VCA Gateway Animal Hospital

Is this your veterinarian?

2006 S. Barney Road
Anderson, CA 96007

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(530) 365-4521


Chinese Acupuncture, Herbology and Therapeutic Laser

Chinese Acupuncture and Herbology have been used for thousands of years in the Eastern countries.  When combined with diet, life style and breathing exercises it forms a complete medical system that has been amazingly effective even from our western point of view.  When one combines the ancient art of Chinese medicine with the western world of high tech diagnostics and medicines, one is presented with a very large "tool box" with which to diagnose and treat.  The diagnostics used in Chinese medicine sound very strange to the Western mind.  Without all the scientific knowledge we have now, they designed a very thorough system of observation of a patient, and then compared what they saw to things in nature that they understood.  For a very simple example, if someone has a fever, the diagnosis would be "Heat", which clearly leads one to a treatment recommendation of "Cool".  That might be cold packs, or herbs that help a patient to sweat out the fever, thereby cooling them down.  Another example might be an itchy dog with dry skin.  If the condition is "dry", one would "moisten" by adding dietary or herbal supplements to soften the skin.  These of course are simple examples, and most medical conditions are more complex, but it shows the thought processes one might use.  Acupuncture is one branch of Chinese medicine that many people have personal experience with. While often used in the West primarily for pain control, and geriatric care, it really has a much broader range of therapy options.  Acupuncture works in several ways.  Each of the acupuncture points is defined by a tight bundle of small blood vessels, chemotactic cells (cells that can either release a chemical into the blood, or respond to chemicals in the blood to affect the body) and small nerve endings.  By stimulating these points we can increase blood flow to an area, thereby helping an injury to heal, or suppress pain sensations, or even cause chemical changes that may affect an entirely distant body part.  Some points can be used to stimulate the immune system, others to affect gastrointestinal motility, others still can stimulate hormone release, or cause calming.  While acupuncture is not a panacea, it is something to keep in mind, especially if a pet  is not responding well to other therapies.  For animals that are intolerant of needles, we now also have a laser available, which can stimulate acupuncture points under the skin without having to puncture the skin or cause any discomfort to our more sensitive patients.  The therapeutic laser also offers us a whole new range of treatment options for things such as non healing wounds, skin lesions, and soft tissue trauma.  By increasing blood flow, much in the same way that acupuncture does, it an optimize tissue healing and regeneration.  In cases of generalized pain in multiple joints, the laser can be used for a comfortable and time efficient means of providing pain relief.  Dr. Betsy Adamson, DVM, CVA