The Best of Both Worlds for Wisconsin's Pets

Combining world-class traditional veterinary medicine with proven holistic approaches to provide the best care for pets

What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. It involves placing tiny needles at certain points along the body. In Chinese medicine, this is said to promote flow of “qi” or energy that is blocked by disease processes. Modern studies have shown that these points also stimulate nerves to reduce chronic pain, stimulate anti-inflammatory and endorphin receptors, and can also support immune function. Acupuncture supports the body’s ability to heal itself.

What does my pet’s Chinese diagnosis mean?
At your first appointment, Dr. Molly Hopp will provide a Chinese diagnosis for your pet, which is a combination of your pet’s personality, preferences, Western medicine diagnoses, and a few other factors. This can change throughout your pet’s course of illness or healing as well.

What conditions is acupuncture used for?
Acupuncture can be used as an adjunct to treatment of any condition, but is most highly recommended for the conditions listed here:

Chronic Pain Conditions

Arthritis, intervertebral disc disease, musculoskeletal disease or injury, chronic pancreatitis

Neurological Conditions

Intervertebral disc disease, weakness, paralysis, meningitis, seizures, anxiety, cognitive disorders


Associated pain, promotion of immune function, and increased quality of life

Post-Operative Healing

Especially effective for orthopedic recovery


What are side effects of acupuncture?
Side effects of acupuncture are very minimal. Sometimes, when an acupuncture point is stimulated, it produces an effect called “de qi”, or arrival of energy, which creates a sharp pain response. This treats chronic pain in a similar way to rubbing a sore, or itching a mosquito bite. The day after acupuncture is performed, you may notice that your pet is more relaxed, sleepy, or somewhat lethargic.

How can I tell if it is working?
Increased energy, mobility, appetite, and comfort and a reduction in clinical signs may also be noted. This may only be for a short period after the first treatment, but should be for increased amounts of time with each subsequent treatment. For some animals, and for some conditions, acupuncture may have minimal or no effect. A minimum of three treatments are recommended before deciding if it is right for your pet, as effects increase with each treatment.

How often should acupuncture be performed?
For chronic conditions, three initial treatments are receommended about two weeks apart each. For more acute conditions, the three initial treatments can be as frequent as twice per week. Following the initial three treatments, acupuncture can be performed as frequently as needed. Generally, treatments will be needed less frequently as time goes on.

What should I expect from my first appointment?
Your first appointment will be a bit longer (about 45 minutes) as the doctor gets to know your pet to make a Chinese diagnosis and make an acupuncture plan that best fits your pet. Electroacupuncture (using electrodes to conduct electricity between two points to increase mobility) or aquapuncture (injections of B12 for extra energy) may also be discussed. If your pet is in hospital for the initial appointment, a Chinese diagnosis and recommendations for a future course of acupuncture will be included with your discharge. Subsequent appointment will be about 20-30 minutes in length.

What costs are associated?
Initial packages of three appointments are $200. After your first appointment,  recommendations will be made as to the frequency of the following appointments. Appointments are $80 after the first three appointments. If you would like a one-time treatment while your pet is hospitalized, this is $40.

Our Integrative Medicine Specialist