Acupuncture is useful as a supportive therapy for many conditions: musculoskeletal disease,
gastrointestinal disease, neurologic problems, and immune-related conditions.

Mobile Veterinary Acupuncture Services near Edmonds, WA

If your companion suffers from arthritis, a sore back, disc disease, hip dysplasia, or certain diseases, Dr. Justus will professionally care for your pet dog, cat, exotic or horse with the appropriate acupuncture technique in the convenience and comfort of your home.

Acupuncture has been used in human and animal medicine for thousands of years. It provides a complementary and holistic approach to the management of many disease conditions.

By inserting thin, sterile, stainless steel needles into specific points on the body, a physiological response is produced. Depending on the condition being treated and the points used, various effects in the body will be generated- pain relief, stimulation of the immune and nervous systems, increasing circulation, and decreasing inflammation. Acupuncture helps restore balance between organ systems for optimal health and overall wellbeing.

Acupuncture is useful as an adjunctive therapy for many diverse conditions including musculoskeletal disease, gastrointestinal disease, neurologic problems, and immune-related conditions.

Pet Acupuncture FAQ

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body via the insertion and manipulation of very fine, sterile needles into the superficial tissues of the body. Each treatment is tailored to your animal based on a thorough medical history review, physical examination, and assessment of the body’s neurologic and musculoskeletal systems. A myofascial exam is performed in addition to the more traditional physical exam which looks at vital signs, internal organs, lymph nodes, etc. The myofascial exam is specifically for the muscles and fascia (connective tissue that supports the musculoskeletal system). It probes for areas of chronic and acute pain which could cause chronic discomfort.

How does acupuncture it work?

Acupuncture enhances blood and lymph flow at the local level, relieves myofascial trigger points (areas of tightness or knotted muscle), regulates traffic in the spinal cord and peripheral nerves, causes release of anti-pain and anti-inflammatory molecules from the brain stem and local tissues, and improves balance between the sympathetic (stress response) and parasympathetic (rest response) nervous systems.

Acupuncture is one of several methods of neuromodulation – a process where the body is encouraged to “fire up” or “calm down” various elements of the nervous system, thereby influencing the natural balance between “stressors” and “relaxers” that are supposed to exist within in the body.

Imbalance creates disease.

Real Life Benefits of Pet Acupuncture:

  • Improved nerve function
  • Relaxation of muscle & fascia
  • Better circulation
  • Control of pain and inflammation
  • Improved mood and quality of life

What kinds of things can you treat with acupuncture?

Acupuncture is most often used as an adjunct therapy for many different disease conditions. Nearly any medical problem can benefit from acupuncture treatment.

Here are some common conditions that are frequently benefited by animal acupuncture:

  • Arthritis (including hip dysplasia & cranial cruciate ligament disease)
  • Allergies (itching, ear infections, recurrent skin infections)
  • Behavioral problems (General anxiety, obsessive/compulsive disorders, etc)
  • Voiding dysfunction (constipation, incontinence, diarrhea)
  • Post operative/trauma recovery (as part of rehab/physical therapy)
  • Chronic pain (from injury or surgery).

Does acupuncture hurt?

For most animals, the insertion of acupuncture needles is virtually painless. Acupuncture needles are much smaller in diameter than the needles used for other procedures. Once the needles are placed, they are usually not painful. They tend to fall out on their own or can be removed after a short period of time.
Maintaining a relaxed environment is an important part of how well the patient will tolerate the treatment. Owners are encouraged to be present and participate to help calm the patient and relieve any tension or stress. Treatment is never forced. Because of this, most patients find their treatment enjoyable, or at least tolerable. Some pets even fall asleep during treatment.

Is Acupuncture safe?

In the hands of a qualified and appropriately trained veterinarian, acupuncture is incredibly safe. Sterile, single-use needles are used which minimizes the possibility of infection. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years as a safe and gentle treatment for many diverse health problems. On occasion, some patient’s symptoms may seem a little worse the day after treatment. This usually only lasts 24-48 hrs.

What can I expect during my pet's acupuncture treatment?

The first visit usually takes longer than follow-up appointments. A complete medical history, physical exam, and myofascial exam are performed. The acupuncture treatment is then tailored to your pet’s specific needs. The treatment itself usually takes 10-30 minutes depending on how the patient responds. Many pets fall asleep during treatment! The goal is to keep the patient calm and relaxed. Allowing them to relax on a soft bed along with soothing music and scent therapy with lavender or other calming essential oils can help make the treatment an enjoyable experience.

The needles will stay in place anywhere from 5 minutes up 30 minutes and will typically fall out on their own once the muscles and tissues have relaxed.

The frequency of treatments depends on the underlying disease process. For acute problems, sometimes only one treatment is required. For chronic conditions, like arthritis, 2-4 times per month can be needed to manage symptoms.

Does acupuncture always help?

Not always. Like any treatment, a few patients will respond well, while others appear to not respond at all. The majority (about 80%) of patients will get at least some benefit. Acupuncture does not replace regular veterinary medicine and other treatment modalities. Each animal is unique and different.  Acupuncture represents an adjunctive treatment for many problems and can frequently reduce dependency on more invasive therapies.

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