AVS Equine Hospital believes in the use of both traditional and integrative medical approaches, and feels there is a place for both western and eastern medicine in our equine patients.

Steve Fisch, DVM is certified in Equine Acupuncture. Both Dr. Fisch and Dr. Lacey received their acupuncture training from the Chi Institute. Although the practice of acupuncture has been around for a few thousand years it is still often misunderstood in the West, but is routinely used in the East. In combination with Western medicine acupuncture gives us an additional tool to maximize the healing benefits to your horse.

Dr. Fisch and Dr. Lacey have had great success utilizing acupuncture to treat the following: musculoskeletal injuries, sore muscles, back pain, acute and chronic injuries, subtle gait abnormalities and complex lameness cases, anhidrosis(lack of sweating), cribbing, and reproductive issues involving hard to get in foal mares.

How do acupuncture needles relieve pain?

  • Acupuncture is an integrative veterinary medical therapy that works by stimulating predetermined points, acupoints, to generate a physiological response.
  • Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years, but it was not until recently that research was done to demonstrate how it works and validate its benefits. The US National Library of Medicine Institute of Health ( has a total of 26,950 articles regarding acupuncture and 5,075 animal-specific articles as of December 2017.
  • Anatomically each acupoint contains a high density of free nerve endings, small blood vessels, mast cells and lymphatic vessels, which aid in generating a therapeutic response. Stimulating these specific points with acupuncture needles creates a natural release of endogenous opioids (endorphins, enkephalins and dynorphins), serotonin and norepinephrine.
  • Research has proven acupuncture can be beneficial and effective for pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Acupuncture can aid in controlling muscle spasm, promote vasodilation and stimulate neuronal regeneration. 
Is acupuncture safe?
  • Yes! It is safe with very few side effects, as it is a natural form of medicine.
How does it feel?
  • Typically it is felt as a small pin prick. Some equine patients do not acknowledge the needles at all, while others may react to the sensation.
  • Some horses fall asleep during their treatment!