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Acupuncture in dairy cows
Acupuncture has become a common therapy over the last years. It is known to be effective in men and in dogs, horses etc. Less is written about this technique in food animals, e.g. dairy cows. But as this studies show, it is also worth trying it for various indications like reproductive disorders.

The `bai hui` acupuncture point can be useful in treating various reproductive disorders including anestrus, cystic ovaries, retained or cystic corpus luteum, silent heat, pseudopregnancy, impotence, penile paralysis, inflammation of the reproductive tract, retained placenta, uterine prolapse, prevention of abortion or to induce parturition (Lin and Panzer 1992).

The `bai hui` acupuncture point, the `point of 100 meetings`, at which all yang meridians merge, is located at the lumbosacral site in the depression between the spinous process of the last lumbar and first sacral vertebrae.

Lin et al. 2002 treated dairy cows that had failed to respond to GnRH with acupuncture. Most animals showed heat within 14 days after acupuncture and were inseminated artificially. After treatment, the pregnancy rate was 66-77 percent, suggesting acupuncture as a simple and effective method to treat repeat breeders in dairy herds; however, the delivery rate was only 44 percent.

Cerovsky and colleagues, Research Institute of Animal Production, Czech Republic, studied use of acupuncture, aquapuncture (the induction of water subcutaneously for pain relief) and moxa-acupuncture, to induce estrus in gilts.

Their data confirmed the conclusions of Taiwanese workers that acupuncture can be used to induce estrus by shortening the anoestrus interval in gilts.
Two sessions of acupuncture had more effect than a single session.

Failure to show a significant difference in the percentage of gilts showing estrus within 28 days (70.3 percent of acupuncture-treated gilts vs. 57.5 percent of control gilts) might have been due to the limited numbers of animals studied.

Dr. Gary Van Engelenburg, DVM, CVA, dairy specialist for the Iowa Veterinary Acupuncture Clinic, started using acupuncture in his standard practice for those cases that were refractory to conventional medicine, especially for anestrus and cystic ovaries, but also pyometra, metritis and retained placenta.

As he said, his results of acupuncture showed an about 80 percent success rate in reproductive disorders.


Source: Ed Kane (2005): Studies of acupuncture in dairy cows, bulls and sows. In: DVM Newsmagazine Jan 1, 2005; www.dvmnewsmagazine.com/dvm/




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