December 2010 Issue

Can Acupuncture Help Your Pet?

The veterinary community is now recognizing the true value of this ancient Chinese therapy.

Three or four decades ago, few cat owners or veterinary practitioners in the U.S. knew anything whatsoever about acupuncture, the centuries-old Chinese system of health care that aims to treat physical disorders and their accompanying pain by inserting needles into specific points on a patientís body. Today, thousands of veterinarians throughout the nation routinely practice acupuncture in their clinics, and countless cats are benefiting from it. "Iím certainly an acupuncture advocate," says Andrea Looney, DVM, a senior lecturer in anesthesiology at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. "I use it in treating between 10 percent and 20 percent of the patients that I see ó not only cats, but dogs, horses and other animals as well." Dr. Looney stresses that she relies on acupuncture as a complementary technique, always using it in conjunction with the standard practices of Western veterinary medicine.

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