Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves the placing of fine sterile needles into acupuncture points which are found across the body.  There are two "schools" of acupuncture:

  • Western Acupuncture
  • Traditional Chinese Veterinary Acupuncture

Amy is trained in both fields, and so can use either system to select the most appropriate points for your pet. At each appointment, we will reassess our patient and determine where the optimal needle placement is for that day - no two treatments are ever the same! 

Acupuncture is classed as a schedule three procedure - i.e it is an act of veterinary surgery. Therefore ONLY a vet is legally able to provide acupuncture treatment.

Whilst it is notoriously difficult to design and implement good scientific studies into elucidating how acupuncture works, more and more good pieces of research are being produced that add to the evidence showing  that acupuncture does work, and demonstrate some of the ways that it does so. In a nutshell, acupuncture works on the neuro-endocrine system, to provide pain relief for musculoskeletal conditions and alleviate chronic conditions.

What conditions can be treated?

There are multiple conditions that we can use acupuncture to treat:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions, including but not limited to:
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Pre and post operative orthopaedic surgery conditions
    • Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia
    • Osteochondrosis Dessicans
    • Panosteitis
    • Back Pain caused by muscle tension
    • Disc Protrusions
    • General strains and sprains
  • Skin conditions
    • Lick granulomas
    • Allergies
  • Respiratory conditons
    • Asthma
    • Bronchitis
  • Urinary conditions
    • Incontinence
    • Chronic cystitis
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
    • IBD
    • Chronic diarrhoea
    • Poor digestion
  • Neurological disorders
    • Nerve trauma, paresis/paralysis
    • Epilepsy
  • Behavioural conditions (using a TCVM approach, though these often need to be managed in conjunction with a behaviouralist)
    • Stress overgrooming
    • Anxiety
  • Reproductive problems
    • Irregular oestrus cycles
    • Failure to conceive

Please do not think that if the condition your pet is suffering from is not listed here that it cannot be treated! Please contact us to discuss the conditions as there is a good chance that acupuncture may be able to help.

We are able to treat all species with acupuncture, though our most common patients are dogs, cats and horses.

What to expect

We normally advise a course of 4-6 sessions of acupuncture initially. Approximately 80% of animals respond well to acupuncture. If your pet has little or no response to acupuncture during this time, it may be that acupuncture is not the best treatment modality for your pet. If this occurs then we can discuss alternative options that we have available.

Most animals tolerate needle placement very well and can become very relaxed or sleepy during treatment. Snoring has been heard on occasion!

There are three outcomes that you may see after a session:

  1. An improvement in your pet. This may be in demeanour or in the condition. Client do sometimes report that they see an improvement in the demeanour of their pet shortly before they see an improvement in the clinical condition.
  2. No response. This may be that it is simply too early in the treatment plan for your animal - we need a minimum of 4-6 sessions to determine how well your pet 'responds' - or it may be that the improvement was too subtle or transient to see. 
  3. Your pet seems more painful. This can occur if too many needles were used, or were in place for too long. We can alter the needle placement duration or quantity of needles at the next session.