relief. 10 – 15 Others, such as extracorporeal shockwave therapy or laser, aim for pain relief. 16 – 23 However, the use of some of these techniques prior to racing has also been restricted due to their short- or long-term consequences. Acupuncture has
remedy, it is not surprising that treatment is also unsuccessful. 7 Although moving horses with acute anhidrosis to cooler and drier climates is an option for management of this condition, this option is often not feasible.
Acupuncture combined with
35 of the 64 (55%) studies. Considering the limitations of conventional treatments for HD in dogs, it is important to search for new alternatives. 7,17
Acupuncture is a nonpharmacological treatment option 17 for numerous conditions, including
fields in recent years. 11,12 Of the complementary and alternative medical treatment options currently available, acupuncture is one of the most common. Acupuncture activates endogenous opioid mechanisms in the brain that then alter nociceptive
Objective—To determine cutaneous analgesia,
hemodynamic and respiratory effects, and β-endorphin
concentration in spinal fluid and plasma of horses
after acupuncture and electroacupuncture (EA).
Animals—8 healthy 10- to 20-year-old mares that
weighed between 470 and 600 kg.
Procedure—Each horse received 2 hours of acupuncture
and 2 hours of PAES at acupoints Bladder 18, 23,
25, and 28 on both sides of the vertebral column as
well as sham needle placement (control treatment).
Each treatment was administered in a random order.
At least 7 days elapsed between treatments.
Nociceptive cutaneous pain threshold was measured
by use of skin twitch reflex latency (STRL) and avoidance
to radiant heat (≤ 50°C) in the lumbar area. Skin
temperature, cardiovascular and respiratory variables,
and β-endorphin concentration in spinal fluid (CSF-EN)
and plasma (plasma-EN) were measured.
Results—Acupuncture and EA significantly increased
STRL and skin temperature. The CSF-EN was significantly
increased from baseline values 30 to 120 minutes
after onset of EA, but it did not change after
acupuncture and control treatments. Heart and respiratory
rates, rectal temperature, arterial blood pressure,
Hct, total solids and bicarbonate concentrations,
base excess, plasma-EN, and results of blood gas
analyses were not significantly different from baseline
values after acupuncture, EA, and control treatments.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Administration
of EA was more effective than acupuncture
for activating the spinal cord to release β-endorphins
into the CSF of horses. Acupuncture and PAES provided
cutaneous analgesia in horses without adverse
cardiovascular and respiratory effects.
(Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1435–1442)
Objective—To determine whether administration of a
microdose of prostaglandin at the BAI HUI acupuncture
point offers any advantage over IM injections for luteolysis,
ovulatory interval, or systemic response in mares.
Animals—17 mature cycling mares, 3 to 20 years of
age and weighing 400 to 500 kg.
Procedure—Conventional and microdoses of the
prostaglandin dinoprost tromethamine (PGF2α), the
analogue cloprostenol, or sterile water (control) were
administered to mares in 7 treatment groups.
Treatments were assigned by dose, administration site
(semimembranosus, semitendinosus, or lumbosacral
region), and treatment type (PGF2α, analogue, or sterile
water). Mares were observed for ovulatory interval and
systemic response to treatment, including heart, and
respiratory rates, rectal temperature, and sweat score.
Plasma progesterone concentrations were also determined
at the time of treatment and at 24-hour intervals
for 96 hours following treatment.
Results—Ovulatory interval was shortened and progesterone
concentrations decreased in prostaglandintreated
mares, compared with control mares, regardless
of dose or treatment site. However, no differences
in ovulatory interval were observed among
prostaglandin-treated mares. Mares treated with conventional
doses of PGF2α had greater systemic
responses than mares treated with microdoses of
PGF2α or sterile water.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration
of prostaglandins at the BAI HUI acupuncture
point does not appear to offer any advantage over
administration at standard IM injection sites for induction
of luteolysis or to shorten the ovulatory interval.
However, administration of a microdose of the analogue
cloprostenol was effective at inducing luteolysis
and shortening ovulatory interval regardless of administration
site. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1285–1289)
Objective—To compare the effects of acupuncture
(AP), electroacupuncture (EA), and transcutaneous
cranial electrical stimulation (TCES) with high-frequency
intermittent currents on the minimum alveolar
concentration (MAC) of isoflurane and associated cardiovascular
variables in dogs.
Animals—8 healthy adult female Beagles.
Procedure—Each dog was anesthetized with isoflurane
on 4 occasions, allowing a minimum of 10 days
between experiments. Isoflurane MAC values were
determined for each dog without treatment (controls)
and after treatment with AP and EA (AP points included
the Large Intestine 4, Lung 7, Governing Vessel 20,
Governing Vessel 14, San Tai, and Baihui) and TCES.
Isoflurane MAC values were determined by use of
noxious electrical buccal stimulation. Heart rate,
mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), arterial blood
oxygen saturation (SpO2) measured by use of pulse
oximetry, esophageal body temperature, inspired and
expired end-tidal isoflurane concentrations, end-tidal
carbon dioxide concentration, and bispectral index
(BIS) were monitored. Blood samples were collected
for determination of plasma cortisol concentration.
Results—Mean ± SD baseline MAC of isoflurane was
1.19 ± 0.1%. Acupuncture did not significantly change
MAC of isoflurane. Treatments with EA and TCES significantly
lowered the MAC of isoflurane by 10.1%
and 13.4%, respectively. The SpO2, heart rate, MAP,
BIS, esophageal body temperature, and plasma cortisol
concentration were not significantly different after
AP, EA, TCES, and control treatments at any time
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Use of EA
and TCES decreased MAC of isoflurane in dogs without
inducing adverse hemodynamic effects. However,
the reduction in isoflurane MAC by EA and TCES treatments
was not considered clinically relevant. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1364–1370)
Objective—To evaluate use of the acupuncture
meridian test for detection of recent or recently reactivated
equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) infection in
horses with decreased performance.
Procedure—Physical and neurologic examinations
were performed, and acupuncture points on the bladder
meridian were tested for sensitivity reactions in
case and control horses. Polymerase chain reaction
assays were performed to determine whether EHV-1
or equine herpesvirus type 4 (EHV-4) DNA could be
detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Complement fixation (CF) tests for detection of antibodies
against EHV-1 and EHV-4 and virus neutralization
(VN) tests for detection of antibodies against
EHV-1 were performed on paired serum samples
obtained 3 weeks apart.
Results—There was a significant difference in skin
sensitivity in the cervical, sacral, and gluteal regions
and flank between case and control horses. By use
of the meridian test, all case horses were sensitive
to manipulation of all acupuncture points believed to
be associated with EHV infections, whereas only a
few control horses were sensitive at an occasional
point. Equine herpesvirus type 1 or EHV-4 viremia
was not detected in any horses. Mean ± SD VN antibody
titers against EHV-1 were not significantly different
between the 2 groups. Mean ± SD CF antibody
titers against EHV-1 obtained 3 weeks after the
initial samples were higher in case horses than control
horses; however, unequivocal seroconversion
was not detected.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of the
meridian test in case horses were associated with sensitivity
reactions similar to those detected by physical
and neurologic examinations; however, an unequivocal
association with EHV-1 or EHV-4 infection was not
detected. ( J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:554–559)