• Acupuncture


    Kleinburg Veterinary Hospital is pleased to offer Acupuncture for your pet. Dr. Melanie Barham has done extensive training to become an acupuncturist and she will be offering appointments at this location. Is acupuncture right for your pet?

    What is acupuncture? Acupuncture is the insertion of thin needles into the body for therapeutic effect.  The needles are inserted into specific areas of the body (acupoints) where there are increased numbers of vessels, nerves and lymphatics.

    How does it work?  Insertion of needles into acupoints helps to trigger the body to release various chemicals, such as endorphins, serotonin, and at certain points in the body, immune response cells or reproductive hormones.  The stimulation of acupoints can also encourage nerves to begin working if function has been reduced.

    What conditions benefit from acupuncture? Many conditions involving pain can be helped by acupuncture, such as hip or elbow dysplasia, arthritis, IVDD, post-operative cruciate repairs etc.  However, acupuncture is not limited to pain relief.  Conditions including paralysis/paresis (partial or complete loss of use of limbs), neurologic conditions, urinary incontinence and muscle loss/wasting can also be successfully treated with acupuncture. Megaesophagus and megacolon, IBD, and liver and kidney failure, seizures and allergies can also be helped with acupuncture.

    Are there conditions that acupuncture will not help? Pregnant animals may be treated with caution.  Some conditions such as cancer can helped with acupuncture but may take a longer time to treat the case.  When your veterinarian refers the case, we will discuss the complete medical history to be sure that acupuncture can help your pet before attempting treatment.

    How many appointments will it take to notice an improvement?  Typically 4-6 treatments are required to notice a marked improvement, though we should note improvement within 3.  30% of clients will notice a difference in their pet within the first treatment.  An additional 30% will notice an improvement after the second treatment, and the remainder will notice more difference after the third treatment.  If the condition has been present for a long time, more treatments may be required to make a clinical difference.  Proper medical history is absolutely necessary to ensure the expected outcome.  After the initial treatments, we will make a plan to change treatment frequency.

    How long does an acupuncture appointment take? Typically, the first appointment will take just over an hour.  It is ideal if the owner or caregiver could be present to answer questions about the animal.  During the first appointment, we will discuss the goals of treatment and what level of improvement we can expect.  Subsequent appointments will generally take less than one hour.

    What can I expect? Your pet will be fully assessed by the veterinarian by checking various parameters important for acupuncture, similar to a Western medicine physical exam. After the examination, a treatment plan will be made, and needles will be inserted into your pet.  If deemed to be helpful, electroacupuncture may be used.  Electroacupuncture uses gentle electrical stimulation of the needles to achieve a more profound effect.

    What if my pet doesn’t like needles? I will do everything we can to work within your pet’s comfort zone.  We generally use calming points first, so that the dog or cat can relax.  You may be surprised; most animals really enjoy acupuncture!  Occasionally, a dog or cat is not a good candidate for acupuncture, or may require light restraint or a muzzle.  I try to be very honest if I don’t believe I can help your pet with acupuncture.

    I would like to try acupuncture on my pet.  How do I make an appointment? Please contact your regular veterinarian for a referral.  I look forward to meeting you!