Benefits of Acupuncture: Dry-needling with Electro-Acupuncture

I am very happy to introduce my guest author of today’s post, Christy Caplan.

Christy Caplan

As a Certified Vet Tech, longtime PR veteran and content marketing expert, Christy Caplan brings her unique understanding of social and digital media to connect dog lovers to brands both on and offline. She lives with three hounds – two Doxies and a Beagle/Basset Hound mix, who constantly teach her about life and companionship. Follow Christy at

acupuncture for dogs

Bruiser, my 12 year old Doxie, was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) when he was around five years old. After crate rest and an MRI, we started Acupuncture and haven’t looked back.

“It is known that IVDD, causes compression of the spinal cord and leads to weakness, pain and sometimes paralysis,” according to Sara Greenslit, DVM, CVA and author of “Back Problems” in the fall 2015 issue of BARK. “The center jelly of the vertebral disc, called the nucleus pulposus, degenerates, then ruptures and presses on the spinal cord.”

Bruiser was having issues after jumping off our couch and wouldn’t eat as a result. During his examination with our vet, he had a delayed response to a *foot flip* exercise. You lift each paw and place it on the ground “knuckled under.” His normal response should be to immediately lift the paw and replace it correctly, pads down. He had a delayed response with his back paws.  The neurologist recommended crate rest for three months and while this was difficult, it paid off. So we hoped that with crate rest and then Acupuncture treatments he would recover from IVDD.   

electro acupuncture machine for dogs

Acupuncture and Electro-acupuncture (EAP): What is EAP?

Dr. Becky Jester with Natural Healing Veterinary Acupuncture (NHVA), says acupuncture is a wonderful way to treat pain, simulate appetite, and treat nerve, organ, and many other conditions.  Basic massage and joint manipulations are incorporated in treatments to ease needle insertion and aid the body in regaining function.

I’ve learned from Dr. Jester that dogs receiving Acupuncture (dry-needling) combined with Electro-Acupuncture (EAP: Shown Above) have a lower pain score and respond quickly to treatments. There are JAVMA studies that also show this. Acupuncture reduces the inflammation and pain associated with specific areas of disc compression. EAP has been found to increase the body’s response to acupuncture.

In EAP, needles are connected by metal clips and these electro-impulses move between the clips and into the needles. Bruiser falls asleep and is clearly not bothered. Our sessions last anywhere between 30-45 minutes at a time and it’s low drama.  Dr. Jester says there is a vibrating sensation but it’s not painful.

Bruiser Christy Caplan2

When you look for a Holistic Veterinarian to practice Acupuncture on your dog, ask about their point of view on EAP as some will combine both therapies and others will not.











1 Comment

  1. FiveSibesMom

    Great information! I’m a great believer in acupuncture and alternative therapies. Thank you for your post!


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