We are proud to offer acupuncture as part of our house-call veterinary care services. The doctors of Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice and Integrative Medicine have been trained by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and the Chi Institute in their post-doctoral programs and have found acupuncture to be a wonderful tool for treating aging pets without the stress of a visit to the hospital.
Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of conditions, most notably:
Intervertebral Disc Disease (Neck & Back)
Chemotherapy Side Effects
Musculoskeletal Injuries (Cruciate Ligament injuries, Soreness etc.)
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
What is acupuncture?
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture works through the body’s neuroendocrine system. It is essentially controlled stimulation of a specific point on the body (called an acupoint). Modern studies have found that acupoints are bundles of high-density nerves endings, mast cells (containing histamine), small blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels. A number of these studies indicate that stimulation of these acupoints releases of endorphins, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters. We use a select set of points (called an acupuncture point prescription) to produce therapeutic and homeostatic (balancing) effects in the body. Acupuncture for pain relief is well supported by these scientific studies. As more and more studies are conducted, the mechanism of this ancient therapy for other conditions will be better understood.
Do animals REALLY let you do that?
Yes! Acupuncture treatment sessions are usually very relaxing. The needles are generally inserted painlessly and left in place for 10-30 minutes. During the initial examination and the first few needles, animals may be confused or anxious (as are their owners!), but after the first few needles are inserted, many dogs and cats will become very relaxed and even sleepy. When it is time for the needles to be removed, animals may become a little more restless- letting us know that treatment time is over. Owners often report that animals may be very relaxed to sleepy for the following 1-2 days. It is recommended that animals be allowed to rest following treatment.
How quickly does acupuncture work?
The response to therapy generally depends on how long the condition has been going on and what the diagnosis is.
Acute conditions: For injuries and illnesses that have started suddenly, we can often see very swift responses to acupuncture therapy. I generally recommend that owners commit to 4 treatment sessions before deciding whether to continue acupuncture treatments. Intervertebral disc disease (responsible for neck & back pain), torn cruciate ligaments, musculoskeletal injuries, and other acute conditions can respond within 1-2 treatments. Treatments are prescribed based on the type of injury but may start as often as once or twice a week.
Chronic conditions: For chronic arthritis pain (for example), I generally recommend that owners commit to 8 treatment sessions before deciding to continue acupuncture treatments. We usually start with once a week treatments for 4 weeks and then treat once every other week for 4 additional sessions. Often pet families see improvement well before this date, but treatments can be stopped at any point if the patient is not tolerating them well.
How much does acupuncture cost?
Our professional fees are very similar to acupuncture services offered in traditional veterinary hospitals, but can be performed in the comfort of your own home!
Initial Acupuncture Consultation (up to 90 minutes):
$175 (includes acupuncture treatment if appropriate)
Recheck Acupuncture Treatments (up to 60 minutes):
Where can you do acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be performed in your home or at our office location! Acupuncture is a very flexible treatment tool and can be performed wherever you desire at home. We simply need enough space for you and your pet to sit comfortably together for approximately 30 minutes. We can also arrange for acupuncture appointments to be conducted at our Hospice Center if that is more convenient.
Welcome to Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice!
We provide end-of-life and aftercare options for your pet. During the toughest of times, we'll be there every step of the way.
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