Mom wasting money on cat's acupuncture

lemcat

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Our heavy overweight cat has been having problem of sitting with her leg sticking up and X-ray revealed arthritis in the knee.
Vet recommended Dasuquin and certain types of food to reduce weight.

But mom also decided to take it to acupuncture which cost at least $70 per treatment every week now for 9 months. I think this is too expensive for questionable efficacy.
I kept discouraging this because once the joint is damaged you can't cure this.

My brother kept encouraging mom to take the cat to the acupuncturist saying that the cat looks like she's in a bright mood after each treatment (which I think is because she's only glad to be free again from an uncomfortable situation of having needles poked in her) and that he caught her sitting normally a few times.

And now mom's calling another place that does acupuncture and also some kind of exercise.

What could I tell them to stick with Dasuquin and dieting?
 
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Kieka

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I hate to tell you this but... acupuncture does work if it is done properly by someone who is properly trained. There are plenty of studies on humans and animals that properly practice acupuncture can assist with pain and some medical conditions including arthritis. Even the arthritis foundation supports trying acupincture: Acupuncture for Arthritis | Arthritis Foundation. Which isn't to say your mom shouldn't also focus on diet and incorporate dasiquin if possible. But I wouldn't dissuade her from continuing the acupuncture if she is seeing a benefit.

Shoot, if there was a local cat acupuncture center near me I would take my cat to it too. The thing with cats and arthritis is that there aren't a whole lot of great medical options. Dasiquin is a supplement just like you or me taking vitamin C to help with a cold. It isn't a magic pill that will make the arthritis go away, it just may help some with reducing the severity depending on your cat. My cat has bad arthritis in his leg from breaking the same leg twice in his younger days. Dasiquin does nothing to touch his arthritis and he has gotten to the point he refuses to take it. My cat also does not do well with traditional pain medications and the anti inflammatory medications give him bad constipation. So I too have had to figure out alternatives to allow him to function. In a heart beat I would take him to acupuncture or alternative therapy if I thought it would help.

My guess is, if your mom is willing to pay the weekly cost she is in tune enough with the cat in question to tell if it is helping. I know with my cat, I know the signs that I need to up his treatment a little without having to wait for him to be seriously limping. Also, the mindset of "once the joint is damaged you can't cure this" is very pessimistic. Yeah, you can't erase the arthritis but you can make it so it doesn't hurt as bad. Between diet, encouraging motion, and (yes) acupuncture the swelling can be managed or reduced so that the person (or in this case cat) doesn't have to be in constant pain.

Maybe instead if fighting against the idea of acupuncture you could help encourage the cat to play some everyday to hopefully get more exercise and movement to reduce weight. Or help your Mom pick out a low carb food. Or help with a feeding schedule (and ask about adding dasiquin to supplement the acupuncture?). Maybe once the cat has lost some weight and is moving more noticably better the acupuncture will be cut back and both sides can be happy.
 

Furballsmom

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encourage the cat to play some everyday to hopefully get more exercise and movement to reduce weight. Or help your Mom pick out a low carb food. Or help with a feeding schedule (and ask about adding dasiquin to supplement the acupuncture?). Maybe once the cat has lost some weight and is moving more noticably better
I was thinking this as well.

Hopefully your mom would be open to the thought that helping the cat to lose weight is a more direct method of addressing the issue, or at least an additional way of helping her, that really matters and will make a difference if done for long enough.

If you want to follow this thought, let us know a little more.

Does she get dry food, canned food, is she free fed the kibble, does she get treats, and what kind (treats made for cats or human food).

Hang in there with all this, we're rooting for you😊
 
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lemcat

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right now we r giving small amount of dried food once a day, then half of canned food 2x a day. Also snack (chewy, catnip flavor) once a day.
 

stiv

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I hate to tell you this but... acupuncture does work if it is done properly by someone who is properly trained. There are plenty of studies on humans and animals that properly practice acupuncture can assist with pain and some medical conditions including arthritis. Even the arthritis foundation supports trying acupincture: Acupuncture for Arthritis | Arthritis Foundation. Which isn't to say your mom shouldn't also focus on diet and incorporate dasiquin if possible. But I wouldn't dissuade her from continuing the acupuncture if she is seeing a benefit.
This. I work in a vet clinic and our medical director is a properly trained acupuncturist. I have seen genuine results from it. If she’s set on continuing it, I would just make sure the person she’s taking the cat to is an actual veterinarian who specifically learned feline acupuncture. Your post makes it unclear whether she is taking him to a veterinarian for this or not, so I figured I’d mention it.
It sounds like the other place she’s called does acupuncture and physical therapy. Physical therapy is very well-supported scientifically and I’ve also worked at a clinic that did that.
Like was mentioned by Kieka, dasuquin is merely a supplement, and cats do not have many options for pain management re: arthritis. The only other thing I can possibly think of is gabapentin and I imagine some vets may actually be hesitant to prescribe for feline arthritis specifically, as it can cause many kitties to be VERY uncoordinated and they could injure themselves.
right now we r giving small amount of dried food once a day, then half of canned food 2x a day. Also snack (chewy, catnip flavor) once a day.
Can I ask how much the cat weighs, and their daily calorie intake from these foods? Has a vet established a goal weight? A lot of pet foods have instructions that indicate over feeding unfortunately.
 

FeebysOwner

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I have had two vets recommend not only acupuncture for my cat, but physical therapy as well. Feeby (18+ yo) has arthritis and was on joint support supplements for years, until she grew tired of the taste. It was called Glyco Flex Plus and I do think it made a difference. I tried others, including Dasuquin, and she would not regularly eat any of them. I tried gabapentin, but that was also a 'no-go' after trying 4-5 compounded versions in the hope she would be willing to take at least one of them. I am now having her get Solensia injections which are not for joint support, but rather arthritic pain and they have helped. There is another injection called Adequan that offers some joint support in addition to pain reduction.

The only reason I have not pursued acupuncture is because due to her other health issues, she has been at the vets almost monthly for about 1 1/2 years - and has lost complete patience in being poked/prodded so frequently. What once was a very docile cat at the vets, is now an angry and less than pleasant patient. If, by chance, she would see the vets/specialists less often and calm down a bit, I might re-consider the acupuncture. It is more effective than not in most cases.
 

Furballsmom

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right now we r giving small amount of dried food once a day, then half of canned food 2x a day. Also snack (chewy, catnip flavor) once a day.
If you can, see if you can find ways to have her walk a little (I don't know how sore she is?). One way to start could be to have her follow you across the room with her food dish or bowl, then as she improves into the next room, and gradually further.

Cats can't lose weight quickly, it's really unsafe for them but a gentle exercise plan could help quite a lot.
 
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