Puppies & Kittens
New Pets Need Comprehensive Veterinary CareWelcoming a new pet to your home involves many things, from picking out your puppy or kitten to buying the proper accessories. Greenhaven Animal Clinic helps you give your pet a great start and supports you during that first crucial year of life. We offer guidance and services in a variety of pet care areas, including:
While our vaccination and parasite prevention protocols follow current veterinary guidelines, each pet is unique. We tailor your veterinary care to meet the needs and requirements for your special pet, considering pet type–such as working dog or house pet–as well as breed, size, overall condition, and lifestyle issues.
- Choosing a healthy puppy or kitten
- Proper nutrition
- Socializing your pet
- Veterinary care and vaccines
- Initiating home dental care
- Deciding to spay or neuter your pet
The following is a general guideline for puppies and kittens:
Puppy ProgramWe recommend:
- 3 doses of distemper, parvo, hepatitis, and Coronavirus between 8 and 20 weeks of age
- 2 doses of lepto between 12 and 20 weeks of age
- Rabies vaccine at 4 months of age
- Deworm 3 times between 6 and 16 weeks of age
- Start on heartworm and parasite prevention (Sentinel) at 8 weeks of age, then blood test at 6 months of age to make sure the puppy is heartworm-free
Kitten ProgramWe recommend:
- 3 doses of panleukopenia, calcivirus, feline viral rhinotracheitis, and chlamydia between 8 and 16 weeks of age
- 2 doses of feline leukemia during this time frame
- Testing for feline leukemia and feline infectious virus at 4 months of age
- Rabies vaccine at 4 months of age
- Deworm 3 times during this stage and then start on Revolution for ongoing parasite and heartworm prevention
Pet nutrition is critical, especially for the youngsters. Your Greenhaven veterinarian will advise you about the proper food and treats for your pet at this important stage of life, when growth is so rapid–inside and out.
Home dental care for puppies and kittens is best begun immediately upon bringing your new pet home as an enjoyable part of the socialization process. We are happy to share techniques and recommend products for this often overlooked part of basic pet care.
Housebreaking and training your pet is a process, and there are many techniques for making it relatively simple. See us for guidance and tips about your particular circumstances. A well-trained pet is a happy pet, and that makes the pet owner happy, too!
Spaying or neutering your puppy or kitten has many benefits, resulting in a longer, healthier life and a generally happier pet. Visit our Wellness page for more about this healthy decision.
We encourage you to discuss any pet care issues and medical concerns with us at every visit and hope the following tips will help you get off to a good start.
For an in-depth discussion of vaccines and the diseases they prevent, visit our Vaccinations page. To learn more about pet dental care and services, The Pet Health Center at WebMD offers a variety of easy-to-read articles and informational videos for Kitten Care and Puppy Care.
- Pet-proof your home, providing a safe environment for your inquisitive kitten or puppy.
- Use high-quality food for the proper stage in your pet’s life. Never feed human food!
- Always have fresh, clean water available.
- Initiate a regular home dental care regime.
- Groom your pet regularly for healthy skin and coat.
- Obtain only vet-approved products such as collars, play toys, bedding, chew bones, and scratching posts.
- Provide a sanitary litter box or safe outdoor elimination area, and never leave your puppy or kitten unattended outdoors.
- Play with your pet every day for socialization and to enhance the human–animal bond.
For a comprehensive and informative look at pet care and enjoyment, visit the AAHA’s website for dog lovers or the AAHA’s website for cat lovers. And the American Association for Feline Practitioners (AAFP) website offers more information to educate and guide cat owners.
Quality Veterinary Care for Puppies and KittensGreenhaven Animal Clinic's experienced veterinarians and staff have been caring for puppies and kittens of San Jose, Lincoln, Mason City, Havana, Pekin, Peoria, Stanford, Armington in Logan, Mason & Tazewell counties since 1964.
Preventive Care With Pet VaccinationsVaccinations and preventive care can keep your animal healthy and happy. We recommend vaccinations for your pet on an individual basis, taking into consideration the age, type, breed, lifestyle, and travel habits of your companion animal, as well as your needs and plans.
At Greenhaven Animal Clinic, we work with you to tailor a unique pet vaccination program that incorporates all of these factors and will give your animal companions optimum protection from disease.
You may be familiar with these typical canine and feline diseases, all requiring preventive vaccines:
- Distemper is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus similar to measles in humans. Worldwide, it is the leading cause of infectious disease deaths in pets.
