Our senior vet, Michelle, has been practising acupuncture since 2000, with excellent results. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions:
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the practise of inserting fine needles into the body at key points, to offer pain relief, reset bodily functions or help the body fight diseases.
How does it work?
The needles block pain signals to the brain and encourage the body to produce more natural painkillers.
Will it hurt my pet?
Quite the opposite! The needles stimulate nerves that block the pain the animal would otherwise have felt. Sometimes the animal may react to the expected pain, but then they relax when it does not occur. Mostly the animal accepts the needles well, and is relaxed and even sleepy during treatment.
Does my pet need to be sedated?
It is uncommon for pets to need sedation; this would only be necessary if the animal was hypersensitive to pain such that any touch caused discomfort.
How often would my pet need treating?
The usual course is once a week, for 4-6 weeks. After this time we will know how the animal is responding and so we will work out a treatment plan that usually involves decreasing treatment in a way that will maintain the effects for as long as possible.
Is it safe?
In the right hands, acupuncture is totally safe. Legally it must be performed by a qualified vet who will assess the animal’s condition before starting treatment. There are a few cases where we do not recommend acupuncture, and Michelle can discuss these further as required.