Veterinary Acupuncture


Veterinary acupuncture is a safe, minimally invasive treatment for pets. It is quick to perform and helps promote healing in dogs, cats, and other animals.

Riverside Veterinary Hospital is proud to offer pet acupuncture services in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Our very own Dr. Yufan Chao has acupuncture training from Chi University!

What Is Pet Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old aspect of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) that focuses on stimulating the body’s nerve centers, improving blood circulation, and releasing pain-relieving hormones. It is an alternative and complementary therapy for pets in situations where:

  • Your pet can’t take a certain medication.
  • Medication is not completely effective.
  • Your pet isn’t a good candidate for surgery or other medical treatment options.

How Does Pet Acupuncture Work?

To perform this treatment, a vet inserts thin, sterile needles into specific points on your pet’s body where nerves and blood vessels converge. The inserted needles guide energy, or “chi,” through your pet’s body and enhance blood circulation. They also stimulate the nervous system, helping to increase pain relief and reduce inflammation.

Acupuncture treatments typically last between 20 and 45 minutes. The number of treatments your pet will need depends on their condition. Some patients may see results immediately, while pets with chronic conditions may take three to four treatments to see a noticeable improvement.

Is Acupuncture Painful for My Pet?

Pets are safe and comfortable during acupuncture treatment. Most pets do not feel any pain from acupuncture because the needles are very fine. Many pets even fall asleep during treatment because of its relaxing effect. Most pets can also be treated without sedation.

What Are the Benefits of Pet Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the safest veterinary treatments available for pets and can help relieve your pet’s discomfort and increase healing. It improves blood flow and helps reduce waste in the body, making it easier for organs to function properly. Acupuncture also relaxes muscles where the needle is inserted and throughout the body for local and general pain relief.

Acupuncture is virtually pain-free and has very few side effects, making it an ideal treatment for many pets — especially seniors and those in poor health.

What Conditions Can Pet Acupuncture Treat?

Pet acupuncture can be an effective form of treatment for a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Back Pain
  • Gastrointestinal Issues
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Joint inflammation
  • Knee Pain
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Muscle Soreness
  • Neck Pain
  • Neurologic Problems
  • Skin Problems

Acupuncture may be a good fit for pets with many other conditions as well. Your vet will work with you to determine whether it’s a good option for your pet.

What Side Effects Might There Be?

Uncommonly, an acupuncture patient could experience a temporary worsening of the condition. However, most side effects are usually mild and even pleasant for pets. If your pet is experiencing a side effect that concerns you, please contact us!