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Acupuncture for pets ‘on the rise’ May 23, 2009

Posted by MSW in Treatment.

A conference of veterinarians in Darwin has discussed alternative therapies in response to reports of growing demand for acupuncture and herbal treatments for pets. Several vets attending the Australian Veterinary Association conference in Darwin say demand is growing, with many vets now offering acupuncture, massage and natural plant based treatments instead of antibiotics. Twenty-five vets from the conference visited a naturopath to learn more about the therapies. The Australian Veterinary Association says they should be rigorously tested and registered to ensure they are safe for animals. The president of the Australian Veterinary Association Dr Mark Lawrie says conventional antibiotics are no longer effective on many animals. “It’s an adaptation, really, of bacteria over time, that [resistance] will occur,” he said. “We know there’s been a lot of good work done to see that there is rising levels of resistance in humans to multi-resistant strains of bacteria and we are seeing some evidence of that in animals.” But he says alternative therapies are not necessarily the answer to this problem. “I don’t think that’s a valid argument with that particular issue, in that it’s more the appropriate use of whatever drug that you use that’s the critical thing,” he said. “Any treatment of animals should be done by a veterinarian and any product that is used should be appropriately tested and registered.” He has urged pet owners to follow vets’ instructions to prevent the risk of antibiotic resistance.



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