Meet Dr. Natasa Milojkovic and Veterinary Acupuncture
This week instead of focusing on a specific pet or disease I would like to introduce you to Dr. Natasa Milojkovic, one of our veterinarian’s at Amherst Veterinary Hospital who is trained in veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic care.
Dr. “Natasa” joined our team at Amherst Veterinary Hospital this past Spring. She completed her degree in 1990 in what was then Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Deciding to leave the political instability that was brewing in the country during that time, Dr. Natasa immigrated to Canada in 1992, wrote and passed her Veterinary National Board Exams in 1995 and received her license to practice veterinary medicine in Canada.
In 2008, Dr. Natasa completed 210 hours of training in veterinary acupuncture through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS). She uses both her training and experience in western veterinary medicine and acupuncture to achieve the best results for her furred patients.
Acupuncture: What Is It?
Acupuncture is among the oldest medical procedure in recorded history. The original theories of traditional Chinese medicine form the basis of acupuncture; needling certain spots on the body regulates the flow of “Qi” or energy (pronounced “chi”), which flow through and nourished the tissues and organs.
What Animals are treated with Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is used in all species; horses and cattle have been treated with acupuncture in China and Korea since ancient times. Dogs, horses and cats receive acupuncture for many common ailments, and animal athletes are frequently treated for sports injuries.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
In traditional Chinese medicine, “Qi” runs through channels called meridians. These channels can become blocked and needling releases the obstruction. In modern scientific terms, needling specific points leads to the release of chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord and brain. These chemical mediators can change the perception of pain and lead to release of other chemical mediators that influence organ function. This improved “chemical communication” stimulates healing. There are many approaches to treatment, but veterinarians are the only acupuncture professionals trained to understand both the traditional Chinese as well as the scientific aspects of acupuncture therapy in animals. They are also the only ones licensed to diagnose and treat medical ailments in animals.
What Will Happen During Acupuncture Treatments?
Acupuncture treatments are usually well tolerated by our pets and most become more relaxed during the treatment. Acupuncture needles are very thin, solid, sterile needles. Needle insertion is usually not painful although certain points can be sensitive. Multiple acupuncture needles will be placed depending on the treatment area and goal. Some pets will become very quiet and even fall asleep during a treatment. Treatment time varies depending on the pet and condition being treated, but we generally allot 40 to 60 minutes for the appointment.
Acupuncture effects are cumulative so several treatments are usually necessary for chronic medical conditions, then tapered down as needed for maintenance. Acute conditions usually require fewer treatments.
What Can Acupuncture Treat?
Musculo-skeletal diseases such as arthritis and back and neck pain are commonly treated with acupuncture. Certain gastrointestinal, respiratory, urinary, skin, neurologic and behaviour issues can also benefit from acupuncture. In cancer patients, acupuncture can be effective in helping to alleviate pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and inappetance.
What Kind of Results Can I Expect?
Results will vary from patient to patient, however, by and large our pets will benefit from this unique therapy and quality of life enhanced. We are excited to have a veterinarian who is qualified to bring this service to your beloved pets. A few points you should be aware of are listed below.
-It can take as many as 4-5 sessions to see a response
-Some patients are very sensitive to the effects of acupuncture and become quite sleepy afterwards. This is temporary, but if you notice this following a treatment, let Dr. Natasa know so she can make necessary adjustments for the next treatment.
-If you think your pet may benefit from veterinary acupuncture please contact Amherst Veterinary Hospital and we will gladly set up a consultation appointment for you with Dr. Natasa. We are excited to have her on board providing a different modality that can help us improve the quality of life for your pet.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog about veterinary chiropractics. We are happy to announce that as of March 2016, Dr. Natasa is certified in veterinary chiropractic care. She is one highly trained vet!
Dr. Loretta Yuen D.V.M