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Acupuncture in Practice: Pain Relief Post Hip Surgery for 2 Cats

Welcome to Acu in Practice! Meet Sophie, a female spayed Maine Coon mix feline who is just over 1 year old. She and her brother Tucker were both diagnosed with femoral neck physeal fractures at approximately one year of age. It is probable that the fractures were secondary to genetic physeal dysplasia. Sophie is only affected on the right side, while Tucker had fractures on both the left and the right. They both received surgery – Femoral Head Ostectomies (FHO). In Sophie’s case, surgery was only performed on the right side. She is two months post-surgery, and while she is improving, she has trigger points around the hip joint and less weight bearing on the right side. She also has tension in her lumbar muscles. Her brother is recovering smoothly with only some mild instability in the hind end. Sophie came to visit today for acupuncture and laser therapy. She will be coming for acupuncture every 2 weeks until we see improved weight bearing function and less reactivity at the site. Her brother is coming monthly for acupuncture to support the healing process and improve hind end strength.

TCM diagnoses:


Jing Deficiency, Bi syndrome, Qi and Blood stagnation in the GB and BL Channel, Local trigger points.


TCM Treatment Principles:

Nourish Kidney, Move Qi and Blood in the affected areas, Relieve Trigger points and pain.


Acupuncture RX:

GV 20 (permission, calming)

BL 54, GB 29, GB 30 and GB 34 right side – local and distal points, release sinews.

BL 54 and GB 34 left side – for compensatory tension, release sinews

BL 23 bilateral, lumbar BH – nourish Kidney, relieve pain, relieve compensatory tension in lumbar spine.

SI 9 – support forelimbs

*Blue Seirin used for all points.


Sophie has been to the hospital for several acupuncture appointments and laser therapy. When she first presented post-op, she was too reactive to needle many of the indicated points. At that time, we used the MultiRadiance Activet Pro to stimulate the points and Vitamin B12 aquapressure in a few points that were not too tender, but because she was stressed and did not want to sit still. Now, she is much more comfortable and enjoys her treatment.


Additional treatments - Current:

Laser therapy weekly until trigger points improve.

Vetriflex Chews by Vetriscience for joint support

Tui Na prescribed at home using the Rubbing Technique to stimulate/invigorate Qi without pressure at the hip site.

Herbal formulas declined for now.




This post was created by Nell Ostermeier, DVM, CVA, FAAVA and is intended for informational use, not to replace medical advice.