Oregon is one of approximately 20 states to include the practice of veterinary acupuncture within the scope of practice of licensed acupuncturists. At the time of my 2009 DAOM Capstone project, a survey revealed that a surprisingly small number of veterinarians in the Portland metropolitan area included complementary medicine in their practices despite growing interest.
Currently, the Oregon Veterinary Practice Act ORS (Oregon Rule Statute) 686.040(4) states: A practitioner of allied health methods may practice that method on animals without violating ORS 686.020(1)(a), so long as the practice is in conformance with laws and rules governing the practitioner’s practice and the practice is in conformance with laws and rules governing the practitioner’s practice and the practice is upon referral from a licensed veterinarian for treatment or therapy specified by the veterinarian.
Similarly, OAR (Oregon Administrative Rule) Division 30, 875-030-0050, Practice limitations for Individuals not Certified as Veterinary Technicians states: Persons who are not certified by this Board as veterinary technicians may perform under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian all acts that a certified veterinary technician may perform except for OA875-030-0040(2)(b)(E), (induce anesthesia), (2)(e)(D) (operate x-ray equipment) unless the person has completed 20 hours training in radiograph safety as required by the Oregon State Health Division (OAR 33-106-0055), (H) (administer rabies vaccine) and (875-030-0040(I)) inject or implant a permanent identification device.
It is highly suggested by the Oregon Veterinary Board (OVB) that all referrals to treat be in writing and become part of the animals’ DVM and TCM treatment record.
Because hands’ on instruction is not readily available to many acupuncturists, training to safely and effectively deliver treatment can be challenging. In addition to extensively observing with the veterinarians of my own animals, I have utilized the following resources to better inform my practice. Enjoy!
Canine Massage in 3 Easy Steps DVD by N. Lenton.
An absolutely indispensible resource for learning basic canine skeletal and muscle anatomy. You also learn 6 massage techniques and then follow along to properly sequence the techniques. In addition, there is a great “bonus section” on habits that may be harmful and contributing to increased injuries.
Once you have acquired basic knowledge of canine skeletal and muscle anatomy, this text provides illustrations of gross anatomy to promote further understanding of regional/ topographical structures. Keep in mind that no animal was sacrificed for publication material.
Veterinary Acupuncture: Ancient Art to Modern Medicine (2nd ed) by A.M. Schoen.
Very useful illustrations to help you accurately locate acupuncture points as well as trigger points. Furthermore, there are also a good number of treatment protocols for a variety of conditions in both small and large animals. I particularly like this text because it cites research from China, Korea, Taiwan, and Brazil. The ability to refer to studies is extremely helpful when having discussions with veterinarians regarding treatment recommendations.
Four Paws Five Directions by C. Schwartz.
While I did not find the meridian illustrations particularly helpful, I did find information on herbal remedy dosages, supplements, and dietary recommendations to be useful. To protect your privileges, be absolutely certain to discuss any herb, supplement, and/or dietary recommendations with the referring veterinarian(s) and receive their approval prior to discussions with pet owners on adjunct therapies.
Manual of Natural Veterinary Medicine: Science and Tradition by S.G. Wynn & S. Marsden.
I refer to this text regularly. Good information on canine pulse taking technique, clinical strategies (including a section on behavioral issues), useful case reports, therapeutic rationales, alternative therapies, herbs, homeopathy, and more! A great compendium of the most common conditions you are likely to encounter.