- Canine Coronavirus is a contagious intestinal infection. It can be severe in young puppies and dogs stressed by poor health or other issues.
- Canine Parvovirus is an acute, highly contagious disease that attacks rapidly reproducing cells such as those lining the gastrointestinal tract. Parvo affects dogs of all ages, but most cases occur in puppies.
- Canine leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria found in wild and domestic animals. The bacteria are spread in the urine, making their way into water sources and infecting the soil for months. Rats, pigs, raccoons, cattle, skunks, and opossums appear to be the primary source for spreading this disease.
- Feline panleukopenia, also called feline infectious enteritis, is a leading cause of death in kittens. It has been called feline distemper, but it bears no relation to the virus that causes distemper in dogs.
- Feline leukemia (FeLV) is a retrovirus and this vaccine is not given to every pet. Indoor cats that have been tested before coming home should have minimal risk of acquiring FeLV and would not necessarily need this vaccine unless they have exposure to other cats, especially outdoor cats.
- Rabies is a dangerous, highly contagious, and deadly disease, with vaccination protocols governed by law in most states.
- Heartworm is a disease that is prevalent in all parts of the United States and is spread only by mosquitoes. Areas such as ours–heavily populated by these insects–tend to have a greater incidence of heartworm disease. Heartworm can strike both dogs and cats, but is much more common in dogs. As its name implies, heartworms live in the blood of a dog or cat’s heart and adjacent blood vessels, leading to serious heart damage and death. In cats, the primary clinical signs are related to respiratory disease, not heart disease. The American Heartworm Society recommends year-round prevention for all dogs and cats.
Canine vaccines that are recommended:
- Distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), parainfluenza, parvovirus, and canine Coronavirus (DHPP+C)–annually
- Rabies–annually or every 3 years, depending on which vaccine is used
- Leptospirosis–annually, as needed based on exposure to livestock or wildlife
- Bordetella (kennel cough)–every 6 months, as needed based on requirements of kennel or other high-exposure environments
We also perform annual heartworm testing and parasite prevention with Sentinel.
Feline vaccines that are recommended:
We recommend monthly doses of Revolution for parasite prevention with injectable Program every 6 months to help with flea control.
- Feline distemper and upper respiratory (FVRCP)–annually
- Rabies–annually or every 3 years, depending on which vaccine is used
- Feline leukemia (FeLv)–annually, as needed if your cat goes outdoors or is exposed to outdoor cats
Pocket Pets do not have standard vaccination protocols, but preventive measures do exist for these small pets. Their small size allows diseases to overcome their systems more easily and quickly, so be sure to bring your pocket pet into the clinic for an annual exam. A missed check-up could make the difference!
Vaccine schedules are to be used as a basic guideline, but each animal will be evaluated for its own specific needs. Discuss any questions or concerns you may have with us at your next visit to Greenhaven Animal Hospital.
Internal ParasitesWe recommend the following effective measures for prevention of internal parasite infestations in pets:
Young pets are more susceptible to parasites and have not developed the natural resistance of older animals. Still, our older pets also need to be dewormed on a regular schedule to prevent problems from occurring. Parasites can be controlled with just a little precaution, allowing people and pets to continue their close relationship.
- Deworm pets at the first veterinary visit, following veterinary guidelines.
- Perform a fecal analysis on any new pet.
- Deworm all pets annually, or more often if environmental factors indicate need.
- Use good hygiene, such as washing hands after playing with pets or coming in from outside and wearing shoes outdoors.
- Teach children to practice good hygiene at an early age.
- Follow the recommended guidelines of Sentinel for dogs and Revolution for cats for year-round parasite control.
For more information about parasite prevention, please contact us at Greenhaven Animal Clinic.
For information about pet vaccines, view the American Animal Hospital Association website.
Read the great article, Pocket Pet Care, at the AAHA website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a terrific website with a discussion about protecting yourself and your family from parasites in animals.
Wellness Pet Care Across All Stages of LifeLongevity, vigor, a playful demeanor, and positive behavior–all these factors combine to create the concept of wellness pet care. Wellness covers every aspect of life from nutrition to the human–animal bond, and Greenhaven Animal Clinic supports this all-inclusive approach to veterinary care.
