Dr. Kim Pang provides a veterinary acupuncture house call service for pets in Orange County, California. She is certified by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and has been practicing acupuncture since 2006. A typical visit would involve a Western and Traditional Chinese physical exam and if indicated, treatment with Traditional Chinese Medicine. Her practice is limited to small animals.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a medical system that has been used to treat animals in China for thousands of years. There are five branches of TCM:
What conditions benefit from acupuncture?
Veterinary acupuncture is commonly sought for pain relief from conditions such as arthritis and disc disease. It also can be indicated for managing respiratory diseases (feline asthma, collapsed trachea), digestive problems (chronic diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease), chronic skin problems, metabolic diseases (Cushing’s disease, kidney failure, over/under active thyroid glands) and selected reproductive disorders. Acupuncture can also help with nausea and anorexia in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.
What if my pet doesn't like needles?
Not all patients will tolerate acupuncture or they may be very sensitive in certain parts of their body. On occasion, Low Level Photon Therapy can be used (see picture at bottom of page). This is NOT the same as laser therapy which I do not offer. As an alternative, Tui Na can be performed on the pet and owners will be taught simple techniques to work on their pets. There are also certain disease conditions that may benefit from Chinese herbs which can be prescribed at the time of the visit.
Why should I consider acupuncture and for that matter, a house call service for my pet?
Some animals may not tolerate the medication that has been prescribed for their condition. As with many prescription medications, the patients need to be monitored with regular check-ups or blood tests. Some of these patients may be debilitated or have a difficult time with the visit at the clinic. Their owners may even need to make special arrangements for transportation. Then, there are other patients who become extremely stressed when removed from their home environment. Acupuncture, on the other hand, has little to no side effects. Furthermore, with a house call, the patient can be examined and treated in the comfort of their home surroundings. This lowers the stress levels of both pet and owner.
Are the treatments painful?
For small animals, the insertion of acupuncture needles is virtually painless, except for an occasional sensitive point which the patient may react to upon insertion. Once the needles are in place, there should be no discomfort. People who have received acupuncture treatments, report a sensation of heaviness along with contraction of local muscle. Most animals become very relaxed and some even become sleepy.
What should I expect after treatment?
Acupuncture is very safe for animals when it is administered by a properly trained veterinarian. The side effects of acupuncture are very rare but do exist. An animal’s condition may seem worse for up to 48 hours after treatment. Others may act sleepy or lethargic for a day after acupuncture. These effects indicate that some physiological changes are taking place. This is most often followed by an improvement in the animal’s condition.
How often should my pet receive acupuncture treatments?
The frequency of the treatments depends on the nature, severity and duration of the disease. A patient with an acute condition may only need a few sessions while another who has a chronic problem may require 7-10 treatments. On average, an animal may need several weekly to bi-monthly sessions before tapering to monthly or quarterly sessions. Just as no two patients are alike, the same can be said for their treatment protocols.
Are there any contraindications for acupuncture?
The following indications are contraindicated: fractures, pregnancy, open wounds and infectious diseases.
What days of the week can I make an appointment?
Appointments are available from Monday through Friday.
I live outside of Orange County. Where can I find an acupuncture service that provides housecalls?
You can look up www.aava.org or www.chiu.edu to search for a veterinary acupuncturist in your area.
What do I need to do in preparation for the session?
If they are available, please have copies of your pet's medical records, blood tests and/or x-ray films available for review at the first appointment. Owners can also download both the New Client and Medical History forms under the Forms tab and complete them prior to the first visit. For extra comfort, owners can lay down a blanket or a dog/cat bed in a quiet area of the house where there is minimal distraction. Smaller breed tend to do better when treatment is performed on a countertop or table.
How long do these sessions last?
The initial session is about ninety minutes to two hours long. The follow-up sessions generally last about forty-five minutes to an hour.
How much are the sessions?
The initial session is $250. This includes the consultation, exam, acupuncture treatment and or Tui Na). Follow-up sessions are $150. This practice is based in Irvine and travel charges may apply. Payment is due at the time of the visit. Herbal formulas are sold separately. I accept cash, credit card (Visa, Mastercard and Discover only), Venmo or Zelle.