Recently, Cayenne, my beautiful, loyal dog of 10 years, started showing signs of difficulty in walking. And, as with all pets, when there is a problem, it is immediately your problem.
So I immediately went to our veterinarian and had her checked out. The prognosis was a combination of old age, chronic pain and a loss of mobility from joint disease. I didn’t like the sound of it, but, whatever it was, I wanted to do whatever I could to take care of her. The doctor told us some limited options and, then, suggested a local dog acupuncturist as an alternative to surgery. I was skeptical, as I had not been to acupuncture myself, but if this could get my dog back to walking normally, I would be willing to try it.
Acupuncture for dogs, similar to acupuncture for humans, is an alternative medical practice that involves inserting very small needles into the skin to stimulate points on the body and produce a healing response. The way acupuncture works is that a needle point can increase the blood flow and the release of some anti-inflammatory mediators. This in turn, can help the body restore itself.
When I met with the pet acupuncturist, she told me that our dog was in very bad shape, but that with some treatment she may get more motion back in her walking. Making a decision for your dog is always a difficult one, so I asked the doctor a series of questions, but, most importantly, if the dog would be in any pain with the needles. She said most dogs do feel minimal pain (not always) and sometimes they even fall asleep while the process is being administered. So I was fine with that and we scheduled our first session. I also asked about the general results of this treatment with other dogs and she said that it would take a few sessions to know if my dog could be helped.
The first session was uneventful, as the Vet did her exam on my dog and analyzed the ailment and how to treat it. Cayenne braved the examination and, after the first needle, she was still sitting cool, calm and collected. Cayenne hardly reacted to that treatment and was basically the same dog when we got home. I still held out hope, as I did my research online, and felt like it was too hard to judge from just one session. So, after a few sessions, we started to see Cayenne taking more walks and she started looking like a normal dog going out for a walk without any hindrance. I am beyond relieved and happy I went through this process, as it was not easy to do.
Pet healthcare and dog wellness can be a complex maze to navigate through, so I can’t say more about both doctors here and how they helped me make the right choice for my dog. I love my dog and I am glad I was able to be there for her.