In traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM), the life force or Chi flows through the body along energy highways with focal points called meridians. Acupuncture is a TCVM modality used to stimulate those meridians. A meridian may need to be stimulated if there’s a stagnation, or blockage, of energy in the pet’s body. When the Chi is stagnant it can cause a lot of problems with the pet’s health and energy flow. Acupuncture has been used in people for thousands of years. We love to use acupuncture for all of our patients, even our perfectly healthy pets. We recommend it to keep their bodies in homeostasis. 

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There are several concerns that acupuncture has proven to be extremely helpful with resolving. For example we see many pets that have skin allergies or skin conditions that have been previously unresponsive to treatment using antibiotics, both topical and oral, and other Western medicine modalities. We use acupuncture to stimulate immune responses in the pet’s body to dilute the reaction to the allergen that they encounter. Florida is a hotbed of allergens for your pet to be bothered by. We are happy to use this wonderful modality to naturally bring your pets immune system into harmony. We also see huge success with pets who have IVDD, or Intervertebral disk disorder, a condition that often causes paralysis in pets. Many pets come into our clinic having to be carried or in support of equipment and they are able to walk out on their own before too long. We also strongly recommend acupuncture for horses who have stopped sweating, since Florida is such a hot state, non-sweating in horses can be extremely dangerous, acupuncture is the gold standard treatment for anhidrosis. We are often a last resort for many pet parents who feel as though Western medicine has not been able to help their fur baby. 

There are several points along the pet’s body that Dr. Cichra stimulates using veterinary grade sterile acupuncture needles. They come in several different sizes and she uses specific ones based on your pet’s size, species and point that she is stimulating. The first and most important point is the calming point, this is located between the ears in the base of the pet’s head. We typically recommend keeping the needles in for about 15 minutes. You would be surprised to find that most pets stay very still during treatment. In the hands of a properly trained vet, the animal does not appear to have any discomfort at all during treatments. Inserting the needles to the proper depth and angle, manipulating them during the treatment and removing them all are techniques that can be achieved only through training and extensive practice. This is why it is so important to consult a properly certified veterinary acupuncturist to perform treatment on your pet or equine friend.

For pets that need extra stimulation we also offer electro acupuncture and bio puncture with homeopathic solutions. In the general treatment of ailments, it may take three to five sessions to know if acupuncture therapy will be effective, although a response might be seen even after the first treatment. We recommend treatments once or twice weekly, monthly, or even once every several months depending on the illness. The long-term goal is always to fix the number of treatments to the minimum required for effectiveness. Both frequency and duration of treatment depend on the animal and the ailment.

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