Paw’s Corner – Alternative treatments: Do they work for pets?

#Middlebury #PawsCorner #Pets

By Sam Mazzotta

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: Recently, a friend recommended that I give my Lhasa Apso, Cherie, acupuncture treatments to cure her anxiety. I told her I’ve never heard of dogs getting acupuncture! My friend then told me that there are other treatments for dogs, like massage, homeopathy and more. Do these things really work? – Curious in San Angelo, Texas

DEAR CURIOUS: Almost any alternative therapy available to humans today is available to pets as well (especially dogs and cats) in many areas of the U.S. That includes acupuncture, massage, chiropractic and even energy healing arts like Reiki.

Acupuncture has a few scientific studies behind it, and while the jury is still out on how well it can reduce dogs’ anxiety, studies have found that acupuncture can help relieve pain. A 2006 study published by the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine found “encouraging data” worth pursuing in future studies, saying there was no reason to recommend or reject acupuncture as an effective treatment for animals.

Just as with humans, massage can help relax muscles and relieve the chronic pain of arthritis, and chiropractic also has been shown to be helpful. A 2016 study by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association combined acupuncture with massage, for example, and noted that after treatment, “significant improvement was seen in the dogs’ ability to walk, trot, jump and rise from a lying position.”

However, whether energy healing works or not depends on who you ask. The effects of healing therapies like Reiki on pets are hard to measure. There is a great deal of skepticism about their effectiveness, so approach such treatments cautiously and research both the treatment and the person offering it before trying it out on Cherie.

Send your questions, comments or tips to
(c) 2017 King Features Synd. Inc.


Comments are closed.