Acupuncture has slowly and widely become more accepted into the world of veterinary treatments. It's not uncommon these days to see veterinarians and acupuncturist working together combining their treatments and medicines to aid our four-legged friends!
In addition, the FEI has ruled that acupuncture can be used on competition horses without breaking FEI rules. Studies have shown a reduction in anesthesia needed by 31% when acupuncture was used during animal surgery. Effectiveness has been studied and documented in clinical trials.
So what does this all mean to you and your horse? Well, let's look at some real down to earth examples of how you can experience the benefits of acupuncture.
1. Dollar savings.
Comparing Acupuncture to some more invasive and in most cases, more expensive treatments, the outcome of both are often very similar (dependant on treatment, e.g. old injury, recovery of muscle, etc.). Not only does it reduce pain but also treats the underlying cause of why the horse's hocks are getting sore in the first place.
2. Fewer anti-inflammatories.
This goes along with #1 in saving money too. Acupuncture is so effective at treating pain, anti-inflammatories are not needed. This is even better news considering the link between NSAIDS and ulcers and Corticosteroids and their many side effects.
3. Increases performance.
This could be just from allowing the horse to be more comfortable when performing. Think of the consequences of making a racehorse more comfortable during running. Just shaving a second off their race time can make the difference between 1st or last.
4. Less downtime.
Acupuncture is effective in quickening healing time in muscles, fascia, and bone. This has commonly been seen with suspensory injuries along with ultrasounds to validate.
Acupuncture treats both physical and emotional symptoms. But let's be realistic if your horse feels better he will act better. Chronic pain wreaks havoc, ask any horse or pet owner.
So with all that, here’s a short list of diseases that acupuncture has helped: