Acupuncture and Holistic Medicine

Utilizing ancient Chinese practices and principles, Veterinary Acupuncture can be quite beneficial in maintaining or improving your pet’s overall wellness. Dr. Melanie Donofro, a graduate of the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine, has been providing acupuncture services for Big Bend area pets since 2001. Working with cats and dogs of all ages, Dr. Donofro has found that acupuncture treatments alleviate pain and discomfort associated with various conditions such as:

  • Arthritis and Vertebral Disc Pathology
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Nerve Damage/Paralysis
  • Muscle and Tendon Injuries
  • Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Respiratory Problems
  • Lick Granulomas

Before the first acupuncture session, Dr. Donofro will meet with you and your pet to gather medical history, review lab work and radiographs, and perform a comprehensive physical examination. During this evaluation, Dr. Donofro will form a customized treatment plan for your pet and answer any questions you may have. One of our Client Service Coordinators will then schedule your pet’s treatments.

The frequency, intensity, and duration of your pet’s acupuncture treatments will depend upon their age, health, and/or the type and severity of the problem their experiencing. For example, patients visiting us for wellness treatments may only come as needed for the relaxation and health benefits acupuncture provides. Our patients with acute medical issues, on the other hand, may require a few treatments until long term positive results are seen. If your pet has a painful condition, Dr. Donofro will address this in conjunction with acupuncture to insure your pet is comfortable until the effects of acupuncture treatments are prolonged. Pets with chronic problems are often scheduled for weekly treatments for several weeks and gradually started on a maintenance program.

During acupuncture sessions at Los Robles, Dr. Donofro will insert small, thin needles into points along your pet’s torso, legs, and paws. The needles stimulate nerves, resulting in increased blood circulation to injured or diseased areas of the body. They also ease muscle spasms and signal the release of important hormones that facilitate pain relief. It is common for Dr. Donofro to also use an infrared laser during these treatments. The laser’s beam gently stimulates points that need to be addressed but may be too sensitive for traditional acupuncture.

In some cases, Dr. Donofro may introduce electro-acupuncture into your pet’s treatment plan. Electro-acupuncture stimulates points by passing very light electrical currents through acupuncture needles. Though more intense than traditional acupuncture, electro-acupuncture is extremely safe and often decreases pain significantly. This method is used most often in our patients with acute painful conditions such as disc prolapse and severe, chronic medical issues.

After your pet’s acupuncture treatment, we suggest you monitor their response at home. One of our staff members will call a day or two after your pet’s treatment to see how they’re progressing. Though side effects to acupuncture are rare, please let us know if you suspect your pet is having any problems (sleepiness or lethargy are the most common). Of course, we’ll also want to hear about your pet’s improvement. A positive response to acupuncture is usually seen within the first three treatments so be sure to track your pet’s success keep us updated!

For many conditions Dr. Donofro will suggest you make an appointment with Dr. Appel who is certified in rehabilitative medicine. You will learn exercises that will keep your pet limber, strengthen muscles and augment your pet’s acupuncture treatment. Many times Dr. Donofro, who is Certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, will recommend spinal manipulation during the acupuncture treatments to further improve your pet’s condition.

If you’re interested in veterinary acupuncture for your pet, please contact us at (850) 222-3117. We’ll be happy to answer questions and schedule an appointment for you and your pet to meet Dr. Donofro.

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you

No form settings found. Please configure it.


Find us on the map


Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Wow! Thanks to all the staff at Anderson Vet Clinic. I feel like you all truly love what you do! My kitty, Lola and I always have such a pleasant experience when we come in. Fortunately, it’s usually just for a check-up, but I would not leave Lola in anyone else’s hands but yours. Thank you for your caring commitment!"
    Maya Smith / Los Angeles, CA
  • "I have benefited tremendously from the care my pet received from Dr. Anderson."
    John Doe / San Diego, CA
  • "Fabio wasn’t eating the food I was giving him and I didn’t feel he was getting the nutrition he needed. Thanks to Dr. Anderson, he evaluated Fabio and his current diet to make some recommendations and now Fabio has gone from barely eating to finishing his meals and he looks healthier than ever. You clearly are an expert in your field...thanks so much!"
    Tara Brown / Kansas City, MO

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • What to do when your pet gets lost?

    Has your pet wriggled their way through the fence or dashed out the front door? When searching for your lost pet, make sure you include these steps in your hunt. ...

    Read More
  • Flea and Tick Season

    Want to protect your pet from fleas and ticks? These tips can help. ...

    Read More
  • Summer Grooming Tips

    Want to keep your pet cool and comfortable this summer? A few changes to your normal grooming routine can help. ...

    Read More
  • What to Do If Your Pet is Stung

    Don't get us wrong, we love the bees! But we don't love when our pets get stung. Follow our tips to treat and prevent bee stings on your furry best friend. ...

    Read More
  • Tips for Traveling With Your Pet

    Do you dread hitting the road with your pet? These tips may make the trip more comfortable and enjoyable for you both. ...

    Read More
  • 6 Questions to Ask At Your Senior Pet's Next Check Up

    Want to keep your senior pet healthy and happy? Ask these six questions at your pet's next check up. ...

    Read More
  • Why the Controversy About Pet Vaccinations?

    As with anything, pet vaccinations can be too much of a good thing. Similar to parents who are learning more about vaccinations for children, veterinarians and pet owners alike are beginning to question some of the standard wisdom when it comes to protecting pets. There are certain fatal diseases against ...

    Read More
  • Pet Clothes: A Fashion Statement or a Necessity?

    There is nothing cuter than a pet in a colorful sweater, but do our furry friends really need to wear clothing? Although clothing is not a necessity for every pet, some animals benefit from a little extra protection during cold or damp days. Others enjoy wearing festive clothing during holidays or other ...

    Read More
  • Introducing a New Pet to Your Current Ones

    Pet Proofing Your Home Introducing your new pet to your current one is only a single part of the equation relating to taking a new pet home. You also have to make sure your new pet is comfortable in your home, which is a foreign environment to the animal. Like humans, animals can experience high levels ...

    Read More
  • Put Some Teeth Into Your Pet’s Dental Care

    According to the American Animal Hospital Association, nearly two-thirds of pets suffer from dental problems because their owners do not provide dental care for them. Imagine what would happen to your own teeth if they were never brushed or examined by a dentist. The same thing can happen with your pet’s ...

    Read More

Newsletter Sign Up