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Acupuncture is a very ancient form of healing which predates recorded history. The philosphy is rooted in the Taoist tradition which goes back over 8000 years. Very small needles are used at certain points of the body to help the “Chi” or energy begin to flow normally again.

Recent studies have proven that acupuncture in pets stimulates the body’s immune system, endorphin levels, and seratonin levels. It works well for musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis and tendonitis, but can be helpful for other problems as well. Since most animals are living longer, they often get the same afflictions that people experience with age. Acupuncture works well for chronic or acute conditions such as gastro-intestinal problems, heart and respiratory conditions, dermatology ailments, urinary tract problems, neurological issues and can enhance the performance in horses.

Most pets tolerate and even enjoy acupuncture. Many pets fall asleep or obtain deep relaxation during treatment. For those who do not tolerate it well, there are options which may be discussed. Acupuncture is a safe alternative treatment for those pets who won’t tolerate traditional medications or treatments.

Dr. Karen Knarr utilizes the “dry needle” on the first visit. This is simple insertion of a plain needle into the acupuncture point. In subsequent visits, Dr. Knarr may incorporate a small electric current to flow through the needles to further stimulate the points on your pet. For those animals who have trouble staying still long enough for traditional acupuncture, Dr. Knarr suggests using “aquapuncture” which involves using a tiny needle to inject sterile saline water with vitamin B-12 into acupuncture points. This procedure is shorter and can be less stressful on the patient.

What to expect on the first visit
Being nervous on the first visit is normal. It is very likely that neither you nor your pet has had this experience before. After an exam by the doctor she will talk you through the process. Usually the first two acupuncture points are used to aid in producing a calming effect on the animal. Once the animal is calm and comfortable, Dr. Knarr will begin to place needles to treat the problem, in essence, correcting the imbalances of the body which allows the animal to heal itself. The needles are left in place for a therapeutic time period of 10-20 minutes, depending on the points selected. At the end of the time, the needles are removed. Sometimes Western veterinary medications may be administered to help the patient until the benefits from acupuncture can be fully achieved and appreciated. In other cases, herbs or dietary changes may be recommended.

Some animals will need 4-6 visits before the owner can recognize any change in the pet, however, it is not uncommon for results to be noticed as soon as the first visit.

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