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(BBC-US)   Would you try acupuncture on your pet? With helpful picture of sliiiighly skeptical cat   ( bbc.com) divider line
    More: Unlikely, Pain, Medicine, International Veterinary Acupuncture, chronic pain ailments, traditional veterinary care, ancient Chinese therapy, chronically ill animals, pain relief  
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1411 clicks; posted to Geek » on 23 Aug 2017 at 6:29 AM (16 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



40 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-08-23 05:13:27 AM  
My dog doesn't need any snake oil, he can catch'em fresh.
 
2017-08-23 05:46:10 AM  
since acupuncture is 100% placebo effect, no, your pet won't benefit from being stuck by needles.
 
2017-08-23 06:11:56 AM  

Munden: since acupuncture is 100% placebo effect, no, your pet won't benefit from being stuck by needles.


Well, the way acupuncture is blind-tested for placebo in people is because acupuncturists claim that the needles have to be placed in certain points to provide benefit. So blind testing of "real" acupuncture for placebo in people involves putting the needles in those points versus just random points that, according to the theory, shouldn't focus the qi or whatever it's supposed to do. And in people, sticking needles in random points is as effective as "real" acupuncture.

As for pets, I have no idea how placebo works on them, but I'm pretty sure this line in TFA nails it:

Critics maintain that the improvements owners see are a transfer of a "placebo effect" to the observer.

A pet owner who sees their pet get treatment is likely to think that the treatment has had some effect.

Particularly if they've paid for it.

/Apologies for rambling, first cup of covfefe hasn't taken hold yet.
 
2017-08-23 06:39:53 AM  
I get my boy acupuncture every now and again. The first acupuncturist we had was a DV and spent most of his time working with racehorses. The owners of horses pay a decent amount for the service, I'd like to think they're basing it on results.

Admittedly, my boy has bad hips and I will do anything to make him or me feel better about that. But regardless of the effectiveness of the actual acupuncture, this DV showed me multiple pressure points to massage regularly and I *know* he loves it. He will press up next to my hands now in spots and ask for it. Same places that would get the needles.
 
2017-08-23 07:28:59 AM  
i.imgur.comView Full Size

Likes acupuncture
 
2017-08-23 07:41:39 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size


Cactus cat is watching you perforate.
 
2017-08-23 07:50:24 AM  
I'm gonna wait until Gwyneth Paltrow weighs in on this.
 
2017-08-23 08:10:40 AM  
We had a Doxie with pretty serious back problems over the years and his regular acupuncture sessions were very helpful and would allow him to walk much better if there was a flare-up.  The difference between Oscar's walking pre-session and post-session was dramatic enough to strongly suggest to us that it was helping.


img.fark.netView Full Size
/had to say goodbye to the old man in June
//he was a good dog
///
 
2017-08-23 08:11:23 AM  
Yes, poke your cat with sharp objects.  See if they don't return the favor.
 
2017-08-23 08:11:54 AM  
Unless I've been misinformed acupuncture is almost entirely if not entirely bullshiat so no I wouldn't.
 
2017-08-23 08:18:37 AM  
My wife performs acupuncture ( and as a scientist I am a skeptic), and she has done some horse and small animal acupuncture... then a trusted friend of mine published " Electroacupuncture Promotes CNS‐Dependent
Release of Mesenchymal Stem Cells " I don't have a link to access it, but maybe..... just maybe.....

S
 
2017-08-23 08:23:19 AM  
I reckon if I tried acupuncture on the cats they'd promptly try acupuncture on me.
 
2017-08-23 08:30:14 AM  
What a sliiiighly skeptical cat might look like:

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-08-23 08:30:49 AM  

sukotto: My wife performs acupuncture ( and as a scientist I am a skeptic), and she has done some horse and small animal acupuncture... then a trusted friend of mine published " Electroacupuncture Promotes CNS‐Dependent
Release of Mesenchymal Stem Cells " I don't have a link to access it, but maybe..... just maybe.....

S


Electroacupuncture ain't acupuncture. Electrical stimulation is what's actually working (if anything) -- no need for unsanitary needling.
 
2017-08-23 08:46:08 AM  
Electroacupuncture ain't acupuncture. Electrical stimulation is what's actually working (if anything) -- no need for unsanitary needling.

I did say maybe... if my wife sees my posts I'm in for a dry month...... come on.... help a brother out.

