Integrative Medicine

Integrative veterinary medicine is a holistic approach to animal healing that combines the best of conventional veterinary medicine with complementary and alternative therapies. Acupuncture, nutrition and herbal remedies are just some of the common and effective treatment modalities that are utilized in veterinary as well as human medicine. Our approach at Crown Veterinary Specialists is to treat the whole animal, and all procedures and services are practiced by or in conjunction with veterinarians and veterinary specialists.


Acupuncture is an effective modern modality that has been used in veterinary practice in China for thousands of years. Its techniques have been developed and refined through centuries of practice, science and research.  Nowadays, acupuncture is recognized as a safe and effective form of medicine when practiced by a certified veterinary acupuncturist.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles into specific points (acupuncture points) along invisible pathways called meridians on the body to produce a desired healing effect. In addition to treating a variety of ailments, acupuncture can also be used as preventative medicine. Acupuncture points are usually stimulated by using solid acupuncture needles, but acupuncture can also be performed using a therapeutic laser for the patient sensitive to needle insertion.

Acupuncture is only one part of Traditional Chinese Medicine which also encompasses the use of herbal medicines, food therapy, gold bead implantation and therapeutic massage and manipulation (called Tui Na).

Commonly treated conditions:

  • Functional problems including those that involve paralysis and inflammation (such as allergies)
  • Pain management
  • Musculoskeletal pain from any cause such as arthritis, disc disease, tendon and ligament problems, head tilt due to vestibulitis,  cancer pain
  • Musculoskeletal degenerative diseases such as: Degenerative Myelopathy and Wobblers syndrome
  • Skin problems such as acral lick granuloma, atopic dermatitis and allergies.
  • Respiratory problems such as asthma, chronic sinusitis, and dyspnea from many causes.
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, constipation, or inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Reproductive problems
  • Kidney or Liver disease
  • Behavioral issues
  • Adjunctive therapy for neurological disease

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can assist the body in healing itself by affecting certain physiological changes.  Acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasms, cause the release of the body’s regulating substances such as: hormones, endorphins (one of the body’s pain control chemicals), cortisol (a natural steroid), stem cells, and helps to balance neurotransmitters.  While medication can cause side effects, there are no major side effects associated with acupuncture. Acupuncture’s greatest success is in treating muscular and skeletal disorders, hip dysplasia, arthritis, and back disorders.

What to Expect

Acupuncture treatments typically take 10 to 30 minutes per session.

Weekly treatments are generally prescribed, but can be safely be performed daily for severe conditions such as acute paralysis that can result from disk disease.

Acupuncture treatments are continuous until maintenance is achieved; for example, when the patient is no longer experiencing pain and has regained complete function.  Achieving complete function usually takes six treatments.

For cancer pain, treatments may be ongoing for as long as the patient requires acupuncture’s analgesic and anti-nausea effects.