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Acupuncture and Electroacupuncture Effects on Thermal Imaging Patterns and Pain and Scratching Relief in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with Chiari-Like Malformation and Cervical Syringomyelia

Principal Investigator: Curtis Dewey

Department of Clinical Sciences
Sponsor: American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation
Title: Acupuncture and Electroacupuncture Effects on Thermal Imaging Patterns and Pain and Scratching Relief in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with Chiari-Like Malformation and Cervical Syringomyelia
Project Amount: $7,250
Project Period: February 2019 to January 2020

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): 

The purposes of this prospective study are: 1) to evaluate effects of acupuncture (“dry needling” or DN) and electroacupuncture (EA) on thermal patterns in the cervical region of Cavalier King Charles spaniels (CKCS) with MRI-confirmed Chiari-like malformation (CLM) and associated cervical syringomyelia, and 2) to evaluate any pain and/or suspected paresthesia relieving effect of acupuncture therapy via scored owner questionnaires. The study design is a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled crossover investigation in which 10 participants will receive either the specified 20 minute acupuncture (DN) treatment, EA treatment or no therapy; each participant will receive the alternative therapies (i.e., DN, EA or placebo) at four and eight weeks. Placebo therapy will consist of maintaining the patient in the same location and temperature setting with the same handlers for a 20 minute period, without placing needles. Immediately prior to DN, EA or placebo treatment, thermal images will be acquired from the cervical region using an infrared camera in four planes. In each plane, the areas will be divided into regions of interest (ROI) for purposes of mean temperature calculation. After treatment (EA or placebo), thermal images will be acquired in the same planes as pre-treatment at specified time intervals. Mean temperatures from each ROI will be compared for different time periods and treatment groups using a mixed-model repeated measures ANOVA. Owners will fill out the questionnaires at weekly intervals for 4 weeks. Questionnaire scores will be compared between treatment groups using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Statistical significance will be set at p<0.05.

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