/Im as white as can be.
// not sure why I used "brother"
/// Im assured slashies come in threes and I've probably used the wrong ones....
 
2017-08-23 08:47:18 AM  
Catupuncture? They do it all the time.
lh3.googleusercontent.comView Full Size
 
2017-08-23 08:58:56 AM  
pics.onsizzle.comView Full Size
 
2017-08-23 09:05:24 AM  

wildcardjack: [pics.onsizzle.com image 500x840]


I hope that's a joke because otherwise....

Do you want a blind cat because that's how you get a blind cat.*

*unless it dies of heart problems first
 
2017-08-23 09:13:59 AM  

GuyFawkes: We had a Doxie with pretty serious back problems over the years and his regular acupuncture sessions were very helpful and would allow him to walk much better if there was a flare-up.  The difference between Oscar's walking pre-session and post-session was dramatic enough to strongly suggest to us that it was helping.


[img.fark.net image 850x637]/had to say goodbye to the old man in June
//he was a good dog
///

Sorry about your loss. We have an older pomapoo with a bad back as well and I was completely skeptical about acupuncture but it sure did work on the old girl and we do it regularly as the results are great.
 
2017-08-23 09:28:50 AM  

SLOBODAN: GuyFawkes: We had a Doxie with pretty serious back problems over the years and his regular acupuncture sessions were very helpful and would allow him to walk much better if there was a flare-up.  The difference between Oscar's walking pre-session and post-session was dramatic enough to strongly suggest to us that it was helping.


[img.fark.net image 850x637]/had to say goodbye to the old man in June
//he was a good dog
///
Sorry about your loss. We have an older pomapoo with a bad back as well and I was completely skeptical about acupuncture but it sure did work on the old girl and we do it regularly as the results are great.


Thank you.  He was around 15-16 (a rescue, so we could never be sure) and always a happy dog, even though he was totally blind near the end.  The strange part is that he seemed to know it was the end in the last few days.  Never in pain, he just stopped eating (which he NEVER did before no matter what was happening) and slept all the time.

I have no idea if acupuncture works for humans but Oscar would barely be able to move without pain occasionally, then right after a session (and for quite a while afterwards) he was able to walk around, was much more flexible (for an old Doxie anyway) and seemed happier.
 
2017-08-23 09:41:16 AM  

GuyFawkes: I have no idea if acupuncture works for humans but Oscar would barely be able to move without pain occasionally, then right after a session (and for quite a while afterwards) he was able to walk around, was much more flexible (for an old Doxie anyway) and seemed happier.


But what makes you think it was the acupuncture that did it?  All testing shows it's 100% placebo, and the claimed methods of action are entirely mystical woo bullshiat.  Could have just as well been the change in routine, the other handling/massage that typically goes with the needle elements, etc.  It's highly likely you could have gotten the same effect with a regular stretching and rub-downs.

Very sorry for your loss.  It's always hard to lose a pet.  We've got a 10 year old cat with cancer who's been responding very well to treatment for the last year.  However, we know the goodbye will be swift eventually when things (inevitably) turn.
 
2017-08-23 09:44:34 AM  

Khellendros: GuyFawkes: I have no idea if acupuncture works for humans but Oscar would barely be able to move without pain occasionally, then right after a session (and for quite a while afterwards) he was able to walk around, was much more flexible (for an old Doxie anyway) and seemed happier.

But what makes you think it was the acupuncture that did it?  All testing shows it's 100% placebo, and the claimed methods of action are entirely mystical woo bullshiat.  Could have just as well been the change in routine, the other handling/massage that typically goes with the needle elements, etc.  It's highly likely you could have gotten the same effect with a regular stretching and rub-downs.

Very sorry for your loss.  It's always hard to lose a pet.  We've got a 10 year old cat with cancer who's been responding very well to treatment for the last year.  However, we know the goodbye will be swift eventually when things (inevitably) turn.


Honestly I don't care.  Our doggo was hurting, we brought him to a place and exchanged god only knows how much money in exchange for a flexible, no-longer-in-pain dog.  That's all that mattered to us then and now.  Could you be right?  Sure.  Would I do it again with our next dog if I felt it would help? You bet.
 
2017-08-23 09:46:56 AM  

sukotto: Electroacupuncture ain't acupuncture. Electrical stimulation is what's actually working (if anything) -- no need for unsanitary needling.

