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Progressive, Alternative Veterinary Care

Acupuncture and herbal medicine are practiced globally to treat a variety of conditions in every species of animal. At Suburban Animal Hospital, we are proud to offer the services of Dr. Kathleen Hall, who is certified in veterinary acupuncture by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and in veterinary Chinese herbal medicine by the Chi Institute and the China National Society of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.

How Acupuncture Works

The goal of acupuncture is to promote the body to heal itself and involves the insertion of needles into specific points in the body to cause desired healing effects. From a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) perspective, acupuncture encourages healing by correcting energy imbalances in the body. While the effects of acupuncture for non–painful medical conditions cannot be fully explained in Western medical terms, research has been conducted showing positive results in the treatment of both animals and humans.

When is Acupuncture Effective?



There are many conditions that can be treated using acupuncture. It can be employed separately or used in conjunction with other Western therapies. While you should always consult with us before making any decisions, below is a list of problems that can be addressed using acupuncture:

  • Pain and stiffness due to arthritis, disc problems, hip dysplasia, or joint injuries
  • Muscle pain or spasms
  • Respiratory problems such as sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, and asthma
  • Chronic urinary tract infections or kidney disease
  • Intestinal diseases such as constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Neurologic conditions such as seizures, vestibular syndromes, and facial nerve paralysis
  • General care of elderly pets to keep them feeling well and more energetic

To determine whether acupuncture is appropriate for your pet, a traditional examination is performed, as well as an evaluation of the parameters important in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In addition to the physical examination, we review your pet’s previous medical history, lab work, and x-rays to determine the best course of acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture Treatment: What to Expect

Although treatments vary depending on your pet’s condition, each session generally lasts 10–15 minutes and is performed once a week for 4–6 weeks. Longer intervals may be recommended if a positive effect is observed.

Pets vary in their response to acupuncture. Some show no sensitivity during the placement of needles, and some show discomfort briefly upon insertion (some acupuncture points are more sensitive than others). Generally, once the needles are placed, a pet exhibits no discomfort. During the treatment, pets can become relaxed or even sleepy.

Herbal Medicine

Dr. Hall also offers herbal medicine to treat pets, using a wide variety of Chinese herbal formulas, as well as some Western herbal formulas. Patients are evaluated in the same manner as for veterinary acupuncture, establishing both a conventional diagnosis and a Chinese medicine pattern diagnosis.

Please contact us to learn more about the benefits of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for your pet.

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