A scoping and systematic review of the efficacy of veterinary acupuncture

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Rose, Wesley
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University of Guelph

Acupuncture is a medical procedure that involves stimulating specific points on the body to achieve therapeutic purposes. Acupuncture’s popularity has increased in both human and veterinary medicine. There is debate in the published literature with regard to its efficacy. We conducted scoping and systematic reviews to examine veterinary acupuncture’s efficacy. Our scoping review revealed a body of literature that was comprised primarily of narrative reviews, case reports, and case series. Controlled trials represented 21% of the published literature. Our systematic review examined acupuncture’s efficacy for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions in dogs. Preliminary results were presented in this thesis. Eleven trials covering 8 musculoskeletal conditions were included. There was a risk of bias in many of the included trials. Trials differed with regard to the acupuncture methods used, control protocols, and outcome measures. These issues make data synthesis difficult and prevent the drawing of conclusions based on the available literature.

Acupuncture, Electroacupuncture, Dog, Cat, Horse, Equine, Feline, Canine, Veterinary, Efficacy, Acupressure