How Does a Typical Appointment Work?
Your pet is brought in for a 45 minute initial acupuncture consultation with our doctors, where a thorough history and physical examination will be performed. The doctor will review your pet’s records and ask you questions about their personality and daily activities. They will also examine your pet from head to toe, including looking at their tongue, feeling their pulses, and deciding on a treatment plan. Single, sterile use needles will be placed into acupuncture points on your pet’s body and left in for a pre-designated period of time. Occasionally, needles will be hooked up to a small electrical conduction unit to increase stimulation, or the doctor may choose to inject an acupuncture point with saline or B12. Most pets tolerate the needles very well and generally appear to enjoy acupuncture. Often, patients will fall asleep during their acupuncture treatment. For patients that are too sensitive to needles, alternative plans can be made for therapy.
Each subsequent visit typically involves a discussion with our doctor on how treatment is going and a brief examination of the pet’s tongue and pulses. Occasionally, the doctor will scan certain points for sensitivity or pain to help guide placement of needles. You will be asked to remain with your pet while needles are placed. Needles typically remain in place for 5-20 minutes.
How Often are Appointments Typically Required?
Each treatment plan ultimately depends on the patient. Generally, it is recommended to start with once weekly or bi-weekly treatments to assess the patient’s response to treatment, progress and treatment success. When your pet begins to improve, longer periods between appointment may be made. Some patients are seen once monthly for “tune-ups”, some are seen every 6 months to a year. It may take several treatments to see results. Acupuncture effects typically appear to be cumulative, so treatments are initially recommended closer together to maximize post-treatment effects.
How Long Until I See Results?
Acupuncture is unfortunately not a single cure for most diseases. A multi-modal treatment approach is best for treating most conditions. Each condition responds differently to acupuncture. Some patients may see significant improvement after one treatment. Other times, it may take a few treatments, and some may see no improvement at all or for a very long time. We recommend starting with 4-5 treatments and assessing how your pet does after each treatment for small or large improvements. It may take time to see results and rarely, may not lead to improvement at all. Dr. Xie, founder of veterinary acupuncture, states that it may take ~1/2 the time that the disease has been going on to see significant improvement.