Dr. Elizabeth NoyesThe Androscoggin Animal Hospital is happy to provide acupuncture treatment for your pets.  Dr. Noyes was originally certified in Veterinary Acupuncture in 2001 though the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society or IVAS, and remains certified today. Dr. Noyes performs acupuncture on site by appointment.


What is veterinary acupuncture?

From the International Veterinary Acupuncture Website:

Acupuncture is “the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to produce a healing response. Each acupuncture point has specific actions when stimulated.”   And when used either alone or in conjunction with Western medicine it can help many conditions and can work very well when it is indicated.

We have been using acupuncture at the Androscoggin Animal Hospital for several years as an additional therapy for many of our patients, and we have been please with the results.

What types of problems benefit from acupuncture?

Many conditions may benefit from acupuncture and include:

  • Arthritis, inter-vertebral disk disease (back problems), and post-surgical healing
  • Skin problems such as lick granulomas and allergic dermatitis
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or chronic bowel disease

These are just a  few of the more common conditions that owners bring their loved pets in for treatment. We have used acupuncture for nauseated animals, or animals that have lost their appetites. Please contact us if your pet has a condition and you are wondering about whether acupuncture might be a useful part of therapy.


How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture uses small very fine needles inserted into very specific anatomical locations over the body. These points are selected for each patient on an individual basis depending on the patient and the condition being treated. The needles stimulate the acupuncture points to cause an effect or “movement of Qi” or energy through the body. This has been studied and been found to “stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasm, and cause the release of hormones, such as endorphins (one of the body’s pain control chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid).”


Is Acupuncture Safe for Animals?Dr. Elizabeth Noyes and her patient

As noted by IVAS: “Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment for animals when it is administered by a properly trained veterinarian. Side effects of acupuncture are rare, but they do exist. An animal’s condition may seem worse for up to 48 hours after a treatment. Other animals become lethargic or sleepy for 24 hours. These effects are an indication that some physiological changes are developing, and they are most often followed by an improvement in the animal’s condition.”


Is Acupuncture Painful?

Most animals usually tolerate acupuncture very well. Some animals come to actually love their sessions and show this by coming in, lying down and “asking” for their treatment as they come to understand it helps them to feel better.  A small percentage of animals, usually about 10% or less, do not like the needles and never get used to it and thus do not benefit from it – but we will not know unless we try!


How often should acupuncture be done?

Acupuncture can be done as often as it is needed – but most animals return every few weeks to monthly or on as needed basis. Dr. Noyes will evaluate your pet and discuss the recommended frequency of therapy.


If you would like to try acupuncture for your pet please give us a call to ask if we think it could help and we can assist you in making an appointment.