I did say maybe... if my wife sees my posts I'm in for a dry month...... come on.... help a brother out.

/Im as white as can be.
// not sure why I used "brother"
/// Im assured slashies come in threes and I've probably used the wrong ones....


Paper's available for free here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/stem.2613/full
On my quick read: as a reviewer I would have torn it to shreds... My hackles were raised because electroacupuncture is a classic altmed bait-and-switch--it has some effects so the practitioners bend over backwards to promote the acupuncture part while ignoring the electro part. You can see it in the article with its extensive handwaving about how acupuncture "works" but ignoring the fact that if you run current across electrodes in the body you can change physiology. Researchers have been studying electrical stimlation for nerve regeneration without all the qi mumbo-jumbo for decades! https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26359343 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24093609

/That said, I hate to cockblock a brother...
\\It's just rude
/\/Does it count as three if I mix 'em?
 
2017-08-23 10:18:25 AM  

GuyFawkes: We had a Doxie with pretty serious back problems over the years and his regular acupuncture sessions were very helpful and would allow him to walk much better if there was a flare-up.  The difference between Oscar's walking pre-session and post-session was dramatic enough to strongly suggest to us that it was helping.


[img.fark.net image 850x637]/had to say goodbye to the old man in June
//he was a good dog
///


I've seen exactly the same thing in a 16 year old dalmatian. She'd have to be carried in, would run out like a puppy. There's no placebo effect for a dog but I can't explain it. It's certainly not because she was "glad" to be done with it. The benefit would last for a few days.
 
2017-08-23 10:21:50 AM  
Acupuncture is bunk, pure and simple. This is a pretty good summary of the consensus within the scientific and medical community:

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/reference/acupuncture/

When a subject feels better after undergoing acupuncture, or homeopathy, or any psuedoscientific intervention, it is a manifestation of regression to the mean. A person who has, for example a chronic pain or other illnesses will often have good days when symptoms are less severe and bad days when symptoms are particularly bad. If you have some sort of intervention and then feel 'better' a day or two later, it is regression to the mean. Similarly for episodic conditions like colds or flu. You take a homeopathic rememdy and HUZZAH! you feel better in  a couple of days. Must be the intervention. Conditions that are susceptible to subjectivity, for example 'pain' or 'stress' or 'fatigue' are especially vulnerable to this. You feel tired, go for an acupuncture session or whatever and leave feeling more energetic. You have had some attention and, regardless of what actually took place physiologically, gauge your tiredness using your subjective sense. No actual objective measurement is done so it is a case of self-reporting. You want it to work, you don't want the practitioner to be ineffective (you chose him/her-you can't be wrong-you 'feel better')-this is called confirmation bias.
None of these pseudoscientific treatments have ever demonstrated an actual mode of action. Additionally, when these bogus treatments are used to treat things like cancer or AIDS or any number of diseases where we can actually measure physiological parameters  (e.g. circulating tumor cells or viral load) these parameters do not significantly change. The patient may feel 'better' but nothing has really happened at a cellular or molecular level.

More on regression to the mean:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6369471

http://www.dcscience.net/2015/12/11/placebo-effects-are-weak-regressi​o​n-to-the-mean-is-the-main-reason-ineffective-treatments-appear-to-work​/

One last thing. I am glad that those of you who have had apparent relief from using woo, good on ya. The problem is when such nonsense is used to treat serious conditions while eschewing actual medical treatment that while not perfect at least has some validity.
 
2017-08-23 10:57:25 AM  
Acupuncture, like chiropractic adjustments, may provide temporary relief. But nothing is cured, no chis are aligned, no quantums are fluxed, there is no science or even magic to the pressure points. It's just touching. And since it's temporary, the practitioners get the added benefit of repeat paid visits.
 
2017-08-23 12:17:08 PM  

wildcardjack: [pics.onsizzle.com image 500x840]


The cat on the can looks like it's about to throw up.
 
2017-08-23 12:25:50 PM  
Hell no!  Crystals and essential oils are far more ineffective.
 
2017-08-23 12:38:24 PM  
Next up:  Pet Yoga!
 
2017-08-23 01:39:17 PM  
Placebo effect is real. Why not harness it? If acupuncture, which certainly is pure placebo effect, causes a reduction in pain, why not do it?

