General FAQs

Photo: Equine Integrated Sports Medicine Service

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Q. What treatments are offered by the Equine Integrative Sports Medicine Service:
A. Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) and Chiropractic are offered at the VMTH’s Large Animal Clinic as an adjunctive clinical service to inpatients and outpatients. Horses may be examined at the clinic or at their local barn. Acupuncture, TCVM and Chiropractic can easily be integrated into conventional diagnostic and treatment modalities to optimize clinical outcome and performance, particularly in musculoskeletal conditions.

Q. What does an exam/treatment entail?
A. Dr. le Jeune will perform a thorough physical exam and go over the detailed history of the horse. She will palpate muscles for tension and scan the animal for pain along certain acupuncture points. Thereafter she will evaluate the horse for lameness and/or altered performance at all gaits, in hand and possibly under saddle. If an obvious lameness is identified, efforts will be made to identify the source of the lameness with diagnostic nerve blocks, followed by diagnostic imaging. If only a subtle gait abnormality or stiffness is noted Dr. le Jeune will proceed with a chiropractic examination and treatment, followed by acupuncture treatment, as needed.

Q. How long does an exam/treatment last?
A. Typically, each session will take between 20–60 minutes. If a full lameness exam is needed, this may require several hours, depending on the complexity of the lameness.

Q. How many treatments are needed?
A. The number of treatments depends on the nature, severity and duration of the problem. A single treatment may be enough for a very acute condition but generally 3–5 treatments are necessary to obtain results for chronic conditions. Some animals may need to be treated at regular intervals to prevent recurrence of degenerative conditions; this is particularly true for horses with back pain.

Q. How safe is acupuncture and chiropractic?
A. These are very safe medical procedures when performed by a qualified veterinarian. Very few negative side effects have been reported in clinical cases.

Q. Does acupuncture or chiropractic hurt?
A. Most animals tolerate this very well and progressively relax throughout the duration of the treatment. Typically, there is no need for sedation or heavy restraint.