Students begin to practice needling on live animals during the first on-site session.

Program Overview

Small Animal Acupuncture is a 150-hour continuing education program approved by American Association of Veterinary State Boards Registry of Approved Continuing Education (AAVSB RACE) that certifies students in veterinary acupuncture with an emphasis on small animals.  The program begins with an overview of fundamental aspects of Chinese Medicine, including Yin-Yang and Five Elements theory, which serve as a foundation for case diagnoses and treatment presented later in the class.  A variety of acupuncture techniques are taught, including electro-acupuncture and moxibustion, in addition to conventional "dry" needling.  Students will learn acupuncture points on small animals only, and primarily dogs are used for practice in the wet labs. 

The program is presented in five sessions (three online and two on-site) over a period of six months.  Online sessions are composed of  lectures that students can stream at their own convenience.  Afternoon wet-labs of on-site sessions give students the opportunity to learn acupuncture points on live animals in small lab groups of five to six students per instructor.  A spring class and a fall class are held each year.  Small Animal Acupuncture is offered to licensed veterinarians and veterinary school students only. 

Major Topics

  • Learn both Traditional and Western aspects of Acupuncture:
    • Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) Principles: Five Elements, Yin-Yang, Eight Principles, Zang-Fu Physiology and Pathology, Meridians and Channels
    • Scientific Basis of Acupuncture
  • 127 Transpositional Canine Acupuncture Points (hands-on, wet-lab demos)
  • 40 Classical Canine Acupuncture Points (hands-on, wet-lab demos)
  • How to needle acupuncture points in dogs, cats and birds
  • TCVM Diagnostic Systems, including Tongue and Pulse Diagnosis
  • How to integrate acupuncture into your practice
  • How to use veterinary acupuncture to diagnose and treat:
    • Musculoskeletal conditions, lameness and neurological disorders
    • Cardiovascular diseases and respiratory disorders
    • Gastrointestinal disorders and behavioral problems
    • Dermatological problems and immune-mediated diseases
    • Renal & urinary disorders and reproductive disorders
  • Veterinary acupuncture techniques:
    • Dry needle (conventional needling)
    • Aqua-acupuncture (point injection)
    • Electro-acupuncture
    • Hemo-acupuncture
    • Moxibustion

Program Features
  • Limited seats, small lab groups (5-6 members with one TA per group) in 35 hours of wet labs
  • Learn from master TCVM practitioner Dr. Huisheng Xie, who has over 35 years of teaching experience in the U.S. and abroad
  • 150-hours approved by American Association of Veterinary State Boards Registry of Approved Continuing Education (AAVSB RACE)
  • Combination of online and on-site learning, allowing for lower total cost and more schedule flexibility
  • Free case consultation with TCVM experts for all students
  • Free Evidence-Based Veterinary Acupuncture Program ($900 value)
    • 32 CE-hour online program approved by RACE
    • Students must enroll between the first day of their acupuncture program until up to 6 months after the completion of the program.
  • Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA) certification (after completion of all requirements) endorsed by World Association of TCVM and the Chi Institute.
  • Clinical practice receives strong emphasis throughout the entire program.  The goal after each on-site session are listed below:
      1. Session 2 (first on-site session): begin incorporating acupuncture into your practice
      2. Session 5 (final session):  improve efficacy of acupuncture treatments and fully integrate acupuncture into daily practice
  • Each day starts with Tai-ji to promote a balanced learning environment
  • Complimentary "goodies" to all our acupuncture students include:
      • Lunches and snacks during on-site sessions (with vegetarian options)
      • Chi Institute Canine Acupuncture Charts
      • 50 copies of Veterinary Acupuncture FAQs brochures to educate your clients
      • Class handouts and notes as a digital file

Small Animal Acupuncture wet labs are capped at 5-6 students per instructor.

Students exercising with Tai-ji before exercising their minds.

Students in the Veterinary Acupuncture program learn a variety of needling methods, including aqua-acupuncture.





Instructors teach from years of experience and an expertly created curriculum.

CVA Certification

Students of the Small Animal Acupuncture program are eligible for the Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist certification endorsed by the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and the World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (WATCVM). The CVA certification requirements are as follows:

  • Complete all five sessions of the program.
  • Pass three online quizzes (administered online after sessions 1-3) with scores above 75%.
  • Pass final written exam in the final on-site session or through online proctoring with a score above 75%.
  • Pass the clinical acupoints exam in the final on-site session with a score above 75%.
  • Submit one veterinary acupuncture case report or three case logs to be approved.
  • Complete 30-hours of advanced TCVM program training or internship with a certified veterinary acupuncturist. More information on completing the internship requirement can be found here.

    Please note that the Chi Institute cannot issue any certification to DVM students until their DVM has been obtained.
Required Reading



  • Veterinary Acupuncture: Ancient Art to Modern Medicine by Allen Schoen
  • Four Paws, Five Directions by Cheryl Schwartz
  • The Foundations of Chinese Medicine by Giovanni Maciocia
  • Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion by Cheng Xinnong
  • Chinese Veterinary Herbal Handbook by Aituan Ma
Lodging and Accommodations

For information about accommodations, travel, and what to pack, please visit our lodging and accommodations page.