Acupuncture services are now available at University of Pennsylvania's College of Veterinary Medicine's (Penn Vet) New Bolton Center, the the large animal hospital announced Aug. 28.
Acupuncture can be used on all species treated at New Bolton Center, although it is most commonly used in horses. The service can be helpful in treating back pain, laminitis, nerve problems, reproductive problems, and many other medical conditions.
Dr. Michelle Harris, an emergency and critical care specialist, completed acupuncture training at the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine in Florida and will perform acupuncture services at the hospital.
"Many clients of New Bolton Center are familiar with acupuncture and want to try different treatments for their hospitalized animals," said Dr. Corinne Sweeney, associate dean of New Bolton Center. "We are excited to offer this new service."
For the past three years, Dr. Meagan Smith has offered acupuncture to New Bolton Center's equine field service clients through her medical practice. Dr. Liz Arbittier, who joined the field service last month, adds to the team's ability to offer acupuncture. Smith and Arbittier also were trained at the Chi Institute.
At New Bolton Center, acupuncture is not used to cure a disease or replace Western treatment, but to provide additional therapy that can ease pain and improve the animal's quality of life. In some cases, acupuncture can decrease the need for certain medications.
"Acupuncture is especially useful for pain management, to help get the horse through the worst of times," Smith said. "It can be a great adjunct to any therapy to increase comfort and lessen recovery time."
Acupuncture dates back thousands of years in China. The techniques used on animals are similar to those used on humans. New Bolton Center will offer dry needle therapy, aquapuncture, electroacupuncture, and moxabustion.
Originally published on BloodHorse.com.
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