LSU Offers Large Animal Acupuncture

The Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Veterinary Medicine has announced that a donation from Donald and Sue Crow, of Shreveport, La., has allowed them to explore and begin offering integrative therapies–including acupuncture–for large animals.

Integrative veterinary medicine is a discipline that combines modern treatment regimens with traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (such as acupuncture, Tui-Na [a hands-on body treatment that uses Chinese Taoist and martial art principles to bring the body to balance], and nutritional or herbal supplements), chiropractic, and other holistic techniques. Integrative medicine is not intended to replace standard veterinary medical and surgical practices, but rather to integrate complementary methodologies into current treatment strategies to improve the lives of animals. Integrative techniques can be excellent preventive and supportive tools.

The LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital is now offering acupuncture in an attempt to help large animal patients with pain management, muscle re-education, and colic–especially colic involving dysfunction in gastrointestinal motility.

“Acupuncture is an accepted, integrative treatment that is paired with more traditional medicine to treat patients,” said Rebecca McConnico, DVM, PHD, Dipl. ACVIM, associate professor of veterinary medicine. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I’d noticed that clients are requesting it more frequently. I’ve seen it work, and there are clinical studies that support its efficacy.”

Acupuncture has become more widely accepted as an alternative therapy for horses. Learn more about the history of this ancient Eastern medical technique and its application to horses in Understanding Equine Acupuncture.

Since the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital began accepting acupuncture cases in July 2011, McConnico has provided acupuncture for 10 animals, including horses with anhidrosis (the inability to sweat), back pain, muscle atrophy, spinal ataxia, and a goat amputee with pain in a weight bearing leg.

For more information about LSU’s acupuncture program or to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian’s recommendation, call 225/578-9500.