Epilepsy and other neurological conditions

Epilepsy and other neurological conditions are thankfully relatively rare, but when they occur can be extremely debilitating for animals and worrying for owners when they do occur. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can benefit many of these problems, although it is important to remember that the effects develop more slowly than when conventional treatment is used. The benefits of these holistic therapies are cumulative, so it is important to commit to a course of treatment and have patience. However, the results of treatment can be very rewarding and do not risk the side effects that can occur with conventional medications.

Acupuncture for Neurological Conditions

Disorders of the nervous system can result in pain (e.g. spinal disc disease) and/or dysfunction (e.g. nerve paralysis, epilepsy). Fortunately, acupuncture has scientifically proven efficacy in treating pain and can also improve the functioning of nerves, helping to restore function. Steroids are often used to relieve pain, but their effects can be short-lasting. Studies show that acupuncture can provide long-lasting pain relief even if animals have only experienced short-term relief with steroids, and without the potentially dangerous side effects of steroids. The pain-relieving effects of acupuncture make it useful in treatment of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), Wobbler syndrome, cauda equina syndrome (lumbosacral disease), traumatic injuries and more.

Less is known about how acupuncture can improve nerve function, but research shows that it improves the functioning of damaged nerves and promotes regrowth of nerve cells, making it useful in any condition in which nerves have been damaged. These conditions include intervertebral disc disease, injuries of the head or back, fibrocartilaginous embolism, Wobbler syndrome and more.

In treatment of epilepsy, acupuncture (and/or Chinese herbal medicine) is not generally a substitute for conventional medications such as phenobarbital. Addition of acupuncture to an epileptic dog or cat's treatment program can, however, generally increase the timespan between seizures and reduce their severity, improving quality of life for both patient and owner.

Chinese Herbal Medicine for Neurological Conditions

Chinese herbal medicine has a complementary effect to acupuncture in treatment of neurological disorders. Like acupuncture, research shows that Chinese herbal medicines can reduce inflammation, prevent death of nerve cells after injury, improve oxygen supply to nerve cells, improve nerve function and promote tissue regeneration. These effects make Chinese herbal medicine beneficial for treatment of many neurological conditions, including intervertebral disc disease and spinal cord injury.

Neurological Conditions that can benefit from holistic treatment

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can benefit many neurological conditions in dogs, cats and horses, including:

  • Epilepsy
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Spinal cord trauma
  • Head injury
  • Wobbler syndrome (cervical spondylomyelopathy)
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Meningitis
  • Fibrocartilaginous embolism
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Trigeminal neuritis
  • Lumbosacral disease (cauda equina syndrome)
  • Diskospondylitis
  • Paralysis of individual nerves, e.g. sciatic nerve paralysis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Laryngeal paralysis
  • Brain and other tumors
  • Geriatric vestibular syndrome
  • Diabetic polyneuropathy
  • Muscle problems such as masticatory muscle myositis, polymyositis


New York Veterinary Acupuncture Service provides acupuncture, herbal medicine, Tui-na and Chinese food therapy on either a house call basis or at several area clinics. House calls are offered in New York's Orange County (Newburgh, Middletown, Beacon, Warwick, Goshen, Washingtonville, Florida, Chester, Monroe, Harriman, Tuxedo and surrounding areas). Thursday house calls are available in Manhattan. Fees vary by location; for more information, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Office visits are available as follows:

High Point K9 Center
2224 Mt. Hope Rd., Middletown, NY
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for appointments

Compassion Veterinary Health Center
235 South Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY
Contact CVHC on 845-473-0358 for appointments

Contact NYVAS