Acupuncture is available by appointment with our specially trained vets.
This can be beneficial for pets with joint or spine conditions, pain management and some skin conditions.
A brief history of acupuncture
Acupuncture is commonly thought of as a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Practitioners place needles in certain positions over the body’s surface in the belief this will help to treat many painful conditions. The history of acupuncture can be traced back thousands of years when more rudimentary methods of treatment were used. Sharpened stones and pieces of bone were the tools of choice! Things have progressed a great deal since then and over recent years, western doctors and vets have realised the many benefits of acupuncture for their patients.
How does it work?
When suffering from injury or disease the body is capable of producing its own pain relieving chemicals. These internal pain-killers help to reduce the activity of the nerves which are responsible for alerting the brain to the presence of injury or pain. In cases of chronic discomfort, it becomes more difficult for the body to wind down its own pain mechanisms in this way. Acupuncture works by stimulating nerve fibres and muscle tissue so more of the body’s own pain relieving methods are activated.
What conditions can be treated?
In western veterinary medicine, the most common use of acupuncture is in treating painful musculo-skeletal conditions such as chronic arthritis. Sudden, acute injuries may also be treated with acupuncture and it is particularly useful for muscular damage. Occasionally chronic skin problems may also improve following acupuncture treatment. In some instances, wound healing is improved following acupuncture treatment. There are some diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract which may benefit from acupuncture and each case is assessed on an individual basis for suitability. In a lot of cases, we will use acupuncture in addition to the animal’s usual medicine. In some cases, however, acupuncture may be a safe alternative when certain medications are contraindicated.
What happens during a treatment?
The animal is examined to identify specific areas of pain and discomfort. The vet will ask questions regarding the pet’s routine at home and whether any changes in this have been noticed. The vet will use specialist sterile needles placed in areas specific to the condition being treated. Most animals tolerate needle placement well. Once the needles are in place they remain in position for 5 to 10 minutes, during which time the vet may adjust the needles for maximum effect. Humans report acupuncture needles cause various sensations including tingling and warmth in the treated area and it is assumed animals have a similar experience. Most pets are entirely comfortable during this procedure. Occasionally, animals do not feel comfortable with the sensations they experience following needle placement. In these cases acupuncture is discontinued.
Read more by downloading our Acupuncture Leaflet below: