Balboa Pet Hospital

3329 Balboa St

San Francisco, CA 94121


Pet Acupuncture

Clinical western Veterinary medicine is ideal for a wide variety of pet ailments, such as broken bones, infections, and endocrine diseases. But when it comes to the long-term care of elderly veterinary patients, and to pets with chronic diseases, western medicine doesn't always have a solution, or sometimes even a treatment. Sometimes animals can't tolerate certain pharmaceutical medications or suffer intolerable side-effects. And some owners may prefer a more holistic and supportive approach.

Dog getting Pet Acupuncture in San Francisco, CA.

At Balboa Pet Hospital, we can offer Integrative Medicine, which combines the modern Western approach with Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. We are proud to be associated with Dr. Starfinder Stanley, an Integrative Medicine practitioner who studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and Veterinary Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine at the Chi Institute. Dr. Stanley uses eastern treatment modalities in combination with western medicine to speed healing and improve the health of his patients. For patients with arthritis, geriatric weakness, incontinence, paralysis, intervertebral disc disease, cancer, seizures, allergies, and a long list of other chronic health problems, Integrative Medicine can be an ideal solution.

Pet Acupuncture in San Francisco, CA

The goal of acupuncture treatment is to guide your pet's body to heal itself. Acupuncture has many effects on the body, including encouraging blood circulation, stimulating the nervous and immune systems, and generating the release of pain-relieving anti-inflammatory hormones.

During a typical acupuncture session, hair-thin needles are inserted into the body in special spots, called acupuncture points, which run in pathways called meridians across your pet's body. Stimulating combinations of different points can create different responses in the animal's body. Most conditions will respond best to a series of acupuncture treatments, which are repeated on a weekly, every-other-week, or monthly basis depending on the condition and the patient.

In most cases, animals tolerate the needles remarkably well, and once they have had a few sessions, some animals actually fall asleep because of the calming effects of the treatment.

There are a number of ways that Dr Stanley may choose to stimulate the acupuncture points during a treatment session.

  • Dry Needle Technique - which is the classic acupuncture you may have experienced yourself. Hair-thin needles are inserted into points and left in for 10-30 minutes.
  • Aqua-acupuncture -which involves giving injections of medications or vitamin B-12 into the acupuncture points for extended stimulation.
  • Electrostimulation - which uses low-level electrical current at various frequencies flowing between acupuncture needles to stimulate the points.

An Alternative Medical Option in San Francisco

Traditional Chinese veterinary medicine isn't a substitute for Western medicine, but rather a great complement to the practice. Each type of medicine fills in where the other has shortcomings, making our veterinary practice more complete. If your pet is suffering from chronic health problems that Western medicine just isn't resolving, don’t despair, there are more things that we can do to help! Give our office a call at 1-415-752-3300 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stanley. As an independent practitioner, Dr. Stanley is only available in our office on certain days, so please call and we will arrange an appointment as soon as possible.

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Our Regular Schedule

San Francisco Office


7:30 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm


7:30 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-3:00 pm