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Equine Acupuncture

Grand Prix Equine is now offering acupuncture! 

Dr. Abell recently completed a rigorous course in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) at Chi University, and she’s very much enjoying incorporating all that TCVM has to offer in cases of sports medicine, geriatric care, internal medicine, and more! To schedule an acupuncture and/or chiropractic appointment with Dr. Abell, please leave a message with Kacey at 203-733-0789 ext 5 with your name, your horse’s name, and your horse’s boarding location. For boarding locations outside of Dr. Abell’s regular practice region (GPE Shoreline), we may require to schedule multiple horses at the barn or need to coordinate appointments in a similar region. 


What kind of sports medicine cases benefit from acupuncture?  

Everything! But especially, neck and back pain, sacroiliac and hip pain, and shoulder pain, as well as lameness in the foot, stifle, hocks, and more. 


What is involved in an acupuncture appointment?  

Dr. Abell will evaluate your horse with a static exam involving the acupuncture scan to assess for trigger points, tongue and pulse evaluation, and a brief motion exam depending on the case in order to establish a TCVM diagnosis and treatment plan. Treatment will involve dry needles as well as electroacupuncture and aqua-acupuncture depending on the case. Dr. Abell may also recommend herbal medication if she feels your horse would benefit from it. 


How can I prepare my horse for an acupuncture appointment?  

Dr. Abell may choose to needle anywhere from the tip of the ears to the back of the hind feet, so it’s important for your horse to be very well groomed with no visible dirt on them. It is okay if they are ridden earlier in the day, but they should be completely cooled down to receive the most accurate evaluation and treatment plan. 


What if my horse HATES needles? 

Acupuncture needles are very small, and most horses react more to the stimulating sensation than to the needle itself. You may be surprised to see your horse who hates their vaccine visit loves their acupuncture sessions. However, we do know some horses simply hate needles! Horses are very sensitive to acupuncture, and more sensitive personality types tend to require fewer needles for an equally potent treatment. Dr. Abell treats each case individually to determine the most therapeutic treatment, and this may mean focusing on fewer needles with electroacupuncture or aqua-acupuncture, and herbal medication. Of course, light sedation is an option if there is ever a safety concern.  


How often will my horse need acupuncture? 

General performance care responds well with acupuncture performed monthly during peak competition season and every 2-4 months as maintenance in the off-season. If we are treating a particular problem or source of lameness, Dr. Abell may recommend weekly or every other week treatments for 3-6 sessions, until a clear improvement is seen, then establishing a maintenance schedule that is conducive to the case as well as the owner’s budget.  

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