Saturday, August 9, 2008
Acupuncture for Pets
Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular among the savviest of pet owners as a great option for controlling pets’ pain and treating a variety of ailments. Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist Bridget Halligan, DVM, treats dogs and cats with acupuncture at West Chelsea Veterinary in Manhattan.
"More and more of our clients request acupuncture as a first resort treatment," says Dr. Halligan, DVM, CVA, of West Chelsea Veterinary. "New Yorkers not only want the best for their pets, but have the know-how to seek out every medical option available." Dr. Halligan says more people are specifically seeking acupuncture, and she’s glad she’s providing one more treatment option for her four-legged patients and their owners.
In acupuncture therapy, tiny needles are inserted into certain points of a pet’s body to cause the release of endogenous opioids such as beta endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killers, and smaller amounts of cortisol, an anti-inflammatory steroid. The needles are so small they cause only minimal discomfort. Veterinary acupuncturists most commonly treat cats, dogs, cows and horses, but can also treat exotic pets like birds, ferrets and rabbits.
While acupuncture’s popularity is ever-increasing for companion animals, it isn’t new to veterinary medicine at all. In fact, acupuncture has been used to treat both people and animals for thousands of years. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the earliest known writings about alternative medicines, such as acupuncture, date back to 2800 B.C., and the first uses of acupuncture for animals can be traced from 136 to 265 A.D. in China. The earliest versions of animal acupuncture were practiced on large working animals and involved the application of pressure from sharp stones to specific points on the animal’s body.
Today, Dr. Halligan says her patients are initially treated once weekly for four weeks. “If a pet responds positively, the results are usually noticed within those first four treatments, and sometimes earlier depending upon the condition. Veterinary acupuncture provides an important treatment option for patients with orthopedic, neurological and geriatric issues.”
Media Opportunities: Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist Dr. Bridget Halligan, DVM, of West Chelsea Veterinary is available for interview. Media inquiries and booking requests, please contact: Julie Robbins (646) 981-3342 / Julie@FetchingCommunications.com