Veterinary Acupuncture Information for Pet Owners
Acupuncture has been used for approximately 4500 years in animals, making it one of the oldest systems of medicine still used today. Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles into specific points in the body to achieve therapy and balance. It is based on a holistic concept of diagnosis and treatment and utilises the body’s own ability to repair itself.
What conditions can acupuncture treat?
- Musculoskeletal system – including arthritis
- Nervous system disorders
- Urinary tract disease – including FLUTD in cats
- Respiratory tract disorders
- Cardiovascular disease
- Skin disease
- Gastrointestinal disease
- Reproductive disorders
What are the advantages of acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be used to complement Western Medicine. It can help control pain in older pets when certain medications cannot be used, it can assist when Western Medicine offers no answer and it can also help your pet to heal itself.
Will it hurt my pet?
Acupuncture needles have round ends, not cutting ends, so they separate the skin and muscles. Some animals will feel some pressure or heat when the needle is inserted through the skin. Once the needle is through the skin the animal generally does not react.
What can I expect after my pet has an acupuncture treatment?
There are three common outcomes after the initial treatment:
- No obvious change in the symptoms, but the animal may be brighter
- Symptoms improve for 24-48 hours, then slowly decline but are always better than prior to starting treatment
- Symptoms get worse for 24-48 hours, and then steadily improve.
How many treatments will my pet need?
It varies on the condition. Acute problems generally require fewer treatments than chronic conditions. Each acupuncture treatment will take approximately 30 mins. For painful conditions such as arthritis, the initial treatment frequency is weekly which then reduces to monthly or even three monthly.
Our Veterinary Acupuncturists
Dr Kate Rattenbury is currently studying to become a certified Veterinary Acupuncturist through the IVAS (International Veterinary Acupuncture Society) acupuncture course.