Understanding Your Pet's Needs
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Understanding Your Pet's Needs

After my pet had a long, drawn-out battle with cancer, I realized that I needed to do a better job with understanding my pet's needs. I wanted to be there for them no matter what, so I started focusing on my other animals. They needed more love, attention, and medical care, so I focused on those things. I started taking them in for regular checkups and working on their physical appearance. I was able to spot a few other potentially catastrophic health conditions with my animals because of my actions. This blog is all about understanding your pet's needs.


Understanding Your Pet's Needs

Should You Seek Acupuncture For Your Pet's Pain?

Gisele Pereira

If your pet is suffering from chronic pain, whether due to arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or another problem, you may be considering acupuncture. Acupuncture is often said to be useful for humans and animals, but does it really work? This article will help you to understand more about pet acupuncture and why it may not be right for your pet.

What Acupuncturists Say Acupuncture Can Do

Acupuncture works on the concept that energy flows through the body through channels called meridians. These meridians carry energy, which can hurt or heal, depending on its course. Acupuncturists claim to redirect the energy to areas of the body that need it, and correct the flow of energy, speeding up the healing process and reducing pain.

What Science Says About It

While some benefits have been discovered for humans treated with acupuncture, pets haven't been so lucky. Many studies have been conducted, but many of them have been flawed and shouldn't be considered as evidence one way or another. A study in 2006 looking at results from multiple studies found that while there's a chance that acupuncture could potentially help pets with certain disorders, there wasn't enough evidence to prove it without further research. In the end, the study specifically states that there's not enough evidence to either recommend or reject acupuncture for animals.

Placebo Transference

If you've heard about friends or colleagues who have had their pets treated and experienced miraculous results, there may be a reason for this.

Part of the problem with acupuncture is that scientists aren't sure if it's physically helping people, or if it's causing a placebo effect; in essence, making people who've undergone acupuncture believe they're better off afterwards. While pets don't have the capacity to understand why needles are being stuck in them, let alone to fool themselves into feeling better, humans may unintentionally perceive that the animal's health is improved.

This condition is called placebo transference; a pet owner thinks their pet should improve after receiving an acupuncture treatment, so they hone in on tiny details they didn't notice before and think it's an improvement. For example, the pet owner may have only noticed that a dog had a limp before, but after a treatment, they perceive that the dog is moving well despite the limp. Unfortunately, the dog may not have received any benefit, but the pet owner thinks they have.

A Safer Alternative

Thankfully, there are some methods that are proven to reduce pain, discomfort, and heal injuries. One new method that's gaining popularity is to treat injuries or chronic pain with lasers. The laser therapy doesn't require any kind of needles or other harsh methods, and your pet doesn't even need to have their fur clipped.

These lasers actually change the way the animal's cells work, improving circulation, reducing inflammation, and quickening the healing process. Laser therapy can be used for everything from gum inflammation to broken bones, so it can definitely help to ease your pet's pain.

There's a possibility that acupuncture may be able to help pets, but scientists just aren't sure at this time. Until they know for sure, purposefully putting needles in your pet's skin seems like a cruel choice when there's a completely non-invasive treatment that's proven to work.

To learn more, contact a company like Columbine Animal Hospital & Emergency Clinic