Acupuncture can perform miracles on your cat
If you don’t believe it, read on because Pink Collar has turned back the clock on her arthritis about a year. With four treatments, this 17-year-old feline is in much less pain, more alert, walking upstairs, and holding her own with her four male kitty housemates.
Earlier this year, Paws consulted with our veterinarian about her increasing arthritic pain. We put her on MetaCam every three days. As she was still in pain, I reached out for pain medication, but before dosing it out, gave pause and thought, What about acupuncture?
Little did we know, the owner of the veterinarian practice, was a licensed veterinary acupuncturist.
Cats are experts at hiding pain
Cats are pretty good about covering up their pain, and when they let you see it, you know it’s pretty bad. One day while stretched out on the heating monitor, I could hear her crying in pain.She would walk into the hallway, and look up at the stairs, cry, and then want to come back into the living room. She was restless.
This blog post is for informational and educational purposes. Before seeking out any medical treatments for your cat, seek out your veterinarian’s advise.
Cats can be difficult patients
As cats are cats, they are not necessarily the best candidates for acupuncture. If they don’t like the needles, they’re likely to strike out and bite the hand of the person trying to help them. Pink Collar got my hand on the first visit.
Dr. Cathy Morton explained traditional Chinese medicine considers disease to be an imbalance in the body. The imbalance can be a disruption of the Qi (pronounced chee) or an excess of Qi. The Qi is the energy that moves through meridians which are paired pathways (mirrored images) that run along the limbs and body corresponding to various organs.
The meridians contain acupuncture points or acupoints, and when inserting the hair-find needles, they go into the acupoints which restores the flow of Qi and restores balance in the body alleviating pain.
She pointed out we should expect her to do worse the first week, and not be alarmed if she seemed tired and lethargic. Acupuncture releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. The energy from the chi statsis moves energy. The effects are said to be cumulative.
She started by palatine a acupoint in her forehead. This can be referred to as a Flying Needle technique in which the acupoint is palpitated and then the needle is popped in really fast. In all, there was almost a dozen needles along her spine. When she’d had enough, she bit her human who was petting her to help keep her calm.
In Pink Collar’s case, she will probably need ongoing treatments for her arthritic pain, we’re hoping it can be once a month.
Acupuncture can help relief pain from arthritis
We’re realistic in knowing that Pink Collar will never be a five, 10, or 15-year-old cat again; however, acupuncture may bring back some quality to her pain ridden life. We were considering putting her out of her pain if something could not be done. I, for one, would not want to live on pain killers, nor would I want to live in chronic pain. There is a time when it is best to say good-bye. But that’s not right now.
For now, acupuncture is giving Pink Collar some quality of life. She’s not struggling to scratch her neck. Her coat looks like night and day. She has more spunk, and she even plays a little. She can jump on to the couch and get to the counter tops. She even goes upstairs if she happens to feel like it.
While acupuncture is the main treatment, Dr. Morin suggested supplements. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are three branches: herbal medicine, food therapy and Tui-Na (medical message). As Pink Collar is a bit feisty, she recommended Jing Tang Loranthus Formula, as she said she was a ‘woody’ cat. I sprinkle it on her fur and sometimes mix it with honey sticking it on her paw. She doesn’t really like that and walks around like she’s getting stuck to the floor. I’ll be trying some food options, but the boys tend to be vultures when it comes to smelling yummy food.
The cats are all getting Dasuquin sprinkled on their breakfast, and as it’s mixed in the gravy, none of them seen to mind.
Different forms of acupuncture
There are different forms of acupuncture. Sometimes B12, is injected at certain acupoints. This is called Aquapuncture. As we learn more, we’ll be sharing more about our journey with acupuncture in future blog posts.
As for Pink Collar, she knows this is her ticket to a longer less-painful life. She doesn’t put up a fuss when getting put in the carrier. She hardly cries on her half-hour ride to the vet’s office. She purrs while soaking up the warmth of my winter parker. And now rather than hissing and growling, she meows at Dr. Morton when it hurts. She even got to pet her during the last visit.
Pink Collar is becoming a poster child for acupuncture at the vet’s office, and who knows, perhaps, she’ll become a poster cat for acupuncture in general.
For those that might not know, acupuncture is widely accepted as a form of pain control for pets. In 2015, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) issued joint guidelines for the management of pain in cats and dogs, including acupuncture as an accepted treatment for pain.
Have you ever tried alternative treatments for your pets? Have you ever tried acupuncture on your pet or yourself? I had someone tell me it’s how they quit smoking. I’m certainly sold on it. Please share your thoughts about Traditional Chinese Medicine.