Acupuncture can be used in both dogs and cats to can help a variety of painful conditions and can be used along with more usual medicines and surgery. Acupuncture can help dogs and cats feel better.
We are pleased to offer acupuncture sessions with Louise Dodds, one of our veterinary surgeons to help our patients recover from or cope with many painful conditions.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture has its roots in China and dates back over four thousand years. Acupuncture can be defined as the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to treat disease.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture can assist the body to heal itself by affecting physiological systems in the body. Stimulation of a specific point results in changes in the central nervous system. This affects musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and hormonal systems. Acupuncture can stimulate nerves, relieve muscle spasm, increase blood circulation and cause a release of transmitters and hormones, such as endorphins and cortisol.
What conditions can it help?
Intervertebral disk disease
Traumatic nerve injury
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Recurrent urinary tract infections
Is Acupuncture Painful?
The insertion of a single-use, thin, sterile needle is virtually painless in small animals. Some animals may experience some sensation in sensitive areas. However, most animals relax and some even fall asleep.
Will my pet need to be sedated?
It is very uncommon for pets to need sedation for acupuncture.
Is Acupuncture safe?
It is very safe when performed correctly. Legally, ‘dry-needle acupuncture’ and ‘electro-acupuncture’ should only be performed by a suitably trained Veterinary Surgeon. Side effects and complications are rare.
Sometimes, a condition may seem to worsen before improving. Some animals become lethargic for about 24 hours post treatment.
How often would my pet be treated?
We suggest acupuncture once a week for about four weeks. After this time, we can determine if treatment is working. Just like humans, some animals are more sensitive to acupuncture than others. Depending on the condition, the frequency of treatment can then be reduced e.g. once every three to four weeks.
What to expect
The initial consult will last 45 minutes; your pet’s history and symptoms will be discussed and a thorough physical examination will take place. At the first treatment, the needles will be left in place for about 10 minutes, leading up to about 20 minutes at subsequent visits. Subsequent treatments will take up to 30 minutes. These examinations will take place in our Merthyr Tydfil surgery.
For some animals, owners will see an improvement straight away, but it is more common to see a gradual improvement over several sessions.
Your pet can stay on existing medication and in successful cases, some animals can end up needing less of their current medication.
You can find out more about acupuncture in pets from the Association of British Veterinary Accupuncturists.