I'd rather get pain relief from a placebo than some medication with assorted side effects.
 
2017-08-23 02:13:09 PM  

10up: I get my boy acupuncture every now and again. The first acupuncturist we had was a DV and spent most of his time working with racehorses. The owners of horses pay a decent amount for the service, I'd like to think they're basing it on results.

Admittedly, my boy has bad hips and I will do anything to make him or me feel better about that. But regardless of the effectiveness of the actual acupuncture, this DV showed me multiple pressure points to massage regularly and I *know* he loves it. He will press up next to my hands now in spots and ask for it. Same places that would get the needles.


So I fired my last vet for trying to sell me accupuncture - because it is not anything more than placebo.

Horses, for example do not have a gall bladder, yet they have been given a "gall bladder meridian".

Why - because meridians are imaginary.
 
2017-08-23 02:18:26 PM  
If your pet likes being handled and fawned over and paid attention-to, then it may well like (and appear to benefit from) acupuncture.
 
2017-08-23 02:30:03 PM  

Corn_Fed: Placebo effect is real. Why not harness it? If acupuncture, which certainly is pure placebo effect, causes a reduction in pain, why not do it?

I'd rather get pain relief from a placebo than some medication with assorted side effects.


If I am given a drug that has been tested and shown to be effective - I understand that it performs better than placebo. This drug has known side effects and known methods of action.

If I pay for something where the treatment itself is not effective (ie no better than placebo) - I am paying good money for literally nothing - I could eat candy and get the same effect so long as I "believe" it works.

The side effects are also not known or well advertised - how clean are the needles? Are there actual risks - chiro for example has procedures which have a very real risk of causing a stroke.

Alternatives to medicine are often promoted as safe and effective - when they are not.
 
2017-08-23 02:48:22 PM  

Corn_Fed: Placebo effect is real. Why not harness it? If acupuncture, which certainly is pure placebo effect, causes a reduction in pain, why not do it?

I'd rather get pain relief from a placebo than some medication with assorted side effects.


Given that it's unlikely in the extreme that pets would understand that acupuncture is intended to reduce their pain.....how exactly do you think the placebo effect works for them?
 
2017-08-23 03:16:51 PM  

Corn_Fed: Placebo effect is real. Why not harness it? If acupuncture, which certainly is pure placebo effect, causes a reduction in pain, why not do it?

I'd rather get pain relief from a placebo than some medication with assorted side effects.


Because you're lying to yourself and avoiding real treatment.  You're convincing your body it's better, when it's really not.  You're not actually healing an injury/illness.  Long term, most things are made far worse by it, because you're not working towards a real solution.

Placebo effect requires ignorance.  Knowing it's a placebo and still desiring that effect anyway requires intentional, persistent ignorance.  The world is not a better place - nor is your mind or body - by reinforcing a lie that doesn't heal or treat an underlying illness.
 
2017-08-23 03:20:28 PM  
I used to have a cat that would practice catupuncture on me all the time.
best-cat-art.comView Full Size
 
2017-08-23 04:54:29 PM  

Corn_Fed: Placebo effect is real. Why not harness it? If acupuncture, which certainly is pure placebo effect, causes a reduction in pain, why not do it?

I'd rather get pain relief from a placebo than some medication with assorted side effects.


It's really not, though. The effect is merely that you think there's an effect and respond accordingly. That effect will exist if you're taking an NSAID, too, so why not actually use the treatment that has demonstrated efficacy?

What we perceive as The Placebo Effect is a fascinating melange of regression to the mean, expectancy effects, an illness's natural course, conditioning effects, reporting bias, and elements of random variation. There's a reason placebos are "successfully" used to treat conditions with only subjective endpoints (pain, mood). Staphylococcus aureus don't care if you feel better...
 
2017-08-23 05:04:36 PM  
No, I have never given and will never give my cat acupuncture. I have, however, ensured that she has received the full complement of feline vaccines.

I must be history's greatest monster.
 
2017-08-23 05:20:33 PM  
For those of you with aging pets who may have joint and movement problems:

COSEQUIN.

Started giving it to my little guy when he was ten and it helped him considerably.
 
2017-08-23 08:54:19 PM  
We had a cocker spaniel who went from not being able to walk around to at least being able to get out the door to go potty with it. Shrug.

Didn't help with the incontinence.
 
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