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Frequently Asked Questions

Veterinary Acupuncture Therapy FAQ's

Can acupuncture be used to treat my pet?
The World Health Organization has determined that acupuncture is an effective therapy for over 200 clinical conditions, including:

  • back pain
  • neck and shoulder pain
  • traumatic injuries (promotes healing and reduces pain)
  • sprains
  • osteoarthritis
  • respiratory problems
  • digestive problems
  • nervous system disorders

Acupuncture also helps induce a deep state of relaxation, which enhances healing.

How many treatments are necessary?
Depending on the condition, a series of 3-4 initial appointments are scheduled about a week apart. Patients are then weaned to the longest effective treatment interval, typically about once a month.

Does acupuncture hurt?
Most pets find acupuncture virtually painless. The needles are hair-thin and the relaxed pace of longer appointments help put you and your pet at ease.

How do you get the pet to sit still for treatment?
We use soft music, a cushy bed, aroma therapy, massage and very tasty treats to help your pet relax for therapy. At most, light restraint is used, but most pets cooperate with treatment because it is pleasant and helps them feel better.

How much experience does Dr. Dodd have?
Dr. Dodd has been a veterinarian for 15 years. She was trained in acupuncture at CSU, then helped teach the course for 2 years. She was certified through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 2001. She sees approximately 20-30 acupuncture patients a week, giving her more experience than most general practitioners.

Is acupuncture safe?
Yes. Acupuncture has no unwanted side effects and does not interfere with any conventional medical treatment. We use only sterile, single-use needles.

How is Oriental medicine compatible with Western medicine?
Both Western and Oriental Medicine have their respective strengths and weaknesses, and both systems may be used together. Our goal is to use the most effective therapy with the fewest side effects to enhance the health and vitality of our patients.

How do I schedule an appointment?
Please call (303) 919-1504 for a listing of several Metro Denver locations where you can schedule an appointment.


Veterinary Behavioral Therapy FAQ's

Will behavioral therapy help my pet?
For almost all problems, the chances of improvement are very good. Dr. Dodd will evaluate your pet and give a reasonable prognosis for degree of improvement. The level of rehabilitation depends on the pet's condition, temperament, the living situation and your ability to comply with the therapy. However, similar to human psychotherapy, no one can ethically give a guarantee for your pet's complete behavioral recovery.

Why should our family choose Dr. Dodd?
In short, because of her expertise. Dr. Dodd is the leading veterinary behavior consultant in the state of Colorado, with 15 years clinical experience in resolving animal behavior problems. She has a detailed working knowledge of medications that may be helpful to your pet. Her diagnoses are based on many years of experience, high-level training and a logical and practical approach to problem resolution. She is not only competent, but is compassionate to the needs of the pet and family. Her fees reflect this level of caring, capability and education.

What does treatment consist of?
Treatment is based on state of the art behavior modification, using dog- and family-friendly methods. Counter-conditioning, desensitization, shaping, gentle corrections and management are the cornerstones of our successful behavior rehabilitation programs. You will be taught effective leadership and pet parenting skills to increase desired behaviors and decrease problem behaviors. The action plan empowers you by giving you structure and a clear understanding of expectations and outcomes.

How many appointments are necessary?
Usually, three appointments are scheduled to get behavior modification underway. For many families, this is enough. Occasionally, additional follow-up appointments are needed for ongoing coaching.

What does the consultation fee include?
The consultation fee includes the initial phone interview, time spent with you and your pet, coaching, a detailed, written treatment plan, behavioral prognosis, scientifically accurate handouts and consultation with your primary care veterinarian.

How do I schedule an appointment?
Please call (303) 919-1504 to schedule your initial phone interview. A credit card is necessary to secure your initial appointment. Your veterinarian or trainer should also call this number to leave a detailed behavioral history. After the initial phone appointment, Dr. Dodd will send you handouts pertinent to your pet's problem. At this point, we schedule an in-person visit, as soon as possible, and begin problem resolution. Follow-up appointments are then scheduled as needed.


Veterinary Chiropractic Therapy FAQ's

Can chiropractic adjustments be used to treat my pet?
Chiropractic adjustments are an effective therapy for many clinical conditions, including:

  • Back, neck pain
  • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Accidents or sports injuries
  • Maintenance of joint and spinal health

How many treatments are necessary?
This question must be answered on an individual basis for each patient. In most cases, a single treatment is not enough to eliminate the problem. Most animals show significant improvement after 1 to 4 treatments. Chronic problems usually take longer to resolve requiring more chiropractic treatment, whereas animals with acute problems often respond more quickly.

The goal of chiropractic treatment is to address neurological dysfunction in the spine and restore mobility. It is then the task of muscles and ligaments to support the spine and maintain this new realigned position.

This process and the role of the chiropractor is similar to that of an orthodontist. The orthodontist applies a brace to the teeth and over a period of time makes regular adjustments and corrections to realign the teeth, so that in time they will maintain their correct position. A chiropractor will also adjust and correct the animal a number of times, until the body accepts the new position of the spine as normal and the muscles and ligaments support and maintain this position.

How long will a treatment take?
The initial consultation and first treatment (usually between 30--60mins) tends to take longer than subsequent visits as a detailed case history, examination etc. is undertaken. Subsequent treatments are usually shorter (between 20-40 mins) depending on the veterinary chiropractor's findings.

Do chiropractic adjustments hurt?
Most pets find chiropractic adjustments relatively painless. Occasionally, after a treatment a pet may be mildly sore for a day or two. Afterwards, their movement and gait are improved.

Will my pet relax for the treatment?
This is more like a spa visit than a veterinary visit! We use soft music, a cushy bed, aroma therapy, massage and tasty treats to help your pet relax and enjoy.

How much experience does Dr. Dodd have?
Dr. Dodd has been a veterinarian since 1992. She was trained in chiropractic at Options for Animals. She was certified through the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association 2007. She treats dogs, cats and the occasional rabbit.

Are chiropractic adjustments safe?
Yes. Done properly, chiropractic adjustments are safe. In cases of acute pain, treatment may be delayed and other treatment options (such as massage and acupuncture) are used to help start the healing process.

How does chiropractic compare to traditional veterinary care?
Veterinary chiropractic treatment does not replace traditional veterinary medicine; however, it can provide additional diagnosic and treatment options for spinal and musculoskeletal disorders.


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Learn More about Gentle Vet
  • We are very grateful to Dr. Dodd for her assistance in helping us and our dog, Amber. Amber had a severe case of separation-anxiety. Dr. Dodd gave us lots of information and a comprehensive treatment plan. The plan not only worked for Amber but also with me. Throughout the process, Dr. Dodd was supportive and answered all of our questions immediately. Today, Amber is a wonderful, loving pet who provides much joy and companionship. Thank you Dr. Dodd - we couldn't have done it without you.
    - Ken, Brenda and Amber

Dr. Rhea Dodd and Gentle Vet - A Metro Denver, Colorado Veterinary Acupuncture
and Behavior Practice Dedicated Exclusively to your Pet's Comfort and Happiness.

IVAS and CSU certified in Veterinary Acupuncture :: IVCA Certified in Veterinary Chiropractic