Alternative Therapies

Specialists on our team of staff veterinarians include veterinarians certified in Veterinary Acupuncture and in Equine Veterinary Medical Manipulation (EVMM), commonly referred to as equine "chiropractic."

Acupuncture

By stimulating specific points on the horse’s body, acupuncture has been seen to achieve therapeutic or homeostatic (returning the body to its normal state) effects. Acupuncture can be beneficial in the management of back pain, sacroiliac pain, osteoarthritis, muscle soreness, and medical disorders like colic, ocular pain, peripheral nerve pain and dysfunction, as well as many others, and can also be useful as a complementary diagnostic aid.

   

While we regularly employ “dry needling,” the most familiar form of acupuncture, our practitioners may also recommend one of these enhanced techniques:​

  • Aquapuncture: This process leaves behind a fluid (typically Vitamin B12) that continues to stimulate the acupuncture point with pressure, due to displacement of tissue by the fluid as it is absorbed. 

   

  • Electrostimulation / Electroacupuncture: Electrodes attached to the needles apply a very small, pulsating electrical current to the acupuncture point. The frequency, intensity and type of electronic pulse can be adjusted to achieve varying physiological responses.

   

  • Cold Laser / Infrared (IR) Stimulation: Useful in stimulating acupuncture points that are difficult to treat any other way, cold laser or IR stimulation may be use to treat of acupuncture points on the extremities (head, legs).

 

Equine Veterinary Medical Manipulation (EVMM)

Like human chiropractic* treatment, EVMM employs motion palpation to find joint restrictions, then uses a high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) thrust directed in the plane of the joint. A “release,” or movement of the restricted joint, is often felt, and an audible “popping” sound may also be heard during treatment as the applied force overcomes the joint’s resistance. EVMM can help restore freedom of movement, relax the muscles and relieve pain in the back, neck and  restricted joints in cases of localized or regional stiffness, poor performance or an altered gait not associated with obvious lameness. 

*Chiropractic, as defined by law, applies specifically and only to humans. A chiropractor is someone who has completed human chiropractic training and holds a Doctor of Chiropractic degree (DC). When similar techniques are applied to animals, it is correctly called spinal manipulation or medical manipulation.

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