Friday, March 15, 2019

Should you try Acupuncture for your Dog?



A few weeks back I shared an Instagram Story about Baylee's Acupuncture appointment. If you'd like to see the video, it is still up under the " I Love Labs" Highlights.   I had quite a few comments and questions about Baylee and her acupuncture so I thought I would write this post.

We knew from the beginning that
arthritis and joint pain could be an issue with this dog breed so we started Baylee on a joint supplement called Cosequin (which is Glucosomine for dogs) but since Baylee has acquired issues with her heart and kidneys over the years, we have not been able to give her those.

Retrievers especially are prone to hip dysplasia. Fortunately Baylee does not have hip dysplasia but she does have arthritis.  This affects her back legs and and they often go weak on her and she can't stand or sit for extended periods of time with out her legs squatting.

Our vet does not do acupuncture at her office so we had to travel to another office she recommended.  I did a LOT of research on acupuncture for dogs before I committed Baylee to this.  I learned that dogs are often sore and lethargic for a day after the treatment and for this reason I wanted to do her treatments on Friday afternoons so I could be withe her all day the next day. I talked to the acupuncture vet on the phone ahead of time and found that she is not there on Fridays  so I have to go during the week but the she assured me the side effects would not be bad for Baylee.

  By talking to her ahead of time I also learned that it would take 3 sessions before we could tell if Baylee would see results.  Baylee and I have never met this new vet but as soon as we met her in person we both knew we loved her. She told me right away that she could tell Baylee was so connected to me!

As we are talking about Baylee, the vet is "secretly" feeling around Baylee so she can tell what has been going on with her body. Baylee currently has other medical issues other than arthritis. By feeling around, she is able to tell where she needs to put the needles.


I was super surprised that Baylee was not bothered one bit with the needles being stuck into her.   The needles are suppose to enhance blood flow which improves healing.  Acupuncture also stimulates the nervous system and increases the release of anti-inflammatory  and pain relieving substances to reduce discomfort.


We've gone to three sessions already and each time the vet has put the needles in different parts of her body. Sometimes she puts the needles in her head,  as well as down her back, and sometimes she put them in her paws. This last time she put them on the pressure points that effect digestion ( which was needed because Baylee has been having GI issues). 



I am that crazy dog mom that has been keeping a journal of how Baylee has been feeling and I have noticed that Yes, Baylee has been feeling bad the days she gets her acupuncture done. She feels very weak and makes me wonder if the treatments are working.   However, on the following days she still acts like a playful puppy.  She walks around okay and I think it's easier for her to get up.  However, It looks like it is painful for her to sit and lay herself down on the floor because she does it very slow and cautiously. Also, my main concern of her squatting to eat has not been resolved.

I of course know there is no cure for an aging dog but I want to know I am doing everything I can to make her feel more comfortable.  I can't say for sure how I feel about the acupuncture if it is helping or not but then again , I don't think she is getting any worse so maybe it is just keeping her condition at bay.    -M








24 comments:

  1. As you know, Chester had acupuncture for years. I did it many years ago with my cat Puss (kidney failure), then Simba (lymphoma). Lola is very wiggly, but she has back issues, so she get chiropractic & laser. Gizmo got acupuncture for a little while. It helped him a great deal, but obviously it’s not a cure.

    In fact, I knew that acupuncture could have continued to help, and he might’ve had longer, but something had happened that I didn’t talk about on the blog, and I knew it was time. His life had become very small & there wasn’t a lot he enjoyed anymore.

    It can definitely help, but it can be very subtle. Although none of my animals ever seemed to be in pain afterwards.

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    1. I'm glad you had a good experience with acupuncture with your pets! We did Laser therapy once but did not see any change since it was just one session. We'll try anything to help her.

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  2. I'm surprised Bailey can sit still for this! I hope it helps!

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    1. Yea me too. The vet said most dogs do because the acupuncture relaxes them.

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  3. I wouldn't be afraid to try it for myself, much less Cocoa. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I hope Cocoa never gives you a reason to have to do it. I hope she stays healthy!

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  4. I hope it helps! I have a very old Retriever with arthritis and has recently gone blind. It's so hard to watch them get old.

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    1. I did not know you had a retriever! Yes, caring for an aging pet is SO hard.

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  5. Awww...you are a good dog mom! I hope the treatments help Bailey feel better.

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    1. Thank you! That is such a nice compliment. I am hopeful it will help.

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  6. I have tried it myself and it's quite relaxing and not painful at all. I hope it really helps Bailey feel better. Will you try it yourself?

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  7. What a good dog mom! Frizzle gets accupuncture and my parents say it does wonders for her anxiety, but it took a few sessions to start working.

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    1. I just heard of another pet that does it for anxiety reasons too. I didnt even know that was a thing!

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  8. It's hard dealing with older dogs and their pains - I hope this does help Baylee. She's such a sweet pup!

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    1. Thank you Shelley. She is so sweet and it actually breaks my heart to see her with needles in her head, but I know it is not hurting her.

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  9. I just want to cry ... I just adore so deeply the way you love your girl & doing all you can to help her.

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  10. Aww that is so sweet! I know you would do the same for your boys!

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  11. Interesting! I have never done acupuncture,but have heard it's painless. I know whenever Max gets his shots, he doesn't even flinch, so it makes me wonder if it would be a similar experience for acupuncture.

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  12. My friend did acupuncture for her dog. If it's affordable it and it seems to help, why not?

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  13. Acupuncture is THE BEST THING I ever did for my dog especially as he aged. That sweet boy lived to be 17 yrs old and acu made the arhtitis more bearable.

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  14. I would have never known they had this for dogs. I hope it does help her, sounds like its not really hurting her so why not see if it can relieve some of the pain she has.
    You are definitely one of the best dog mommy's out there!

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  15. I never knew about acupuncture for dogs until I saw your post! I'm glad something like this is available as an option!

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  16. Caring for an elderly dog is certainly a commitment, but so worth it!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.