Acupuncture has been used in China for a wide range of conditions for thousands of years. At Abervet we practice a modern “Western” approach to veterinary acupuncture. As well as including traditional “meridian” acupuncture points, needles are placed at points based on scientific and physiological evidence and on physical findings in your pet. The majority of acupuncture cases currently treated at the practice are arthritic and painful animals but acupuncture has also been shown to be useful in many conditions including skin and nerve problems.
Although acupuncture is not a miracle cure for any condition, in around 9 out of 10 animals it will significantly improve their quality of life. Generally animals tolerate acupuncture very well and are keen to come in for their sessions! Appointments last 30 minutes and initially sessions are weekly. In most instances owners stay with their pets during the session but this is not essential.
Electro acupuncture is also available at the practice. This passes a small electric current through the acupuncture needles and can provide a greater level of stimulation and therefore greater pain relief. This treatment is not something we would generally suggest in the initial stages of treatment but can be very helpful in the latter stages of treatment when the manual acupuncture is not as effective as it previously had been.
Sarah Smith BVM&S GPCert (WVA+CPM) and Liz White MA VetMB MRCVS are our two vets that practice acupuncture here at Abervet. Sarah is also a certified Pain Specialist and has written the following about acupuncture.
"I have been working as a vet in general practice since 1999 and have been using acupuncture as a treatment for 12 years. I think it is a fantastic therapy to be able to offer our pets and over the past 12 years I have treated many animals for many different conditions. During the last few years I have become increasingly interested in chronic pain and the different ways in which we can manage it. I have recently completed a certificate in Western Veterinary Acupuncture and Chronic Pain Management.
As our pets are living longer, we are able to do so much more to ensure that their lives are as comfortable and happy as possible.
At Abervet we offer specialist pain management appointments where we can spend time examining your pet and discussing their needs. This allows us to tailor an individual plan for your pet to include advice on medication, complementary therapies and any environmental or dietary adjustments. There are many medications and therapies available to our pets and I believe we should be doing everything we can to ensure that they have the best possible quality of life.”
If you would like to discuss any aspects of your pet’s pain management, please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange an appointment with either Sarah or Liz.
Acupuncture Case Study
This is Molly enjoying her acupuncture. Molly was attacked by another dog many years ago and had several surgeries including a femoral head and neck excision (hip surgery). She copes remarkably well but a couple of years ago she started becoming slower on her walks and less happy to play with her ball. On examination Molly had muscle pain along her spine but was otherwise very well. It is likely that the pain was secondary to an abnormal range of movement in her hind leg after having previous surgery. We started weekly acupuncture sessions with her and her quality of life really improved. She was much happier in herself and started to play more normally again. Gradually the frequency of her visits was decreased and she currently comes for acupuncture every 3 weeks.
She loves coming in for her acupuncture and enjoys being given constant attention for 20 minutes!