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FAQs about Pet Acupuncture

General Acupuncture Questions

How does animal acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works for animals the same way it works for people – by treating both the root cause and the symptomatic effects of imbalances that occur in the body, mind, and spirit. I use very thin, sterile needles to gently stimulate points along the animal’s energy meridians according to principles that have been studied and codified over thousands of years. The needles are disposed of after one use.

Does acupuncture eliminate the need to go to a vet?

No. Acupuncture complements, and does not replace, veterinary care. Your pet must have visited a veterinarian within 14 days of beginning acupuncture, and must be up to date on his or her rabies vaccination. In many cases I communicate with a client’s vet to achieve a balance of the best that both acupuncture and veterinary medicine have to offer. I’m also trained to recognize symptoms that require immediate veterinary intervention.

How does acupuncture complement veterinary care?

For example, acupuncture helps animals better prepare for and recover from surgery and other interventions, such as chemotherapy or radiation. If your pet has a chronic condition requiring regular medication, acupuncture can help that medication work, ease its side effects, and even lessen your pet’s need for medication.

Can acupuncture help with behavioral issues?

Yes. Acupuncture has helped pets make the transition to a new home; overcome a history of mistreatment and fear of people; soothe excess aggressiveness or shyness; cope with grief over the loss of a companion; and more. Just as with people, pets experience feelings that may show up as undesirable behavior.  Drugs may not always be the best response to these situations.

Can acupuncture help keep my pet from getting sick?

Acupuncture – like other kinds of preventive health care – can be a vital part of a pet’s lifetime wellness program. Our pets are exposed (just as we are) to everyday physical and emotional stresses as well as to toxins commonly found in their surroundings. These things accumulate over time in a way that can result in imbalances and disease. Periodic acupuncture is an excellent way to clear and detoxify your pet’s mind/body/spirit systems. Many pets benefit from acupuncture support around the time of seasonal change (spring, summer, late-summer, fall, and winter) – especially elderly pets or those with chronic conditions.

 

Questions about Maryland Pet Acupuncture

What happens during an appointment?

I’ll meet you at the garden gate by my office, and we’ll enter the treatment room together. Your first appointment (see important details about Your First Visit) will take about an hour; subsequent visits about 30 minutes. We’ll talk about how your pet is doing and I’ll examine and treat your pet. Finally, we’ll schedule follow-up appointments, as needed.

How many treatments will my pet need?

Many times there is some noticeable improvement after just one acupuncture treatment. However, between three and eight sessions are typically required to show a benefit, depending on the severity and duration of the challenges your pet is facing.  I like to see new clients weekly for the first three treatments, then assess how many more treatments may (or may not!) be necessary.

Will the needles hurt my dog or cat?

I take great care to ensure the comfort and security of your pet during treatment. A needle insertion may sting briefly, but the accumulated effect of treatment is typically very calming and rejuvenating. See Pet Stories to read clients' personal experiences.

Do dogs and cats like the treatments?

I think you’ll notice – as other clients have – that your pet actually looks forward to our time together. It’s a joy to see wagging tails parading to and from my office! See Pet Stories to learn how acupuncture has helped other pets and their human companions.

How much does treatment cost?

Please call me to discuss my current rates. I’ll be able to give you an overall estimate once I’ve had a chance to examine your pet.

What are your qualifications as an acupuncturist?

I am a licensed acupuncturist certified by the Maryland State Board of Acupuncture, with a veterinary-approved specialty certification in animal acupuncture. While some veterinarians are certified in acupuncture, my training in acupuncture is much more extensive. A veterinary acupuncturist is first and foremost a veterinarian, whereas an animal acupuncturist is first and foremost an acupuncturist.  See the About page for more details.