Skip to content

Acupuncture for Pets

2015 December 5
This old field lab enjoys acupuncture for pain control while he rests in his own bed at home.

Acupuncture in the comfort of your own (dog) bed! (green handle needles in his right carpus- wrist)

Acupuncture for Pets Talk Informative and Energizing

Yours Truli spoke on December 1st at the Patchworks Community Room at Nature’s Food Patch in Clearwater, Florida

“That was so much fun!” said Dr Sandra Truli Springer, VMD, (aka Doc Truli) after her second one hour free talk at Nature’s Food Patch in Clearwater, Florida.

The experienced house call holistic veterinarian presented almost two hours of questions and answer-style interaction about acupuncture for pets.

“We covered a brief history of acupuncture in humans and how animals like horses, pigs, and cows were important to China’s economy and so healing them was a priority,” said Doc Truli. “Then we discussed qi (pronounced “chee”, channels, acupuncture tools and medical conditions that acupuncture treats.”

Audience Question: What is Qi?

We had a very good question about “can you explain qi ?” Wow! That’s a doozy! There are simple and deep answers to that question. Doc Truli shared her simple answer which is “the energy of everything.” There is movement, impelling, starting, spark-plug, inspirational-type qi. There is also matter. Our bodies. The molecules and proteins and “stuff” of our physical realm. The living stuff has qi. Dead stuff that is not alive does not have that qi. But it not only has qi, it also is qi. 

We discussed how universal life-source Yuan qi  (pronounced You-on) can enter our bodies through 3 main ways: given to us from conception (Jing qi) (pronounced life it looks – Jing), taken in through breathing (Zong qi) (also pronounced like it looks – Zong, rhymes with ding-dong), and taken in through eating food (Gu qi) (pronounced pretty much like the designer Gucci). The qi is processed, transformed and transported by the various organs and channels systems in the body to provide nutrition, protection, and the functions of the body we understand like digesting and growing and excreting. The study of the order, function and interactions of the life of qi is a subject of Traditional Chinese Medicine. (For further reading, you may enjoy the first veterinary trade book covering this subject from 1996. Dr Cheryl Schwartz’ book: Four Paws, Five Directions is a wonderful addition to your library.)

What Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat in Pets?

The evening started with explanation of history, terminology and concepts such as channels, acupuncture meridians, acupuncture points, we discussed treatment of pet conditions such as musculoskeletal, neurologic and seizures, cruciate knee problems, hip dysplasia, vomiting and diarrhea, skin allergies, eye problems like glaucoma, behavior problems like Thunderstorm phobia, and urinary imbalances and constipation.

Audience Question: Where do Acupuncture Points for Pets Come From?

An audience member cogently asked,”Are the acupuncture points taken from humans and applied to animals, or do the animals have a separate system of points?” That’s a great question? The answer is: both.

Many acupuncture points that are known in humans and horses have been adapted to fit the anatomy of the dog and cat (rabbit, bird, snake, etc) These are called transpositional points. There is a process of practice and experimentation and sometimes, when textbooks are updated we learn more precise locations of acupoints in dogs and cats and the points move a little bit!

There are also Classical acupuncture points. These are points all on their own that have been known for thousands (sic) of years to treat certain conditions. For example, Jian jiao is located in the “spoon” at the front side part of the pelvic bone in the muscle. This area treats hip dysplasia and hip pain. It is not part of a meridian (or channel) system and it works to alleviate pain in the hip.

Audience members contributed questions about constipated cats and pumpkin, cats urinating on rugs, nervous dogs, and we fielded some questions about calcium supplementation in home-cooked diets.

We ended the evening with a request for an evening of learning and discussing the Five Element Personality Types in Traditional Chinese Medicine and how they apply to pets. Look for an announcement in the future.

Dr Truli would like to thank Nature’s Food Patch for their hospitality in providing a beautiful classroom, free to the public, for learning all sorts of cool holistic health stuff. You can see their current schedule of events here.


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS