Becoming a Veterinary Acupuncturist

Veterinary Acupuncturists insert the needles into the specific point of an animal’s body to stimulate nerve activity, increase circulation, relieve pain and treat other health disorders. They develop and implement treatment plans based on the individual animal’s needs. They interact with the owners of the animal to know the health conditions of animals.

They perform a standard physical examination and analyze the symptoms of animals properly, before administering the technique of acupuncture. They make the animals calm and comfortable before and after the administration of acupuncture. They may also design special nutritional and behavioral modification programs to work in conjunction with the acupuncture regimen. Since acupuncture can’t cure everything, they may prescribe regular medication like anti-inflammatory drugs, or other treatments like massage or physical therapy.

The technique of acupuncture can be applied to treat a wide range of health conditions such as musculoskeletal problems, respiratory problems, gastrointestinal problems, skin problems etc. It can also be administered to keep the athletic animals in top condition for competitions or performances.

Work Environment:

Veterinary Acupuncturists work in different settings such as such as veterinary clinics, kennels, zoos, farms, laboratories, research facilities etc. They can also work in private practice. Since these professionals deal with sick animals and the animals’ anxious owners, the work can be emotionally stressful. Also, the workplace can be noisy, as animals make noise when sick or being handled. They may have variable working schedules including evenings, weekends, or holidays.

Educational Requirements:

To become a Veterinary Acupuncturist, the aspiring candidates need to complete at least an associate degree in acupuncture or related areas. The course work may include animal anatomy, muscle physiology, animal behavior, acupuncture techniques etc.

The position of a Veterinary Acupuncturist needs to be licensed in many states. The American Board of Animal Acupuncture (ABAA) offers certification to these professionals.

Job Outlook and Salary:

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate of job opportunities for the Veterinary Acupuncturists may rise at nine percent from 2014 to 2024. The average annual salary of a Veterinary Acupuncturist was $49,000 in 2014.