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Papers of the Week

2023 Jan

Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract



Acupuncture in Zoological Companion Animals.


Koh RB, Harrison TM
Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract. 2023 Jan; 26(1):257-280.
PMID: 36402485.


Over the past years, the concept of pain management in veterinary medicine has evolved and led to the establishment of a new concept of multimodal approach to pain management, as the current standard of care. The use of multimodal analgesia combining pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic techniques not only helps optimize the quality and efficacy of analgesia but also may prevent the development of chronic or persistent pain. During the past decade, acupuncture has become more popular and evolved into one of the most used forms of integrative medicine interventions and nonpharmacologic therapeutic options for pain management in humans and animals in North America and Europe. There is ample evidence from basic and clinical research for acupuncture is effective in the treatment of acute and chronic pain by influencing neural networks of the nervous system. While in the modern days' veterinary acupuncture has been predominantly used in horses and dogs, its popularity in zoologic companion animals (ZCA) has increased in recent years as an adjunct therapy for treating musculoskeletal, neurologic, and gastrointestinal disorders due to its minimal invasiveness and low risk of adverse events. The integrative use of acupuncture has become even more important with the increasingly limited use of opiates in veterinary medicine due to the opiate crisis. The purpose of this article aims to provide guidance for using acupuncture for pain management in ZCA in clinical practice, based on available information and recommendations from experienced veterinary acupuncturists.