The art of medicine — matching up the type of treatment needed to successfully unlock a healing response in your pet — is an important part of deciding what modality to pick.

Sometimes a certain technique works immediately and dramatically. More often there is a period of trying different methods of healing to determine what procedure or combination of procedures provides the most benefit for the animal.


Dr Karen Becker mentions in her article cited above one point which I think needs a bit of explanation:


“The length of a treatment […]”


I always make sure my own clients understand that not every medical condition will need the same timely length of a treatment.

There are conditions that get treated with a single point stimulation for a few seconds and there are other medical problems that require a longer stimulation on different acu points.

The actual length of a treatment session is determined out of the experience of an animal patient’s response to its acupuncture treatment(s). Adjusting a treatment plan to an individual’s condition and response is what takes expertise, practice and experience.


Getting a good observational feedback from pet owners is vital


A brilliant idea is to take short videos (on your smartphone, for example) and send this to your veterinary acupuncturist a couple of days after every session.

This is a most valuable help for a practitioner, as you won’t have to describe things in detail and your vet will get an opportunity to see for her-/himself how your pet is doing.
After a few weeks or months these video snippets can be arranged to a longer sequenced video and the progress can be seen very clearly.

Do you think taking short videos of your pet after an acupuncture treatment is something you could do to help increasing efficiency of a treatment plan?

Leave a comment below, because I am interested in your opinion.


Author: Dr Ellen

Veterinary surgeon. Special interest in Veterinary Acupuncture. Polyglott: German, Hungarian, English, French. Love website creation, working online. Decaf green tea addict. Hungarian-Vizsla-owned mum.