Veterinary acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of conditions and animals. For details see Conditions and animals treated.
You will need to get a referral from your vet, for details of how to do that and how we can help see Get a referral.
Once referred we will discuss your pet’s case and history with your vet. Then we will discuss the best way to see your pet with you. This may be a home visit or at a clinic.
The initial consultation lasts about 45 minutes to allow for a full history review and comprehensive examination. Follow up consultations take approximately 30 minutes depending on your pet’s needs. A repeat examination and evaluation is performed each time to monitor your pet’s progress.
For chronic pain management I recommend an initial treatment course of 4-6 sessions at approximately weekly intervals in order to see the full benefit of the acupuncture. Other conditions may benefit from more frequent treatments.
During the session
The physical process of veterinary acupuncture works just like human acupuncture. It involves gently inserting very fine, solid needles at specific points in the pet’s body depending on the condition treated and the individual pet’s needs. The needles are so fine that they do not cause any damage but they do have a number of effects on the pet’s nervous system and body. The needles are left in for periods that vary between a few seconds and 20 minutes. If you would like to know more about the science behind the effects of acupuncture see How acupuncture works.
Most clients remain with their pet and are pleasantly surprised at how well the treatment is tolerated. I encourage the pet to lie down on a comfortable bed or blanket. Some dogs, especially sight hounds, may wish to remain standing. For home visits I bring along all the necessary equipment. There may be a minimal reaction when a needle is first placed but this dissipates quickly and then the patient relaxes. It is not uncommon for your pet to fall asleep. However, if your pet remains alert and even wants to move around that is also normal.
After the session
For the first day or two after treatment your pet may be more sleepy than usual. Then it would be expected to see some improvement in their condition. At first this is likely to be temporary but with repeated treatments this improvement should be maintained.
Follow up sessions
The frequency of ongoing treatments depends on your pet’s response and the nature of their condition. For acute pain, like post-surgery, only a few treatments close together may be required. For chronic pain, such as arthritis, treatments are likely to be ongoing, perhaps monthly, fortnightly or occasionally weekly. I will monitor your pet’s progress using a standard review and questionnaire template.
I will bring all the necessary equipment to your home, where I will need a room or space that is warm and quiet with around 2 by 1 metres of floorspace. Please make parking available at your home or nearby. If you live in a Controlled Parking Zone area please let me know beforehand where parking is permitted and if there are parking ticket machines or you have guest vouchers available. Any cost of parking will be added to your bill.