Intervertebral Disk Disease
If your dog has been diagnosed with Intervertebral Disk Disease, then you know how scary this condition is and how labor-intensive the recovery process can be. Some dogs end up needing surgery while others can heal with conservative therapy. But all of these dogs have to be confined for a specific length of time (as determined by your veterinarian), which is very tough on the pet owner. This means that your dog will have to spend most of its time in a large crate and only be allowed out for urination/defecation. This can feel like torture!
The motivated pet owner might also perform at-home physical therapy, which involves helping your pet with balance and strength exercises several times per day. (You can also visit a trained veterinary physical therapist if you have one in your area.) Between cage-rest, assisted potty breaks, and physical therapy, the recovery period can feel like it is going on forever.
The good news is that acupuncture can help speed this time period up! A 2007 randomized, controlled study showed that dogs receiving electroacupuncture in addition to traditional western therapy had a much shorter time to return to ambulation/walking and deep pain perception as compared to dogs only receiving traditional western therapy. Other studies show that acupuncture can reduce the amount of pain control these patients require. We know that pain interferes with healing.
Acupuncture is gaining popularity as a standard recommendation and is no longer considered an after-thought or an "alternative therapy." Please consider utilizing this valuable tool for your Intervertebral Disk Disease patient today.