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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Acupuncture and Acupressure

Updated: November 14th, 2018


Can acupuncture be useful for dogs with cancer? Yes, it can. Here are some articles and publications that support this ancient technique.

Acupuncture is a technique used by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a type of medicine which has been used for over 5,000 years. In acupuncture, very fine, slim needles are used to stimulate points on the body that regulate the flow of energy through the body. There are few veterinarians in the U.S. who are fully trained in acupuncture for use in animals, but there is some good evidence that it can be supportive for dogs with cancer.

Here is a list of the most important references about the use of acupuncture and acupressure Dr. Dressler and Dr. Ettinger used when writing The Dog Cancer Survival Guide. Please note that in vivo and clinical use citations are included whenever possible. We have also include links to the papers, where available. Most of the papers are found on the National Institute of Health’s online library, PubMed.

Acupuncture: role in comprehensive cancer care – a a primer for the oncologist and review of the literature. Cohen AJ, Menter A, Hale L. Integr Cancer Ther. 2005 Jun;4(2):131-43. Review.

Efficacy of acupuncture in treatment of cancer pain: a systematic review. Peng H, et al. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2010 Jun;8(6):501-9. Chinese.

Analgesic effect of auricular acupuncture for cancer pain: a randomized, blinded, controlled trial. Alimi D, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2003 Nov 15;21(22):4120-6.

Acupuncture as a treatment modality for the management of cancer pain: the state of the science. Hopkins Hollis AS. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2010 Sep 1;37(5):E344-8.

Acupuncture-point stimulation for chemotherapy-induced nausea or vomiting. Ezzo JM, et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Apr 19;(2):CD002285. Review.

Acupressure for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: a randomized clinical trial. Dibble SL, Luce J, Cooper BA, Israel J, Cohen M, Nussey B, Rugo H. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2007 Jul;34(4):813-20.

Prolongation of the antiemetic action of P6 acupuncture by acupressure in patients having cancer chemotherapy. Dundee JW, Yang J. J R Soc Med. 1990 Jun;83(6):360-2.

Effect of acupressure on nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy in cancer patients. Gardani G, et al. Minerva Med. 2006 Oct;97(5):391-4.

A progress study of 100 cancer patients treated by acupressure for chemotherapy-induced vomiting after failure with the pharmacological approach. Gardani G, et al. Minerva Med. 2007 Dec;98(6):665-8.

Effect of acupressure on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in gynecologic cancer patients in Turkey. Taspinar A, Sirin A. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2010 Feb;14(1):49-54. Epub 2009 Sep 11.

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