Acupuncture Now Offered at SPCA Florida

Book Your Pet’s Acupuncture Appointment Today at SPCA Florida

Dr. Pippin applying needles to Bella

Dr. Pippin applying acupuncture needles to Bella.

SPCA Florida is pleased to begin offering acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medicine that safely delivers a variety of benefits including pain relief, anti-inflammatory, immuno-regulation, helps address orthopedic issues and more. Dr. Kristi Pippin, one of SPCA Florida’s eight veterinarians, recently completed acupuncture training at the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, which is affiliated with the University of Florida.

Though new to SPCA Florida and the Western world, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) has been used to treat animals for thousands of years and is an extension of the practice used to treat people. There are four branches of veterinary Chinese Medicine: acupuncture, herbal medicine, food therapy, and Tui-na, which is chiropractic based. While she is currently only practicing acupuncture, Dr. Pippin intends to get certified in all areas. TCVM can help pets at all life stages and treat a variety of conditions including arthritis, degenerative joint disease, trauma, cancer, kidney and liver failure, pancreatitis, diabetes, and more.

The initial appointment lasts an hour and includes a discussion of goals and treatment plan. The next session is 15 to 30 minutes and involves placing sterilized needles in some of the 173 acupoints found in animals. Dr. Pippin begins with the calming points, which she says causes the pets to relax rather than walk around.

According to petmd.com acupuncture offers:

  1. Release of the body’s own pain relieving and anti-inflammatory substances.
  2. Relaxation of muscles at the site of needle insertion and more distant locations on the body creating both a local and generalized pain relieving effect.
  3. Improved tissue blood flow, oxygenation, and removal of metabolic wastes and toxins.

Additionally, unlike prescriptions, it lacks potential adverse side effects to internal organs like the liver and kidneys. Acupuncture can work with medications or supplements and not adversely interact. Oftentimes veterinarians will integrate western medicine and TCVM.

Acupuncture at SPCA Florida is $100 for the initial session, which includes a diagnostic exam and the first acupuncture session. Follow up session are $75. Because acupuncture isn’t an immediate fix and improvement may not be evident until around the third or forth sessions there are bundle packages available. Three sessions for  $210 or five sessions for $325 ($65 per session, save $10). The bundle pricing does not include the initial session. For more information or to find out if your pet could benefit from acupuncture, schedule your initial exam today, (863) 646-7722.

Improving Life Quality: Bella’s Testimony

Lauren Coleman, Bella and Dr. Kristi Pippin

Dr. Pippin performs electroacupuncture at two frequencies on Bella; one frequency helps with endorphin release, the other with serotonin release.

SPCA Florida Clinic Manager Lauren Coleman faced a difficult decision. Her 10-year-old Lab Mix’s quality of life was declining; Bella couldn’t stand on her own to use the bathroom. She had lost the use of her hind legs. Diagnosed with hip dysplasia at 3 years old, Bella has severe arthritis and takes anti-inflammatories, Tramadol and glucosamine supplements to manage her pain and inflammation. After just three sessions with Dr. Pippin, Lauren said she noticed a drastic improvement in Bella’s comfort and mobility; after the fourth session, they reduced Bella’s medicine.

“That is a major goal of acupuncture because we don’t want pets on medication for the rest of their lives because of the possible liver damage,” said Dr. Pippin.

During her recent bi-monthly session Bella was excited, wiggling and roaming around the room.

“She’s like a completely different dog,” said Lauren.