Frequently Asked Questions

Can only veterinarians treat animals with acupuncture?

Yes, acupucunture is legally considered a "surgical procedure" and can only be performed by licensed veterinarians.  It is important to find a veterinarian that is a certified veterianry acupuncturist (CVA) to know that they have the correct training and experience to best help your animals.

A CVA has completed an extensive comprehensive acupuncture course, has been mentored by another CVA and written an approved case reports to obtain these qualifications.

I have been a certified veterinary acupuncturist (CVA) since 2004.

What animals can be treated with acupuncture?

Acupuncture is most often used on dogs, cats, horses and cows but any animal can potentially benefit from acupuncture including birds, reptiles, amphibians, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, pocket pets and wild or zoo animals.

How long is an acupuncture appointment?

The first appointment includes a consultation, western examination and traditional Chinese veterinary medical (TCVM) examination followed by an acupuncture treatment if indicated. During a housecall, the first appointment typically lasts 1-2  hours.  At the clinic (HarmonyVet Acupuncture and Spine Care) the first appointment is scheduled for one hour.  Followup acupuncture appointments are  one hour as well either at the clinic or in your home.

Please bring all medical records, xrays and current medications to your first appointment for my review.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very small and flexible. They typically don't hurt when placed. Because the needles are inserted close to nerves they sometimes result in a tingling feeling that is temporary.

Will my animal stay still for an acupuncture treatment?

I have found that most animals relax quickly with acupuncture because of the natural calming chemicals released from the brain during a treatment (endorphins). Typically animals need minimal restraint and can move around the exam room with needles in place if they choose.  Many animals will lay down to sleep within 15 minutes.

How long are the needles kept in during acupuncture?

Needles can be left in the skin from 1 to 60 minutes.  Most treatments last 10-30 minutes.  Sometimes the needles fall out after time and usually they are not replaced because I believe their effect is complete. Other times needles are "retained" (where they seem to not want to be removed even with gentle pressure) for up to 60 minutes and I believe these needles are still having an active effect and leave them in place until they are easy to remove.

How long does it take for acupuncture to work?

It can take 3 to 5 acupuncture treatments before significant changes are seen. It is important to commit to giving the treatments the time to work. If no significant changes are seen after the first 3 to 5 acupuncture treatments, I will recommend another approach for helping your companion.

Why do I make house calls?

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine looks at the WHOLE animal, including it's environment, diet, personality, household companions and health history.  I believe I can get a better feel for many of these things when I see the animal in the home environment.  Many animals  relax better at home and the stress of travel for the animal and his/her companion is decreased.  In addition, many of the patients I see are older and travel for them is difficult, especially for larger dogs and easliy stressed kitties.  Finally, I love the extra time a housecall provides to allow me to get to know the animals and their owners. I will travel up to 45 miles from the Madison area.

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