Acupuncture - it's worth a try!
IN recent years when money seems to be a scarce commodity worldwide, people also seem to be drawing closer to the family dog and when something goes wrong they want it fixed, no matter the cost.
Dogs can be stricken with most of the types of illnesses that people get, especially as they grow older - various types of arthritis and rheumatism, allergies, asthma, bone displacements, sight and hearing problems, and a whole huge range of others. So is it any wonder that many dog owners are looking to more natural methods of treatment, and less invasive ones, than surgery or drugs that usually cause other problems as side effects.
One such natural remedy that is used increasingly on dogs and other pets now is acupuncture. Pet owners who want to see what other pet owners' experiences are need only visit some of the many websites that relate tales of pets who have regained their health through the regular use of the ancient Chinese pathway to wellness.
Many of the world's veterinary colleges are now teaching acupuncture as part of their degree, while many universities have held dedicated summer courses in the subject for practising vets and vet nurses.
Many pet owners have had acupuncture treatment themselves and have been so pleased with the results that they want to try it for their pet. Yet another group owns dogs with illnesses that put them in extreme danger if they need to be operated on - perhaps their illness has already made them weak and likely to succumb to anaesthetic, or they may be in the allergy group who can not take anaesthetic, or perhaps surgery has only a small percentage likelihood of being successful.
This is where natural therapies like acupuncture are a blessing. You are doing something for your dog, you can see the gradual change to good health, and you are not causing it to have invasive medical treatments. Even if your dog has a terminal illness you can use acupuncture to alleviate and dampen any pain so that its remaining time is happy and comfortable for as long as possible.
Among the USA establishments offering courses are the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and the Colorado State University (CSU) that first offered the course three years ago. Dr N Robinson who designed the Colorado course observed that acupuncture made a meaningful and visible difference in 85percent of cases where he had used it.
The same methods that are used in humans are also used on animals. Very thin needles about two inches long gently prick the skin to target pressure points that can relieve chronic pain, ease stress and promote internal organ healing.
Despite the countless success stories that can be read on acupuncture websites the American Veterinary Medical Association says there are not enough scientific studies to determine whether animal acupuncture really works.
But whatever the beliefs of individual vets or the association it must be said that dogs can not be influenced by what they are supposed to feel. They can not respond to a placebo, or think they are getting well because someone told them so. When they feel good it is obvious, and nothing has influenced that feeling but the way they feel.