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Princess Anne Veterinary Hospital

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a system that has been used to treat animals in China for thousands of years.


Traditional Chinese Medicine is a system that has been used to treat animals in China for thousands of years. The goal is to treat the entire pet rather than just the symptoms that the pet is currently displaying. The goal of treatment is to re-balance the body’s deficiencies and excesses that have accumulated. The best approach to treatment is often a combination of Western diagnostics and medication as well as acupuncture and Chinese herbs to get the best response.


Acupuncture uses small needles placed in certain areas on the body. The location of these needles are often along Meridians of the body, which will stimulate the body’s energy (Qi) flow. The acupuncture points on the skin surface travel deeper into the body, which will resolve the imbalances of the body. Besides needles on these points, other different modalities will also be used in certain instances. These include aquapunture and electroacupunture. Aquapunture is where a liquid is placed into the acupuncture point so that the point will be stimulated without the needle having to stay in place. Electroacupunture is electrical stimulation between points to boost the effect. An initial consultation with Dr. Butala is the first step. Prior to the consultation, we will have you fill out some information regarding your pet’s preferences and personality. During the consultation, both a Western and Chinese physical examination will occur. The Chinese examination looks specifically at pulses, tongue color, temperature, sensitivities along the body, and personality among others. Dr. Butala will review your pet’s history and what treatments have previously been done as well as your goals with therapy. Further diagnostics may be recommended as well as a treatment plan will be determined.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Will acupuncture hurt?

No. We often will see pets take a nap during the therapy sessions.

  • What can acupuncture treat?

All diseases have the ability to be treated with acupuncture. Chinese herbs are often added to treatments to facilitate a response.

  • How many treatments are needed?

This depends on what is being treated. Acute diseases can often be treated with a single treatment. Chronic problems often take 3-10 sessions, but this depends on the severity and duration of the disease. Some disease processes need long-term therapy, which we call tune up sessions.

  • How long is each treatment?

This also depends. Treatments can last anywhere from 20-60 minutes based on the disease as well as the previous response.

Please reach out with any other questions you may have regarding acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine!