Getting to the Point: Equine Acupuncture

Read about the existing science behind acupuncture and what you should know before scheduling an appointment for your horse.

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Getting to the Point: Equine Acupuncture
It's important to seek a qualified acupuncture practitioner, as manhy acupuncture points are located near joints and other important anatomical structures. | Photo: Alexandra Beckstett/The Horse

A review of the existing science behind equine acupuncture

With tightening sport horse competition drug regulations, increased scrutiny surrounding horse racing, and the general public’s desire to turn toward natural alternatives to medications, many veterinarians are seeing a rising demand for equine acupuncture. In the Western Hemisphere acupuncture has become an increasingly acceptable treatment modality. In fact, a 2017 survey of 423 horse owners in the U.K. found that 81% were willing to try a complementary or alternative form of veterinary medicine.1

Even if you are open to equine acupuncture, how much do you really know about this therapy? In this article we’ll explore the scientific basis of equine acupuncture, so you can come to your own informed decision about pursuing it to treat your horse’s ailments.

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Written by:

Jean-Yin Tan, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM-LAIM, is an equine internal medicine specialist and faculty member at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. She trained previously in New Jersey, Minnesota, and California and subsequently spent six years in private practice, including owning an equine specialty practice in New York State. Her interests include equine infectious disease and respiratory disease.

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