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ARE YOU INTERESTED IN ACUPUNCTURE FOR YOUR PET? GREAT! HERE’S HOW WE CAN HELP… Dr. Sandra Memenis is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist who earned her credentials through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) in 2019. She has been practicing conventional / Western Veterinary medicine since 2010 but became dissatisfied with the way Western medicine would dismiss or be unable to correct many chronic conditions. This lead her down the path of exploring the benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She sincerely believes in the marriage between Eastern and Western medicine in order to find a balance for not only treating disease but also for giving our pets vitality and better quality of life.


WHAT IS ACUPUNCUTRE? Acupuncture is one of the oldest methods of Chinese Medicine. The term comes from the Latin acus – “needle” and pungere – “to pierce”. It is a technique of piercing the skin with slender needles at predetermined sites called acupuncture points which lie upon channels or meridians in the body to prevent or treat disease.  Each acupuncture point has a defined and specific function, based upon the response of the body. Some points are used singly, but it more common to use several points simultaneously to achieve the desired effect.

HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK? Acupuncture has its roots in ancient times well before modern scientific methods, but when explaining it in Western terms, acupuncture can assist the body to heal itself by affecting certain physiological changes. For example, acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasms, and cause the release of hormones such as endorphin and cortisol. Although many of acupuncture’s physiological effects have been studied, many more are still unknown.


IS ACUPUNCTURE PAINFUL? The insertion of an acupuncture needle is virtually painless; however, some animals are more sensitive than others. Once the needles are in place, there should be no pain. Most animals become relaxed and many even become sleepy. Nevertheless, acupuncture treatment may cause some sensation, presumed to be those such as tingles, cramps, or numbness which can occur in humans and which may be uncomfortable in some animals.


HOW CAN MY PET BENEFIT FROM ACUPUNCTURE? The success of the treatment will vary according to the skill of the veterinarian; the condition being treated and the number and frequency of treatments. The length and frequency of the treatments depends on the condition of the patient and the method of stimulation (i.e. dry needles vs. aqua-puncture vs. electro-acupuncture). A simple, acute problem may only need one treatment while severe or chronic ailments may need multiple sessions.


HOW SAFE IS ACUPUNCTURE? Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment for animals when administered by a properly trained veterinarian. Acupuncture should never be administered without proper veterinary medical diagnosis and an ongoing assessment of the patient’s condition. This is important because acupuncture is capable of masking pain or other critical signs which may delay proper veterinary medical diagnosis once treatment has begun. Elimination of pain may lead to increased activity, thus delaying healing or causing the original condition to worsen.


WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF ACUPUNCTURE? Side effects of acupuncture are rare, but they do exist. An animal’s condition can potentially seem worse for up to 48 hours after a treatment, depending on the severity of their condition. Other animals become lethargic or sleepy for 24 hours. These effects, if they do happen, are an indication that some physiological changes are developing, and they are most often followed by improvement in the animal’s condition.


FOR WHICH CONDITIONS IS ACUPUNCTURE INDICATED? Acupuncture is indicated for the treatment of the following functional problems (however, it is not limited to the following):

  • -Musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis, Intervertebral disc disease, or traumatic injury
  • -Respiratory problems such as asthma or allergic bronchitis
  • -Gastrointestinal problems such as chronic vomiting and diarrhea
  • -Skin problems such as lick granulomas and allergic dermatitis
  • -Kidney and Bladder disease such as incontinence and recurrent infections




TCVM HISTORY FORMlink attachment



When you first call in to schedule your pet’s initial acupuncture consultation, the receptionists will take your name and contact information and then one of Dr. Memenis’ technicians will call you back to discuss the process.

Once the technicians call you back, they will set up a chart for your pet. If you are not an established client with Hearthwood Veterinary Hospital you will be asked to provide the information for your primary veterinarian so that we can get your pet’s medical records, proof of an up to date Rabies vaccination, recent blood work results and current x-rays to review before your visit.

Once we have your pet’s chart set up, if you have not yet filled out the Comprehensive History Form as can be found linked to this page, it will be emailed to you and you will be asked to submit the completed form AT LEAST 48 HOUR PRIOR TO YOUR APPOINTMENT. If you want to be proactive and fill this out before you schedule your appointment, you can download it on our website and email or fax us the results. Though the questionnaire is quite long, please take the time to go over the questions thoroughly and answer with detail to the best of your ability.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine we look at the big picture in your pet’s health, not just a small part of it in order to achieve homeostasis and balance within a body. In asking the right questions and getting the minor details to aid in the diagnosis, an accurate treatment plan can be developed specifically for your pet.

The initial visit will be 45-60 minutes long and all follow up appointments will be scheduled for 30 minutes. Please be punctual for your sessions. If you are more than 15 minutes late to your appointment, you will automatically be rescheduled. This is to ensure that you and your pet, as well as other clients can get the most out of their acupuncture treatments without being rushed, hurried, or stressed.

The initial visit will include reviewing your pet’s intake history form, previous medical records and diagnostic results. At this time, we will go over your goals and expectations for the session, what acupuncture entails and how we will be incorporating this treatment modality into what you are already doing for your pet. Your pet will get a full physical examination and we will start the treatments.


The cost of the initial session would include physical examination $79 and  acupuncture consultation and treatment is $204.05 Follow up sessions will have a $79 fee for the acupuncture treatments. If any other treatments are recommended during the visit such as therapeutic laser, medications or diagnostics, you will be provided with an estimate for these additional charges. Be aware that acupuncture works through a cumulative effect and many conditions will need anywhere form 4-8 treatments for you to see a desired effect. Treatments are typically spaced out every 1-3 weeks depending on the case.

We at the Hearthwood team are excited to be incorporating this ancient treatment modality into our practice and look forward to working with you and your pet!



In Traditional Chinese Medicine, individuals can be categorized to fit into one or two particular Elements (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, or Wood). The state of an individual’s health can be influenced by their “inherent” elemental status – for example, imbalanced Fire animals are more prone to cardiovascular disease; Earth animals are prone to being overweight / obese; Metal animals tend to have respiratory issues; Water animals tend to have anxiety and are fearful; and Wood animals tend to have aggression issues.  An individual’s inherent constitution influences the animal’s body structure, health, emotions, and when exposed to the same stress factors, individuals of different constitutions will react in a different way, whether it is positively or negatively. When a constitution is in balance, there is harmony and health in the system. When unbalanced, there is disease.  Click on the links below and try to fit your pet into an Elemental constitution!






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