Arthritis is a painful condition that affects the joints, and it is something that both humans and dogs experience. For dogs, the most prevalent type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). One in five dogs have OA, and it is the most frequent cause of chronic pain. When a dog is over seven, they are twice as likely to experience this degenerative disease and the pain associated with it. Dogs may also suffer from immune-mediated arthritis, a condition comparable to rheumatoid arthritis in humans. OA is caused by deterioration of joint cartilage. Most often it is caused by wear and tear or simple aging, but in some cases, a genetic predisposition or trauma can bring about the condition in younger dogs as well. With immune-mediated arthritis, the dog’s immune cells invade the joint causing inflammation and pain. If your dog is experiencing arthritis, it is important to start treating it as soon as possible in order to give him the best quality of life possible. At Burke Animal Clinic we use all resources available to us and are continually searching for new, innovative, and effective ways of healing. Our vets are experienced in providing both traditional and alternative therapies for pets, including acupuncture for dogs and cats
How Acupuncture for Dogs Helps Arthritis
Used in China for several thousand years to treat humans and animals, acupuncture involves inserting very fine sterile needles at specific points to relieve pain and improve circulation. The needles are manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation. Illnesses can be caused or perpetuated by abnormal circulation, whether too much or too little. Acupuncture normalizes this blood flow to stop disease.
If your dog has been limping, seems stiff, or appears to be in pain, he may have arthritis. If you suspect this to be the case, the first thing to do is have a veterinarian examine your dog to see if your suspicions are true and whether or not there are any other medical issues at play. If it is arthritis, conventional options usually involve putting your pet on pain-relieving drugs and/or steroids. But, you have other options at Burke Animal Clinic. Dr. John Herrity is certified to provide acupuncture for dogs and cats with arthritis. He can also treat pet allergies, pain management, vomiting and diarrhea, and kidney disease with acupuncture.
What to Expect From Treatment
Traditional therapies and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, are often complementary to one another. During your pet’s exam and consultation, the doctor will consider your pet’s overall wellness and all therapies that may be integrated with acupuncture to provide optimal healing.
Comprehensive acupuncture treatment involves a thorough history of your pet and physical examination, followed by a patient assessment and formulation of a treatment plan. It usually involves multiple visits. A treatment plan will be discussed with you regarding your pet and his/her specific health needs. Bloodwork and x-rays are needed to determine underlying health issues that may affect treatment.
The consultation includes the exam and first acupuncture treatment and takes about an hour. Subsequent treatments are normally done in 30-minute appointments. If acupuncture is combined with other treatments, the visit usually takes longer. The logistics of combined treatments are addressed on a case-by-case basis. A progress assessment exam is usually done at each visit.
Results vary with each patient. Typically, a patient will come for 6 visits, 1 to 2 weeks apart, followed by a re-evaluation of the treatment schedule.
Call Your Veterinarian in Burke Today!
If your dog is uncomfortable or in pain, it is important to discover the cause so that you can do something about it. Contact your veterinarian in Burke at 703-569-6900 to set up an appointment. We look forward to meeting with you!