Pet Acupuncture Alternative Medicine | Dr. Micki McCabe

In honor of National Holistic Pet Day, we’d like to get to the point about Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) at SAGE Centers.

Our alternative medicine department focuses on TCVM and offers veterinary acupuncture, Chinese herbal support and food energy therapy. By integrating TCVM and complementing it with a Western medicine foundation, patients are able to benefit from modern diagnostics as well as ancient holistic techniques, focusing on treating the whole body.

In 2008, veterinary acupuncture was introduced to SAGE’s list of specialties at the Concord hospital and patients are able to see Dr. Micki McCabe, a board certified internal medicine specialist who is also certified for acupuncture by the Chi Institute.

“I was drawn to it and decided to take a leap of faith,” said Dr. McCabe when asked about her decision to study veterinary acupuncture.

But what is veterinary acupuncture?

Veterinary acupuncture is defined as the insertion of needles into specific points (nerve bundles) in the body, generating a healing response by balancing the energy in your pet’s body. The needles induce the release of endorphins, causing blood vessels to expand, increasing oxygen and blood flow around the body, and ultimately relieving pain.

Acupuncture has been shown to be beneficial in treating and preventing many different conditions. While it is primarily used as a method of pain management, it can also be in the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Traumatic nerve damage
  • Asthma
  • Chemotherapy side effects (nausea and anorexia)
  • Neurological problems
  • Kidney or liver problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Reproductive problems­

Dr. McCabe believes in working with clients to determine whether alternative medicine is right for a particular patient, “There are patients who likely would have been euthanized if we hadn’t been able to manage their clinical picture.”

What will my pet feel?

Typically, acupuncture is virtually pain free for your pets but they might feel a slight sting if there is a knot at the needle insertion point. Once the session starts, most animals become quite relaxed and may even fall asleep during treatment. Patients in human acupuncture have documented feeling slight sensations as the needles enter the body so some animals may show a small amount of discomfort.

Length and frequency of treatments will vary from patient to patient and extra care will be taken to determine the best course of action for your pet. Unlike other medical treatments, there is a very low risk of side effects from properly performed acupuncture.