Do you have an older dog that suffers from arthritis, muscle pain or other issues?
Well now, a Vancouver veterinarian is offering free treatment as part of a clinical trial that looks at how acupuncture can ease the pain of aging pets.
Dr. David Lane, of Points East West Veterinary, says he’s seen a lot of success treating dogs and cats with the pin treatment, which has great results for people who suffer chronic conditions.
Lane says the needles help reset the tone of the nerve and redistribute blood flow to a muscle, which can cause it to relax.
He says some dogs see results after just one session, and owners are thrilled with the progress.
“Owners report that they ‘seem happier, move easier, are less irritable’ etc.,” Lane told Vancity Buzz.
“Other benefits are easier to quantify, such as jumping into the car or climbing the stairs without stopping for the first time in months, no longer screaming in pain, walking further and faster, no more ‘accidents’ in the house, etc. I work with a lot of competition dogs where the owners are highly tuned to minor performance issues that resolve with treatment.”
He says pets that go through treatment will have a better quality of life, and actually live longer lives.
“It is not uncommon for people to make an initial appointment with me as their last hope – if I can’t help them then they will put their pet down. Thankfully, I would estimate in over 90 per cent of cases in that position, these treatments help enough that they no longer need to consider immediate euthanasia,” Lane said.
The treatments can also treat conditions that cause musculoskeletal pain or reduced mobility, as well as urinary incontinence.
Brad Lanthier enrolled his Boxer Rosie, who has kidney disease and incontinence issues, into the study after reading about it in the paper.
“We thought she would be a good candidate as [Dr. Lane] wanted to explore if some of the incontinence could be caused by pain issues and we really didn’t have an answer for why she was peeing in her sleep and if it was related to kidney issues or pain in her back end,” he said.
It’s a blind study, so he’s not sure if his dog has received treatment in the first few appointments, but he has seen an improvement and is hopeful about the results.
Lane doesn’t just use acupuncture to treat the animals. He always combines it with chiropractic manipulations and physiotherapy techniques, like mobilizations. He credits those techniques with creating such rapid and dramatic results.
The vet is looking for 50 to 60 patients that can commit to at least six visits to his office, in order to track their progress through treatment.
Owners can learn more about the research, and apply, through this webpage.