Sunday, June 14, 2015

IVAS Basic Acupuncture Course, Richmond, VA

James River Greyhounds was invited to participate with demo dogs for the US Certification Course for the  IVAS, the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society which is being held this summer in Richmond at the Virginia Crossings Resort. Since Sammy has been sick with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, I volunteered him to be a case study. We were surrounded by the vets and gave Sammy's medical history. They asked many questions about his condition. They decided that he was Spleen Qi deficient and Yin deficient. So they started putting in the needles to treat these deficiencies. Since this was a learning session--this whole process took about 2 hours. He had the needles in for about 15 minutes total.
Sammy seemed more alert and energetic after the treatment. At the beginning of the treatment, he was laying on his side and very lethargic. His pulse rate also changed after the treatment.

They also gave me a moxa stick to take home. I'm supposed to burn the stick and pass it over these points where they stuck in the needles along his back and over his back knee caps.

They also suggested feeding him more cooling foods--duck, rabbit, white fish, yogurt, melon, carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin. No more bison or lamb. And the herbalist who was there prescribed some herb supplements for him. Liu Jun Zi Tang.

Now I have to find an veterinary acupuncturist close to my home to continue this treatment.

After we finished our acupuncture session, we moved to the lab room where the vets were doing palpitation labs to learn the acupuncture points.
Six dogs from James River Greyhounds participated in this session. The vets rotated through the stations; and sometimes the dogs would get fidgety and have to be traded out for another dog.
Here the Teaching Assistant is explaining on the skeleton how to find one of the points that was at the base of the neck, almost between the shoulder blades. Of course, she used much more technical terms than I am using here! I was so impressed with these vets. They had stacks of easily 100 index cards with acupuncture points on them--and they had to learn all those points to pass the certification exam.
And here is the end. Finding the last points at the back end and at the tip of the tail. All of the vets were so calm. I can see why this practice is so healing.

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG


  1. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through the patient's skin at specific points on the body - the needles are inserted to various depths.
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  2. We had acupuncture done on a couple of our guys, and it seemed to help. I think Stanley is signed up for the acupuncture class in the fall.

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  5. It is very informative post! Acupuncture originated in ancient China thousands of years ago and it is still used successfully today to treat medical conditions and to prevent sickness.
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  6. I enjoyed reading your blog as I am a veterinary nurse and have recently become interested in how alternative therapy's can help animals. This is a great story and I hope Sammy is doing well. I have been thinking of studying acupuncture as I think I could use it to help many of my patients.

    Shanell Custer @ Sage Health and Wellness