We offer a comprehensive wellness care plan that includes:
At minimum, we recommend that every pet receive annual exams including vaccinations, parasite testing and control, blood work, urine testing, and a discussion about your experiences and concerns since the last visit. Since pets age much faster than humans, your observations about the changing behavior or condition of your pet is critical to addressing problems early, before they become difficult or impossible to manage humanely.
- Parasite control
- Wellness exams
- Spaying and neutering
- Life stage care
- Pain management
- Alternative veterinary care
- Nutrition and exercise
- Behavioral counseling
- Chronic disease management
Watch this video about Nutrition by Royal Canin
Spay & Neuter SurgeryWe will advise you as to when you should schedule your pet’s spay or neuter surgery. There are many advantages to this common surgical procedure, and spayed or neutered pets typically experience many of the following benefits:
Spay and neuter surgery performed with laser technology is much less traumatic to your pet and recovery is faster with less pain and bleeding at the site. Visit our Small Animal Care page for more information about our surgical services.
- Less likely to roam
- Display less aggressive behaviors
- Live longer
- Less marking of territory, inside and out
- Develop less tumors, cysts, uterine infections, and testicular cancer
- Easier to train
Get an overview of the benefits of the veterinary CO2 laser at the Cutting Edge website.
Find answers to your questions about the uses and benefits of laser surgery at the Aesculight website, manufacturers of the only American-made surgical CO2 laser.
Veterinary AcupunctureAcupuncture is often used in conjunction with other veterinary treatment options, including surgical intervention. It is a good treatment choice when medication is either not working or contraindicated because of serious side effects.
We often use acupuncture when surgery is not feasible, either because of anesthetic risk or the owner’s desire to avoid a surgical procedure. Veterinary acupuncture can be used to:
Dr. Karren is trained and certified in acupuncture through the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.
- Stimulate your pet’s natural pain relievers
- Enhance wound healing
- Relieve muscle spasms
- Stimulate the immune system
- Enhance the blood supply to a degenerating joint
- Dilate the respiratory passages to bring relief to an asthmatic patient
The use of acupuncture at our clinic is explained in more detail in this helpful handout, Veterinary Acupuncture. We encourage you to contact our office for question about this alternative to traditional pet care.
Read more about the uses of veterinary acupuncture and other alternatives to traditional care on our Pet Care page.
For more information about veterinary acupuncture, visit the following websites:
- International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting excellence in the practice of veterinary acupuncture
- American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture (AAVA) is a source of communication, continuing education, and support for veterinary acupuncturists in the United States.
- Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine provides the veterinary community with the highest quality educational experience in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) and promotes and conducts scientific investigations in veterinary acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine
Parasite PreventionParasite control is a serious issue and one that concerns the health and comfort of your pet, as well as the members of your family.
Zoonotic illnesses are diseases humans can get from animals and, while they are not common, they can make you and your family sick. You can prevent most of these diseases with some very simple steps: teach children not to kiss pets or put their hands in their mouths after touching them, institute a habit of frequent hand washing, and maintain your pet’s vaccinations and regular veterinary wellness visits. Rabies, toxoplasmosis, worms, ringworm, and salmonella are examples of zoonotic diseases.
Learn more about protecting your family from diseases transmitted from animals to people when you visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Learn what you should expect from veterinary Wellness Exams, and then read this AAHA article, Safeguard Your Pet’s Health with Wellness Exams.
For a series of guidelines established by the American Association of Feline Practitioners, covering such areas as life stage guidelines and feline behavior guidelines, visit the AAFP website
The Humane Society website is a wonderful resource for information about wellness care, training, and behavior. Simply choose your type of pet from the “Select a Pet” menu
Senior Pet Care
Senior Pet Care: Old Friends Deserve Special
AttentionOur senior pets mean so much to us and we want them to have a comfortable and happy existence late in life. The best way to ensure this contentment is to provide them with the right care for the right stage of life. Greenhaven Animal Clinic follows a special protocol designed specifically for the needs of your aging pets.
Wellness for our senior pets requires a little extra attention. We recommend regular check-ups every 6 months for the healthy senior, with blood testing, urine testing, and dental cleaning annually. This semi-annual exam allows us to diagnose age-related illnesses at the earliest stage and begin treatment. This practice is not only the least invasive for senior pets, but is often the least costly for the pet owner.
View our Senior Dog Symptom Checklist for an idea of the many issues and concerns that could affect your aging pet and to view an age conversion chart
Scheduling regular veterinary exams is one of the most important steps you can take to keep your dog healthy and happy throughout his or her lifespan, and this becomes even more important as your pet ages. Just as physicians recommend certain tests, such as cholesterol screening and blood pressure checks, when a person turns 40, the American Animal Hospital Association recommends annual screening tests begin when your pet reaches middle age, ranging from age 4–7 for most dogs and age 7 for cats. These tests.
Remember, your pet ages more rapidly during the golden years, and the risk of developing a chronic condition or serious disease increases. Scheduling a routine wellness visit every 6 months will help your veterinarian detect diseases or conditions in their early stages when they may still be treated or controlled effectively.
- Ensure your pet is healthy
- Establish “baseline” values for comparison with future test results
- Help us make preventive care recommendations to delay the onset or progression of certain diseases
The senior wellness exam should include a comprehensive medical history; a complete physical exam, which includes checking your dog’s overall appearance, temperature, body weight, heart, lungs, ears, eyes, teeth and gums, thyroid gland, and skin and coat; age-related laboratory tests; and preventive health recommendations.
The most important screening tests for healthy senior pets include:
We may recommend additional testing, including echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart); abdominal ultrasonography; adrenal gland testing; EKG with blood pressure measurement; or liver, pancreas, and small intestine function tests.
- Complete blood count–for the diagnosis of infection, anemia, and bleeding problems and to provide insight into the status of the immune system
- Serum chemistry profile–for assessing the status of the liver, kidneys, pancreas, thyroid gland, and other organs
- Urinalysis–for evidence of infection and to assess kidney function
- Fecal analysis–for evidence of parasites and unusual bacteria and protozoa
- Radiographs–for evidence of early arthritis and internal tumors or cancers
At the semi-annual exam, we will also discuss preventive health recommendations designed to keep your senior pet healthy and happy, including information about:
- Dental and oral care
- Diet and nutrition
- Weight control
- Exercise guidelines for mobility
- Early intervention for pain management
View our Canine Obesity Brochure for more on the impact of extra weight on your old friend.
- Parasite control
- Vaccination risk assessment
- Maintenance of your pet’s mental health
- Environmental conditions for maintaining health
Your senior pet has given you loyal, lifelong love and companionship. With a little extra care and attention, we can help your old friend enjoy the golden years and live a happier, fuller life.
To assist veterinary hospitals in offering optimal care for senior pets, AAHA has issued a set of Senior Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. These guidelines create a framework for veterinarians, providing optimal care for all senior pets. Enjoy this summary of the AAHA guidelines for Senior Pet Care.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) offers very specific guidelines for the senior cat. These guidelines are intended to assist veterinarians in delivering quality care to senior cats, promoting longevity, and improving the quality of life for senior cats. These guidelines apply to all older cats, beginning at age 7.View a summary of these Cat Care Guidelines offered on the AAFP website.
Greenhaven Animal Clinic offers ample time at each senior wellness visit to discuss all of your pet concerns. And when it is time to discuss end-of-life issues, we can make a plan that supports the dignity of your pet while accommodating your needs and wishes.
The WebMD Pet Health Center answers your questions regarding End of Life Care for Pets. The AVMA brochure, How Do I Know When It’s Time? is another helpful resource regarding end-of-life care
For an informative and upbeat look at your mature pet, check out the CatAge and DogAge websites. The medical professionals at RealAge.com have compiled informative data on their site and it’s free–have fun while learning something new about your pet!
Pet Oral Care Serving the San Jose, IL Area
Our Oral Care Mission: To provide exceptional veterinary dentistry through excellent preventative care and quality digital dental radiographs.
Oral care for animals is very important–it decreases oral bacteria, dental decay, and infection as it increases the overall health, comfort, and wellbeing for your pet.
View our guide to comparing veterinary oral services
View our Prophylactic Oral Cleaning/Surgery TestimonialsAs specialists in small animal veterinary care, we now know that problems of the teeth and gums cause a wide variety of problems elsewhere in the body, such as diseases of the heart, kidneys, and lungs. Wellness care for all pets includes the three steps of oral care for preventing disease and maximizing a healthy life:
- Prophylactic Oral exams
- Prophylactic Oral cleanings
- Home oral care
Quality Oral Care at Greenhaven Animal ClinicThe first step "the prophylacticoral exam" is a simple and painless procedure incorporated into the pet’s regular wellness visit. In young pets, we examine the mouth for problems related to baby teeth and missing, broken, or extra teeth and to evaluate for any developmental abnormalities. In adult pets, we look for periodontal disease, oral tumors, and build-up of plaque and tartar. A veterinarian performs this simple oral exam while your pet is awake.
Take a look at our Oral Report Card, a helpful tool in identifying the level of dental health or disease in your pet.
The second step is prophylactic oral cleaning, performed under general anesthesia and recommended for all adult dogs and cats. Prior to anesthesia, we will ensure your pet is healthy enough to tolerate anesthesia and we will run blood tests, perform diagnostics, and check the heart with an EKG. We monitor your pet throughout the procedure with advanced monitoring equipment and regularly record all vital signs.
Once your pet is comfortably anesthetized, we will perform what we call our oral ATP, which stands for Assessment, Treatment, and Plan, and includes an extensive oral exam and radiographs.
Radiographs or dental X-rays–are needed periodically for a complete and accurate evaluation of your pet’s mouth. We use them to detect abnormalities and to determine the need for extraction of broken, loose, or infected teeth. At Greenhaven Animal Clinic, we offer state-of-the-art digital dental X-rays, technology that greatly enhances detail and accuracy.
Based on our findings, we will then perform a cleaning and polishing. If any oral surgery needs to be done, such as pulling any diseased, broken, or infected teeth, we will do this at this time. This would also include any tumor removal or gum surgery, as needed. These procedures will be followed by a sealer, Oravet Gel, to prevent future plaque and calculus build-up.
The third and final step in your pet dental program is your home dental care regime. Pet owners new to the idea of cleaning their pet’s teeth can take comfort in knowing how simple this process can be. Our staff will assist you in learning how to perform this simple step and in selecting the appropriate products to use for your specific pet. Home dental care for pets is easier than you think!
Check out Common Mouth Myths about your dog or cat!
Visit the Hill's Pet Nutrition, Pets Need Dental Care, Too website.
Read an overview of the AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for a simple explanation and learn what to expect from a quality veterinary dental program.
Greenhaven Animal Clinic is happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding pet oral care. Contact us for more information.
Laser Therapy for Pets at Greenhaven Animal ClinicGreenhaven Animal Clinic is excited to announce that we now offer Laser Therapy for your pets. Laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy, cold laser therapy or Class IV laser therapy, is a noninvasive procedure that uses light to stimulate cell regeneration and increase blood circulation.
Laser therapy is a sterile, surgery-free, drug-free, and pain-free treatment that can help make your pet feel and move more comfortably. Laser Therapy can be used to treat and speed the healing of a variety of issues such as injuries, wounds, fractures, neurological conditions, numerous dermatological problems, and pain. The laser also provides relief for pets suffering from arthritis.
The treatment process has shown to be quite relaxing for many pets. Once the laser technician and your pet are wearing their protective eyewear, a non-invasive handpiece will be used in a back and forth motion slowly over the intended area. For your pet, this will create a gentle and soothing warmth. Many pets find this procedure very relaxing; it is similar to a good massage. Many pets who were initially weary will find that their anxiety dissipates as their pain diminishes.
The number of laser treatments along with the duration of treatment varies according to each pet's ailment, size, coat, and needs. If you are interested in laser therapy please contact our office to discuss the benefits for your pet.
For more information about pet laser therapy or to see if laser therapy would benefit your pet, please give us a call.
Reduce swelling, Relieve Pain, Promote Healing.
Orthopedic surgery for dogs and cats in San Jose, ILAcupuncture is one of a variety of treatment options used at Greenhaven Animal Clinic. Most simply stated, acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body, commonly by means of a very thin, flexible needle. Stimulation of an acupuncture point causes a complex cascade of body responses and the release of various neurochemicals and hormones into the bloodstream. Depending on the point stimulated, acupuncture can result in the release of the body's natural pain relievers; can enhance wound healing, can relieve muscle spasms; can stimulate the immune system; can enhance the blood supply to a degenerating joint; and can dilate the respiratory passages to bring relief to an asthmatic patient.
Your pet may require at least one surgical procedure as part of his or her general health care strategy. Your veterinarian and the skilled team of veterinary technicians at Best Friends Animal Hospital possess the knowledge, skill, and compassion to care for your pet from the minute they enter our facility until the time they are ready to go home. Our surgical suite is equipped with modern patient monitoring equipment and fluid pumps.
