Adrienne Ng, DVM, CVA
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Hi, my name’s Jacob. I have always felt a special connection with animals. Growing up, my family had a plethora of animals. We had two St.Bernards (Berney and Barney), a Labrador (Shelby), multiple cats and lots of rabbits. My father also has horses and we would often go for rides.
As I grew up, I decided that a career in the veterinary field would be perfect for me. So in 2011, I enrolled in the Vet Tech program at PIMA. I graduated in 2013 with my AA in Applied Sciences. Ever since then, I have been working as an ER/ICU Licensed Vet Tech.
While I enjoy the technical aspects, what I really love is nursing. What makes me happy is seeing animals get to leave the hospital, healthy and happy, and the owners reaction. I treat every animal like my own and I take extreme pride in that.
While I’m not working, my wife and I take care our own two and four-legged animals. We have twin boys (Raif and Jax) and two dogs (Loki and Thora). I also love playing golf, watching both the Seahawks and the Sounders, and I’m a huge Star Wars nerd.
Initial consult ... $275
Follow-up ... $275
Acupuncture may be defined as the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to produce a healing response. Each acupuncture point has specific actions when stimulated. This technique has been used in veterinary practice in China for thousands of years to treat many ailments. The Chinese also use acupuncture as preventative medicine. Acupuncture is used all around the world, either along with or in conjunction with Western medicine, to treat a wide variety of conditions in every species of animal. Clinical research has been conducted showing positive results in the treatment of both animals and humans, and the use of acupuncture is increasing. Acupuncture will not cure every condition, but it can work very well when it is indicated.
In 1996, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) stated “Veterinary acupuncture involves the examination and stimulation of specific points on the body of nonhuman animals by the use of acupuncture needles, moxibustion, injections, low-level lasers, magnets, and a variety of other techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of numerous conditions in animals.”
In 2014, the AVMA admitted the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture (AAVA) into the House of Delegates as a constituent allied veterinary organization, recognizing the validity of acupuncture in the treatment of animals.
For which conditions is acupuncture indicated?
Acupuncture is indicated for functional problems such as those that involve paralysis, noninfectious inflammation (such as allergies), and pain. For small animals, the following are some of the general conditions which may be treated with acupuncture:
Musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis, intervertebral disk disease, or traumatic nerve injury
Respiratory problems, such as feline asthma
Skin problems such as lick granulomas and allergic dermatitis
Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, vomiting and decreased appetite
In addition, regular acupuncture treatment can treat minor sports injuries as they occur and help to keep muscles and tendons resistant to injury. World-class professional and amateur athletes often use acupuncture as a routine part of their training. If your animals are involved in any athletic endeavor, such as racing, jumping, or showing, acupuncture can help them keep in top physical condition.
How does acupuncture work?
From the Eastern perspective, poor health is considered to be an imbalance in the flow of “Qi” (energy) and Blood through the body. Acupuncture therapy helps to return the balance within the meridian energy flow. Stimulating specific acupuncture points that correlate with the pattern diagnosis “re-balances” the body to a more normal state. The ultimate goal of the acupuncturist is to treat the “root” cause. A patient responds faster and returns to a healthier state of health by addressing the root problem.
From the Western perspective, acupuncture stimulates all major physiologic systems positively. It works primarily through the central nervous system affecting the musculoskeletal, hormonal, and cardiovascular systems. Acupuncture increases blood circulation, increases the release of many neurotransmitters and neurohormones, some of which are endorphins – the body’s “natural pain-killing” hormones. Acupuncture relieves muscle spasms, stimulates nerves, and stimulates the body’s immune system. Stimulation by acupuncture needles multiplies natural morphine production 20-100 times. Electroacupuncture adds another three-fold increase in production of these natural pain killers. Acupuncture increases the levels of mood-elevating hormones such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine 30-50%.
How safe is acupuncture?
Acupuncture should never be administered without a proper veterinary medical diagnosis and an ongoing assessment of the patient’s condition by a licensed veterinarian. This is critical because acupuncture is capable of masking pain or other clinical signs and may delay proper veterinary medical diagnosis once treatment has begun. Elimination of pain may lead to increased activity on the part of the animal, thus delaying healing or causing the original condition to worsen.
In general, acupuncture can be effectively combined with most conventional and alternative therapies. Certified Veterinary Acupuncturists have comprehensive training, knowledge, and skill to understand the interactions between different forms of treatment and to interpret the patient’s response to therapy.
The American Veterinary Medical Association considers veterinary acupuncture a valid modality within the practice of veterinary medicine and surgery.
How can my pet benefit from acupuncture?
The success of the treatment will vary according to the condition being treated and the number and frequency of acupuncture treatments. The length and frequency of the treatments depend on the condition of the patient and the method of stimulation (dry needle, electroacupuncture, aquapuncture, etc.) that is used by the veterinary acupuncturist. A simple acute problem, such as a sprain, may require only one treatment, whereas more severe or chronic ailments may need several treatments. In some cases, we may recommend following up with your primary veterinarian for additional diagnostic testing or prescribe Western medications, keeping your pet’s health as a priority.
Is acupuncture painful?
For small animals, the insertion of acupuncture needles is virtually painless. The larger needles necessary for large animals may cause some pain as the needle passes through the skin. In all animals, once the needles are in place, there should be no pain. Most animals become very relaxed and may even become sleepy. Nevertheless, acupuncture treatment may cause some sensation, presumed to be those such as tingles, cramps, or numbness which can occur in humans and which may be uncomfortable to some animals.
Is acupuncture safe for animals?
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.