Part 1
Marvin J. Cain DVM
Philip A.M. Rogers MRCVS
I(Written 1985; revised 1987, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996)

This paper is based on published material (textbooks, journals etc), as well as on written and verbal material from colleagues in many countries, together with our own clinical experience with horses. The paper is given in three main parts:

1. Indications and contraindications for AP in horses;

2. Points and methods used in common conditions in equine practice;

3. APPENDIX: Acupuncture point locations and Channel functions.


The Appendix discusses Traditional versus the Transposition systems and the location of the traditional and transposed points in horses. It also contains 26 figures and 26 charts showing the location of the points and the main points used in many common conditions in horses. Those unfamiliar with AP should study the Appendix and the references listed in it.


Rogers wrote the first drafts for seminars in Tokyo and Melbourne in 1985. He sent the drafts to Dr. Cain, who made major changes then. The texts were corrected further and updated for the IVAS Congress (Antwerp 1987) and for courses in Arhus (1988), (Oslo 1988), Sydney (1991) and Dublin (1996). Without Dr. Cain's input, these papers would have been less valuable than excreta from the taurine rectum. Most of the detail on point location and function is his work.


The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) has existed since 1974. Since then, documentation of the effects of acupuncture (AP) in humans, small animals and laboratory animals has been much more extensive than in horses. AP is used today by veterinarians in more than 34 countries and, in most of these, horses are also treated by AP. In an attempt to document the current methods used and to give specific examples of AP in "Western" clinical equine practice, questionnaires were sent to veterinarians experienced in equine AP, especially to colleagues in IVAS. They were asked to indicate conditions which they found were responsive to AP and the points and methods which they use.


The following colleagues gave details of their approach to equine AP, either in formal or informal meetings, discussions or correspondence: Grady-Young,H., (deceased) of Thomasville, Georgia, USA; Jeffries,D., 2612 White Rd., Grove City, Ohio 43123, USA; Johnson,R., 209 Lake Aires Rd., Fairmont, MN 56031, USA; and Kuussaari,J., 25460 Toija, Finland.


Basic texts on large animal AP are scarce. The best include those by Hwang,Y.C., Dept. Anatomy, Veterinary School, Tuskeegee, AL 36088, USA; Klide,A., Dept. Anaesthesia, Veterinary School, Philadelphia, USA; Kothbauer,O., Windberg 2, Grieskirchen, Ober-Osterreich, Austria; Lin,J.H., Dept. Animal Husbandry, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC; van den Bosch,E., G. van Heuvelstraat, Ramsel, Belgium; Westermayer,E., (deceased) Bellamont, Sud Wurttemberg, Germany; and White,S., Dept. Anatomy, Veterinary School, Murdoch University, West Australia. The authors of those texts kindly presented us with copies of their work and explained their methods to us.


To these friends, to many others unnamed, and to our patients who have taught us to listen to the body we give our most sincere thanks.