What is Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)?
The four branches of TCVM include acupuncture, herbal medicine, food therapy and tui-na (medical massage). TCVM differs from conventional Western Medicine (WM) in that TCVM takes a more holistic approach when making a diagnosis and treatment plan by considering the life stage, gender, temperament, environment and dietary intake. WM offers the advantage of advanced diagnostics to specifically pinpoint disease/injury as well as powerful medications that can be life saving. We feel the best way to utilize TCVM is by blending it with the diagnostic capabilities and sometimes medications that WM offers.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture points lie along the body's meridian channels, through which Qi flows. When Qi accumulates at specific acupuncture points, pain and/or disease occur. Acupuncture treatment consists of stimulating specific acupuncture points to relieve this stagnation with very small needles. For painful conditions such as arthritis or back pain, electroacupuncture is used to stimulate the points to release pain relieving endorphins as well as to stimulate the body to slow down the progression of disease. Electroacupuncture involves placing acupuncture needles and then running a low level of electricity to the points. This is very similar to the feeling of a TENS unit that humans use on their skin surface. Most animals will become very relaxed during electroacupuncture due to the endorphin release.
What types of conditions can be treated with acupuncture?
Painful conditions such as osteoarthritis, intervertebral disc disease, back pain and tendon/ligament injuries such as cruciate disease are some of the most commonly treated conditions. There are many other conditions that also respond well to TCVM such as urinary incontinence, anhidrosis (non-sweating in horses), post- operative pain and behavior problems such as separation anxiety. In the Chinese culture acupuncture is used to maintain wellness as well as to treat disease/ injury.
How many treatments are needed?
For wellness care we generally recommend 3-4 treatments per year. For horses and dogs that are in hard work and/or showing frequently we recommend having them evaluated every two to three months so that issues can be caught and addressed early, before it causes a performance problem or overt lameness.
When treating an injury or disease the frequency depends on the nature and severity of the injury/disease as well as the duration. Acute conditions generally respond more rapidly than longer standing issues. At the time of the first examination and treatment Dr. Close can discuss your pet's individual needs.
What does it cost?
For equine clients: Initial visit with brief exam and acupuncture $125; follow up appointment within 4 months receives a $25 discount ($100).
For canine/ feline clients: Initial visit with brief exam $105; follow up appointment within 4 months receives a $20 discount ($85)
Trip fee is in addition and based on distance. Please contact us with your address and we can let you know the trip fee for your area. Depending upon your regular veterinarian, we may be able to schedule to see multiple pets at their clinic and then the trip fee could be waived or reduced.
The following link provides excellent information regarding more conditions that can be treated with acupuncture: