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D2009-03

Dear Daisy Dog

My dachshund, Fritz, has a slipped disc, for which my veterinarian prescribed medication and recommended acupuncture. Does acupuncture really work?

Daisy Responds

Yes, and most of us dogs actually like it, too.

In a study at a university teaching hospital, 50 dogs with intervertebral disc disease (IVDD or “slipped disc”) were divided into two groups to evaluate the effects of electroacupuncture.

This technique stimulates the body’s acupuncture points by introducing a gentle, low-power electrical current through the acupuncture needles.

Group 1 received electroacupuncture and standard medications, including a steroid anti-inflammatory drug and a pain reliever. Group 2 received the same medications, but no acupuncture.

Recovery was greater in group 1 (89 percent) than in group 2 (58 percent.)

Moreover, dogs that couldn’t walk before treatment regained the ability in half the time if they received electroacupuncture (10 days for group 1 compared with 21 days for group 2.)

The researchers concluded that electroacupuncture plus standard medication was more effective than medication alone in dogs with IVDD.

This is an important finding, because IVDD is one of the most common neurologic conditions seen in dogs, and it often recurs, particularly in dachshunds.

I hope Fritz does well -– and that he enjoys his acupuncture treatments.

 

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