Dr. DePaolo is absolutely passionate about using a complete health care program that treats the mental, emotional, and physical issues you experience with your horse. Acupuncture is absolutely essential to restoring optimum health and balance.  The use of acupuncture offers an additional approach to diagnostic and therapeutic dilemmas that may not have adequate answers based on conventional Western medicine. It also plays a valuable role as a preventative treatment.

Acupuncture increases the release of natural painkillers such as endorphins, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters.  There are several ways to stimulate the points including the use of dry needles, aquapuncture (usually an injection of Vitamin B12), moxabustion (adding heat using  an herb), electroacupuncture (stimulation using comfortable electrical pulses), hemoacupuncture (injecting the patients own blood), and laser stimulation. Horses relax during the procedure. Licking, chewing, yawning, and napping are all signs of pain relief and endorphin release.

Performance horses are prone to developing minor injuries that often go unnoticed. Eventually these build up and cause the horse to compensate by altering its way of moving and this makes it susceptible to more serious injury. Upon examination, acupuncture is used after an equine veterinary chiropractic treatment to catch these injuries at an early stage. By restoring normal blood supply and function to the muscles, they heal quickly and competition schedules are uninterrupted. Performance aquapuncture helps to relieve trigger points which can be a secondary issue that causes soreness and lactic acid build up. A unique approach using dry needle and moxibustion acupuncture can be used prior to a class for horses demonstrating nervousness in the show ring.

Acupuncture Treatments Address:

  1.   Musculoskeletal pain

  2.   Soreness and trigger points

  3.   Chronic back problems

  4.   Hock or stifle problems

  5.   Laminitis and Navicular

  6.   Endocrine disorders (Cushings, Hypothyroidism, Insulin Resistance)

  7.   Neurologic syndromes (Herpes, EPM, West Nile, vaccinosis)

  8.   Hormonal and reproductive conditions

  9.   Soft tissue injuries

  10.   Inflammation

  11.   Respiratory issues (Allergies, heaves, Herpes)

  12.   Compromised immune system

Equine Acupuncture Philosophy

Acupuncture as a health care treatment began over 3000 years ago in China, and is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) as a “valid modality” for treating horses. The treatment consists of inserting solid, fine, sterile, stainless steel needles into specific points of the body to prevent and treat disease. The procedure must be administered by a licensed veterinarian as it is considered surgery by the above associations and requires a thorough knowledge of veterinary anatomy and physiology.

Needles are placed into specific locations within the meridians in the body.  The points are chosen after palpation reveals increased or decreased reflexes and differences in tissue quality (firm, soft, yielding to pressure, tightening under pressure, cold, warm, etc.).  Acupuncture also recognizes syndromes, so if a group of body points are sore on palpation, a predictable anatomical area is involved and will be treated.

Acupuncture needles stimulate tiny nerve endings that carry impulses to the spinal cord and brain. This results in responses within the nervous and endocrine systems, leading to the release of neurotransmitters and hormones. These influence the function of the body tissues and organ systems. Because acupuncture balances the body’s own system of healing, complications rarely, if ever, develop. It is a means by which the body can heal itself.