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Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine for Pets

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, while relatively new to the Western world, has been used to treat animals in China for thousands of years. The practice was adapted and extrapolated from a medical system grounded in Daoist philosophy. The practice is founded on the idea that the body has an energy force running throughout it. This energy force, or Qi (pronounced “Chee”), consists of all essential life activities including the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical aspects of life. A person or animal’s health and wellbeing is influenced by the flow of this Qi energy. When Qi is interrupted or unbalanced an illness may occur. The practice of acupuncture allows practitioners to access and influence the flow of Qi energy along the body’s highways, referred to as Meridians in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture thereby restores balance and healthful flow of Qi energy.

Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Origins with Pets

The first written record of acupuncture is found in the 2,700 year-old Huang Di Nei Jing, one of the oldest medical textbooks in the world. The first veterinary text was written in China around 450 B.C. and dealt with the treatment of horses and livestock with acupuncture. The knowledge and theory behind the application of acupuncture may be ancient, but the practice has evolved in modern times. This includes extending ancient knowledge of the body’s Meridians from human and livestock physiology and applying it to a broad range of companion animals. Much like Western Medicine, as our understanding of physiology expands so too does our ability to explain why acupuncture benefits a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.

Acupuncture Overview and Benefits

Most acupuncture points are located at areas of low electrical resistance and high electrical conductance of the skin. Deep in these points are accumulations of free nerve endings, small arterioles, veins, lymphatics, and tissue mast cells. Stimulation of these points triggers the degranulation of mast cells; activation of the inflammatory cascade; alterations in blood and lymph flow; and conduction of nerve impulses to the central and peripheral nervous systems. This results in a local response which spreads over time throughout the entire neural axis evoking numerous biochemical changes within the nervous system and eventually the whole body. A growing body of Western scientific research supports acupuncture’s ability to relieve pain, stimulate the nervous system, regulate the immune system, and support behavioral health.

Integrative Approach for Pets

At Naples Coastal Animal Hospital we offer an integrative approach to patient care that blends the latest advances in modern medicine with patient-centered holistic health. If you are seeking access to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine or are just curious about ways to enhance your pet’s health and wellbeing, consider scheduling a consultation to discuss the customizable integrative therapies we offer.  Western medicine provides the cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic tools to offer state-of-the-art veterinary care. Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine allows us to treat the whole patient, rather than just the disease, with therapies such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, Tui-na and food therapy. Together, we can provide an integrative approach to veterinary medicine, helping your pet live Healthier, Happier, Longer.

– Dr. Morgan Faerber