Acupuncture for pets: Finding relief for man's best friend

Pets with pain treated with acupuncture

DETROIT – Acupuncture has become a common treatment for adults for chronic and acute pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma, allergies, and infertility.

The technique is used for human conditions like severe migraines, but acupuncture is relatively new for treating pets.

Dr. Mike Petty at Arbor Pointe Veterinary Hospital in Canton is a certified expert in medical acupuncture for pets.

Paula Kapp took her dog Hogan to see Dr. Petty on the advice of her regular vet to try acupuncture to deal with Hogan's pain from a variety of neurological and other issues.

Paula said, "After a walk he would just collapse.  It got the point where he refused to do stairs."

Paula knew very little about acupuncture, but had nothing to lose. "I was to the point where I would try anything.  I just didn't want him in any pain at all.

The treatment itself is quite pleasant. There is quiet music, dimmed lights and sometimes a frozen treat to keep the animal distracted for fifteen minutes as those tiny needles do their work.

How is Hogan one year after his initial treatment?

"He's doing great!  He's getting up and down the steps on his own."

At Arbor Pointe, a single acupuncture treatment costs between $50 and $80. How many treatments and for how many weeks or months depends on the case.

Buster is a 70-pound chocolate lab lives.  He lives with Princess  - an 8-pound Yorkie.

They love to play together. The only problem is: Buster is very big and Princess is very little.

Their owner Sue said, "They collided!  I thought she may have broken her neck" Sue rushed Princess to their vet and the next morning they got bad news.

"They brought her out to us and said there was nothing they could do."

Sue wasn't ready to accept that.  Through a friend she found Dr. Petty and acupuncture.

At first, Princess got acupuncture treatments every day.  Then she started going just three days a week, then down to two days a week.  In less than a month she's back to normal. 

In this case, results were almost miraculous. If you're considering this treatment for your pet, keep in mind this is science, not magic.