Eastern Therapies

Acupuncture & Animal Chiropractic



360° Pet Medical is proud to offer acupuncture to its patients for a variety of conditions. Acupuncture is the insertion of small needles into “points”. The art of acupuncture has been practiced for centuries and dates back to ancient China. It is based on a series of acupuncture points located on meridians. The basic principle behind acupuncture and Chinese medicine is that illness and/or occurs when there is a blockage of Qi (or energy) and that by returning balance to the body, the body will heal itself. Scientific study has established that many of the canine and feline acupuncture points are located on/over nerve and blood vessel bundles. The stimulation of these points elicits a response within the body, causing the release of endorphins and hormones, as well as improved blood flow and circulation.

While Western (or conventional) veterinary medicine is based on relieving symptoms, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture focuses on identifying and eliminating the root cause of a condition, thereby alleviating symptoms. Additionally, while Western medicine works best for addressing acute (sudden onset) illness or injury, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine is best used for the treatment of chronic (long-term) conditions. While the most common condition treated with acupuncture is the pain of arthritis, it is also beneficial in treating such diseases as disc disease, allergies, asthma, and seizures, as well as other illnesses.

Acupuncture needles are very small and the majority of animals exhibit no discomfort during the placement of the needles. Most patients seem to enjoy their treatments, actually feeling a sense of sleepiness or relaxation. There are different techniques to perform acupuncture. Dr. Kenyon & Dr. McDowell will work with you to figure out the best technique for your pet, depending on the condition that needs to be treated as well as taking into consideration your pet’s personality.

The most common condition treated with acupuncture is pain, such as arthritis and spinal conditions. The placement of the needles in specific points stimulates the nerves and releases endorphins. This process is very successful in breaking the “wind-up” cycle and decreasing/eliminating pain. Other common diseases treated with acupuncture include: allergies, incontinence, neurologic injury (including intervertebral disc disease), seizures, and intestinal disease. Acupuncture, in conjunction with herbals, has also been successful in alleviating the side effects of cancer and chemotherapy.

An initial appointment is typically allotted an hour time slot. During this appointment, we take a thorough history and complete physical exam on your pet prior to performing the actual acupuncture session. Subsequent acupuncture sessions usually take 40 minutes.

Supplements that are formulated for joint health typically include the ingredients glucosamine and chondroitin. These ingredients have been found to be extremely useful in treating arthritis in both humans and animals. Fish oil is a typical ingredient in skin and hair supplements that can help with dry flaking skin. Antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E can be used to reduce inflammation and may even help to maintain cognitive function in older animals.

The 360 Pet Medical team will work with you to decide what supplements will be most effective for your pet.

Animal Chiropractic

Animal chiropractic is a therapeutic method that centers on appropriate movement of the joints of the body and the way this movement affects the nervous system and consequently muscles, tendons and ligaments.

All joints move within a normal range of motion. Veterinarians performing animal chiropractic use their hands during a technique called “motion palpation” to determine areas of decreased motion. In animal chiropractic, the focus is on the spine which is a complex combination of bones (vertebra), muscles and ligaments. Loss of normal motion in a joint in the spine can negatively affect the nerves as they leave the spinal cord leading to a cascade of negative effects stemming from decreased nerve signal transmission to various part of the body.

When performing adjustments during a chiropractic treatment, normal motion is restored to the joint, which in turn resets the patterns of nervous system signaling to normal. This resetting stimulates the body’s innate capacity to heal and to move in a more biomechanically sound manner.

Dr. Tami Parrott visits 360 Pet Medical to see her chiropractic patients every 2-4 weeks throughout the year. If interested in scheduling a consult, please call 406-551-2360 and ask to speak to our CSR Team!

How do I know if my dog might benefit from chiropractic treatment?

Your dog may benefit from chiropractic treatment if he/she:
  • is having muscle spasms along his back
  • has changes in posture
    • sits on one hip instead of squarely on both
  • is showing decreased performance
    • agility dog that is not performing as well
    • dog that becomes more reluctant to jump for a frisbee
  • has gait abnormalities
    • stiffness when getting up
    • limb weakness
    • short stride
    • toe dragging
    • pacing gait (both limbs moving on the same side at the same time instead of in a diagonal gait)
  • has different muscle mass on right and left sides of body (muscle atrophy)
  • has difficulty climbing stairs
  • has a lameness (walks with a limp)
  • has had a trauma
  • has a chronic undiagnosable lameness
  • has a predisposing conformation (for example, a dachshund has a long back predisposing to vertebral disc issues)
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Parrott! Thank you.

Contact Information

Tami Parrott, DVM
Healthy Hinges Veterinary Chiropractic Services