Department of Veterinary Surgery and Anesthesiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, UNESP (Univ Estadual Paulista), Botucatu, SP, Brazil.
This prospective study investigated the effects of acupuncture alone or combined with analgesics in chronic pain and quality of life assessed by owners for up to 24 weeks in 181 dogs with neurological and musculoskeletal diseases. The scores before and after the onset of treatment were evaluated using the Wilcoxon test and the evolution of success was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier curves. Differences were considered significant at P < 0.05. The success rates for Helsinki chronic pain index (HCPI), quality of life assessment, and visual analog scales (VAS) for pain and locomotion were 79%, 84%, 78%, and 78% of the animals, respectively, when both diseases and groups of treatment were combined. Dogs with musculoskeletal disorders had greater improvement in HCPI (P = 0.003) and VAS locomotion (P = 0.045) than those with neurological disorders. Use of acupuncture alone or in combination with analgesics reduced pain and improved quality of life in dogs with neurological and musculoskeletal diseases.