How Often and How Long?
How often we need to do acupuncture, and how long we need to continue with treatments, is entirely dependent on the condition itself. Acute conditions, like a muscle strain or upset stomach, may only required 1 to 3 treatments. Chronic conditions often require weekly or biweekly treatments for several months. Chronic, more permanent conditions like arthritis require ongoing care.
Reduce to Best Interval: My goal is always to “put myself out of business.” As soon as I can, I reduce the frequency of treatment and then try to continue to decrease to the longest span between treatments that keeps the pet comfortable or continues the healing process. Most arthritis patients get to every 3-4 weeks between treatments and most chronic metabolic animals (liver, kidneys) need every 4-6 weeks once they are controlled. Every animal is different and often there is more than one problem to address.
End Point: In specific conditions with specific goals, our stopping point is usually clear. For example a dog who has acupuncture after knee surgery usually only needs treatment for the first 2-4 months after surgery. Once he is moving comfortably again, then acupuncture is likely no longer needed. In more chronic conditions, treatment is ongoing at the interval that keeps the pet comfortable and helps the reduce side effects of medications.