Surgeries performed at Best Friends Animal Hospital include, but are not limited to:
- Growth removal or tumor biopsy
- Laceration repair
- Urinary bladder surgery & stone removal
- Abdominal exploratory surgery
- Oral surgery (tooth extractions)
- Cesarean section
- Emergency surgery (e.g. foreign object retrieval, wound repair, others as needed)
What to ExpectWe know that putting your pet under anesthesia for surgery can be an emotional experience which is why we want you to understand the steps we take to ensure the utmost safety and care of your pet when they are in our surgical care.
Pre-Surgical CareBefore surgery, your pet will be examined by your veterinarian, and anesthetics will be individually selected for your pet. Blood tests will also be done before any anesthesia is administered to confirm that your pet’s liver, heart, and kidneys are functioning properly and that your pet is a good candidate for anesthesia.
Prior to induction of anesthesia, an IV catheter is placed in every patient. This allows us to administer warm IV fluids throughout anesthesia, which helps maintain patient hydration and ideal blood volume. The catheter also ensures safety by providing immediate IV access in the unlikely event of an emergency situation.
A comprehensive pain management plan is developed for every patient to keep them as comfortable as possible before, during and after surgery.
During SurgeryDuring surgery, we have a medically-trained staff member solely keeping an eye on your pet’s vitals. Their main priority is monitoring your pet’s blood pressure, heart activity including heart rate and rhythm (EKG), respiratory functions, body temperature, and making sure your pet is maintaining proper oxygen levels.
After SurgeryYour pet will be constantly monitored by a medically-trained staff member, and will be comforted when they awaken from surgery. Warm blankets will keep your pet comfortable throughout the recovery process. Pain medication will be given if needed. Our main goal is to make sure your pet is safe, healthy, and feeling as little pain as possible.
Upon discharge, we will discuss the surgery with you and one of our staff members will explain everything you need to know about caring for your pet at home. Within a few days, we will call to see how your pet is recovering, but please do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions or concerns.
Acupuncture for dogs and cats in San Jose, ILAcupuncture is one of a variety of treatment options used at Greenhaven Animal Clinic. Most simply stated, acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body, commonly by means of a very thin, flexible needle. Stimulation of an acupuncture point causes a complex cascade of body responses and the release of various neurochemicals and hormones into the bloodstream. Depending on the point stimulated, acupuncture can result in the release of the body's natural pain relievers; can enhance wound healing, can relieve muscle spasms; can stimulate the immune system; can enhance the blood supply to a degenerating joint; and can dilate the respiratory passages to bring relief to an asthmatic patient.
Acupuncture point locations have been carefully mapped out in humans and horses over thousands of years. Over the last 75 years these points have been located and used in our small animal friends. In fact, acupuncture is used as a mainstay of medical treatment in many eastern countries.
Acupuncture points may be easily located on most pets by a trained individual. Dr. Karren received her training in acupuncture through The Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Certification in veterinary acupuncture through The Chi Institute requires hundreds of hours of coursework, completion of case studies, and competence in written and practical examinations.
What can veterinary acupuncture be used for?Acupuncture is often used in conjunction with other treatment options, including surgical intervention. It is also a good treatment choice when medication is not working or when it is contraindicated because of serious side effects. We also often use acupuncture when surgery is not feasible, either because of anesthetic risk or the owner's desire to avoid a surgical procedure. Some common examples of use include:
- Musculoskeletal problems: hips or elbow dysplasia, arthritis, degenerative joint disease, chronic pain syndromes, and neck or back injuries.
- Nerve disorders: traumatic nerve injury or paralysis, certain types of muscle weakness or paralysis resulting from back or neck injuries, degenerative nerve conditions such as German Shepherd myelopathy.
- Respiratory problems: asthma, chronic lung disease, respiratory changes associated with heart failure.
- Urogenital problems: frequent bladder or prostate problems. Herbal treatment may be added.
- Behavior problems: Inappropriate urination, some cause of aggression, anxiety
How does acupuncture work and is it safe for my pet?Treatments may last from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the condition treated and the method. Patients are often treated 1-2 times a week for 4-8 weeks. A positive response is usually noted during the first 3-5 treatments, sometimes earlier, depending on the condition treated. Once a positive response to treatment is seen, we reduce the treatments to the minimum that will maintain the patient.
We often use other methods besides basic dry needles to provide the best therapy for our patients. This includes electroacupuncture, the use of a mild electric current, and aqua acupuncture, using vitamin B12 to stimulate acupoints. Many patients may