The Eastern practice of acupuncture as an alternative form of veterinary treatment has made its way to American shores — and it is growing in popularity at a rapid rate, according to a May 5 Slate article. Many American veterinary schools now offer animal acupuncture courses, and there are approximately 4,000 veterinarians across the country who are qualified to stick needles in your pet in exchange for money.
However, expert opinions on whether veterinary acupuncture is actually an effective form of treatment are highly conflicted. Most of the scientific studies intending to prove the effectiveness of this practice so far have been unreliable — according to Slate, four out of every five studies on animal acupuncture are unreliable; the fifth usually disproves the idea that acupuncture can heal an animal.
The Slate article goes on to say that many proponents of veterinary acupuncture tend to cherry-pick from studies, only using those that “prove” the validity of this treatment as supporting evidence.
As a pet owner, you’re responsible for your pet’s quality of life. By rejecting traditional Western veterinary medicine that has been scientifically proven to help your pet recover from whatever ailments or injuries he or she may have, you are putting your pet at risk for further unnecessary
“Animal acupuncture perpetuates a fraud,” David Ramey, an equine veterinarian who contributed to the American Veterinary Medicine Association’s guidelines on complementary and alternative therapies, told Slate. “It also dumbs down the practice of veterinary medicine and allows people to promote their nonsense at the expense of others.”