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About Veterinary Acupuncture

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting fine, solid needles into the body for pain relief or, in some cases, to help the body deal with other problems or diseases.

How does acupuncture work?

It works through the nervous system. The effect of the needles blocks pain messages and encourages the brain and central nervous system to produce more of the body’s natural painkillers. In conditions that are not painful, acupuncture may help to stimulate the body’s normal functioning.

What to expect

The usual initial course is one treatment a week for four weeks. After four weeks your pet will be re-assessed and an ongoing plan made. Often this involves increasing the interval between treatments so that the effect is maintained for as long as possible, but all cases are different.

The initial treatment will take up to 1 hour. A full history will be taken and your pet examined. Needles will be put into various parts of the body as appropriate and moved or stimulated a few times, remaining in place for up to 20 minutes. Plenty of time is allowed to ensure that the pace of treatment suits your pet.

Subsequent sessions will take slightly less time as the vet becomes more familiar with the case and your pet becomes accustomed to acupuncture.

There is not a set “dose” of acupuncture as there is for medication, so your vet will judge how much to do based on your pet’s response both at the time and after the treatment.

How will my pet react?

Some pets become sleepy and relaxed during the treatment. It is not uncommon for pets to sleep very soundly for a long time after treatment. This is a good sign and suggests that your pet will probably respond well to acupuncture. But do not worry if they are not sleepy – this does not mean that they will not respond.

Sometimes your pet may seem happier or more active than usual after treatment; this is also a good sign, but keep them quiet for the rest of the day or they may overdo things.

You may see no response. This is always disappointing but does not mean your pet will not benefit from acupuncture; It may just be that they will take longer to respond. Each pet is an individual and some respond instantly whilst others may take up to four treatments before a noticeable improvement.

Please be aware that not all animals are acupuncture responders, but about 80% will be.

Find Out More
About Veterinary Acupuncture: Services
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