Dogs with arthritis may benefit from acupuncture treatments

By Dr. Connie Clemons-Chevis Modified: May 14, 2009 at 8:19 am •  Published: May 14, 2009
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was taken off prednisone, and its quality of life greatly improved with a follow-up life quality score of 565 (Great) two months later. All of the owner’s goals were met through traditional Chinese veterinary medicine.

The second case is a 12-year-old pug that for the previous two months had been walking with a hunched back. It did not want to go out and refused to go up and down the stairs. It whined and sometimes would scream in pain.

The dog had been put on NSAIDS, which helped some, but the dog still was in pain. The owner wanted to pursue traditional Chinese healing rather than continue with Western medicine. The dog was treated with dry-needle acupuncture and Chinese herbs. At the next visit, the owner said the dog was "bouncing off the walls” two days after the acupuncture treatment.

Follow-up visits were scheduled to correct the underlying imbalances. At the fourth acupuncture visit, which was six weeks from the start of the alternative treatment, the owner reported the dog acted 10 years younger.

Traditional Chinese veterinary medicine can help arthritis in animals, yet these two cases illustrate the difference in response based on the duration of the arthritis. In the first case, the dog had suffered with arthritis for many years. It took longer for the dog to respond, but the results were much better than what the owners had expected. The second case, the dog had been suffering for a relatively short time, and the results were fast and dramatic. I would recommend taking your arthritic pet for traditional Chinese treatments early in the course of the disease for the best results.