Acupuncture for Dogs

As a pivotal component of traditional Chinese medicine that originated more than 2,000 years ago, acupuncture is based on the theory that all living things have a “Qi”, or energy force, that circulates along invisible meridians of the body. Each of these meridians is believed to be tied to the various organ systems found within the body and can become blocked. When the blockage of the energies happens, illness and disease begin to develop. With acupuncture, different points of the meridians are stimulated using thin needles to clear those blockages and allow the body to heal itself as energy is restored.

While the process of acupuncture has found its place in Western medicine, the belief is that these meridian points are associated with points in the body that contain high concentrations of nerve endings that induce healing and alleviate pain when triggered. Regardless of what the individual belief of why acupuncture works may be, there is no denying the benefits this unique treatment option provides. Fortunately, these same benefits can be given to our furry friends through our dog acupuncture services.

As a leading provider of veterinary services in the Tulsa area, Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital is proud to provide acupuncture for dogs and other holistic treatment options to ensure our clients have the support needed to help their dog live a healthy and happy life. And, although acupuncture is not the right fit for all dogs, it can be a safe treatment option for ones that have a variety of health conditions including inflammation, arthritis, digestive problems and much more. To determine if your dog is a candidate for acupuncture or may benefit from the treatment, contact us today to schedule your initial appointment.

Dog Acupuncture

How Does Acupuncture for Dogs Work?

A pet dog is under treatment with acupuncture needles being inserted

As previously mentioned, acupuncture works by using small needles to stimulate certain areas of the dog’s body that have large collections of nerves. Once stimulated, these nerves begin working to increase blood circulation, release pain-relieving endorphins in the brain and decrease the frequency of muscle spasms that may be occurring. Although the thought of small needles being placed into your dog may seem like a scary prospect, the process is harmless, and your dog will be safe and comfortable throughout the acupuncture treatment.

Most acupuncture sessions for dogs will last anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on the unique needs of the dog that is receiving treatment. Flexible, thin needles are inserted in acupuncture and left for several minutes before they are removed. The insertion of acupuncture needles is minimally painful, and most patients do not react to their insertion. Most owners will be allowed to accompany their pet during the entire treatment, however if needles make you uncomfortable, you do not have to be present for their treatment.

Like any other treatment, the frequency of acupuncture required for dogs depends on the condition that the pet is facing. Most often, dogs will receive once weekly acupuncture sessions until the problem that required treatment is under control. After this, many pets can reduce their treatment frequency to once a month, or even less. The amount of time between treatments will be determined based on the pets response to treatment. Our goal is to maintain the quality of life for your dog and ensure the problem does not begin to worsen and the progress achieved is not lost.

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Is Acupuncture for Dogs Painful?

One of the most common questions that pet owners have when acupuncture is suggested for their dogs is whether the treatment will be painful for the animal. When the acupuncture needles is inserted, it can be painful. The needle though is even smaller than the needles used to give a routine injection. Most pet's do not experience a painful sensation, but occasionally when a needle is placed in a painful location, the pet can experience pain while the needle is inserted. In our experience, most dogs relax and enjoy the procedure once the needles are inserted and may even fall asleep naturally as the acupuncture is being performed.

The veterinary staff at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital has been professionally trained to not only accurately insert needles to elicit a healing response but ensure that your pet is comfortable and safe throughout the entirety of the process. The last thing you should be worried about when you visit a veterinary hospital is whether of your not your dog is receiving the care and compassion that you expect. Our team will work tirelessly to ensure they are as comfortable as possible throughout the acupuncture treatments.

A pet dog is under treatment with acupuncture needles being inserted

What Other Services Can My Dog Receive?

Dog given medication through iv

In addition to acupuncture services, Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital also provides comprehensive canine veterinary medicine services to ensure your dog’s health issues are diagnosed quickly, prevented when possible and treated quickly. To achieve this, our staff takes the time to listen to any concerns or questions that the dog owner may be facing and will use that information to make the best choices possible for the care needs of your dogs, even when it is a difficult situation. Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital can perform a wide array of procedures from preventative care to medical diagnosis or emergency surgery.

As a veterinary hospital, we can provide a wide range of health services for your dog no matter what age, breed or problems they may be facing.  If your dog needs a veterinary care or a specific treatment modality, Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital is the perfect partner to meet your needs. Contact us today or visit our Dog Services page for more information or to learn what is possible!

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What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture for Dogs?

Acupuncture in pets

While acupuncture for dogs will not cure every condition they may be facing, many great benefits can be obtained for specific problems that your dog may be facing. Although pain management is among the most common reason for dogs to begin acupuncture treatments, promising results have also been found for skin problems, respiratory problems or gastrointestinal problems. Working closely with your veterinarian to determine if your dog can benefit from acupuncture is crucial for maintaining a pain-free and happy life for your pet. Some of the common conditions that can be treated with acupuncture include:

  • Musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis, IVDD, traumatic nerve injury, lameness
  • Respiratory problems
  • Skin problems, such as allergic dermatitis and lick granulomas
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Reproductive disorders
  • Neurologic disorders, such as seizures, nerve paralysis, incontinence

Whenever acupuncture is suggested for your dog, one of the above issues will likely be the root cause of why. And, although acupuncture may be beneficial for a variety of other health issues not outlined here, your veterinarian may suggest it as a treatment option for other conditions. When acupuncture is used with other traditional methods of medicine for your dog, the combination has the potential to improve the quality of life for your dog and ensure they are comfortable as they age.

How Can You Schedule Acupuncture for Your Dog?

Any dog owner that needs to schedule acupuncture treatments for their dog for the first time will need to contact the team at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital. In many cases, we will require an initial consultation and examination to determine what problems your dog may be facing and then create the best care plan possible to meet the unique problems they are facing. Our veterinarian team strives to ensure your dog is treated like it was our own and will work tirelessly to ease any stress or fear that may be associated with their visit and recommended treatments.

Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital Hallway

Meet Our Doctors

Jennifer Patton


Dr. Patton’s decision to pursue veterinary medicine came after she realized that while education and teaching is her passion, it is not something she could do as a career. Veterinary medicine allowed her to combine her love of animals with her love of teaching.

After she graduated from Oklahoma State University with her Doctorate, she practiced in several high volume hospitals in the Tulsa area, developing medical skills with varied case loads and growing her leadership skills.


Allissa Huckabay


Dr. Huckabay’s love of science and animals naturally led her to a lifelong passion of veterinary medicine. She worked and volunteered at a local veterinary hospital before she furthered her education at Oklahoma State University, graduating in 2016 with her Doctorate.

Dr Huckabay immediately found her home at ACVH, where she is able to create a healthy bond with each of her patients as she experiences all stages of their care with their owners.


Phillip Adolph

Phillip Adolph, DVM is a graduate of Oklahoma State University Veterinary Health Sciences. He also attended OSU for his undergraduate studies where he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences in Agriculture through the College of Animal Sciences. Dr. Adolph was on the President’s Honor Roll and was a member of the OSU jazz orchestra. He joined the Advanced Care team immediately upon his graduation in 2019 after doing 6 weeks of externships during his 4th year of veterinary school.