J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1987 May; 190(9): 1177-80.
Use of acupuncture for the treatment of chronic back pain in horses: stimulation of acupuncture points with saline solution injections.
Fifteen horses that could not train or perform their sport at an acceptable level because of chronic back pain of 2 to 24 months' duration, and that did not obtain lasting improvement from other previous treatments, were treated with acupuncture. The treatments consisted of injection of 1 ml of sterile saline (0.9% NaCl) solution, with no preservatives, at 9 acupuncture points. The horses were treated once a week for a mean of 9 treatments. The mean number of treatments before obvious improvement was 4. After treatment, 13 of the 15 horses had apparent alleviation of their signs of pain and could train and compete. Six to 12 months after their last treatment, 2 horses had been removed from competition; one had sustained a fracture and the other had died. The remaining 11 of the original 13 that competed after treatment were still competing.