Journal Archive > 2001 > October

Animal acupuncture

Ancient healing for animals

An increasing number of pet owners are turning to an ancient Chinese therapy to treat their animals for a variety of ailments, including arthritis, allergies and chronic pain.

"They find it useful for themselves, so they want the same treatment for their pets," Dr. Mary Rose Paradis, associate professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine, said in an interview with the Associated Press.

The veterinary school held an animal acupuncture course on the Grafton campus for veterinarians this past summer, the second such course to be taught at a veterinary school. Colorado State University offered the first veterinary acupuncture course three years ago.

The same principles used in human acupuncture are used in animals. Tiny needles the width of a horse’s hair are used to prick the skin, targeting pressure points that can relieve pain, ease stress, and, according to some, promote the healing of internal organs.

Despite animal owners clamoring for the alternative therapy, the American Veterinary Medical Association says there still is not enough scientific evidence to prove that animal acupuncture really works.