Acupuncture for chronic pain has been a part of my clinical repertoire for most of my career. It was recommended to me by another vet, who was astonished at the results she was getting. I too have had some really astounding results, though in most cases I’m delighted just to improve quality of life for the patient and client!
It is an ancient Chinese medical practice which involves inserting very fine needles into specific points on the body, usually along ‘meridians’ which are lines that are considered to be important for the flow of energy through the body. I mostly use a westernised form of acupuncture, concentrating on the areas of pain along with some specific Traditional Chinese Medicine points which help with the effect.
I have had some success with non pain cases, such as lick granulomas on dogs and cats, and if I have a case that we are struggling with conventional treatment, I will often try.
If your pet has arthritis or joint trouble, get in touch to discuss them. Let’s see what we can do!
We tend to arrange three appointments quite close together to start a new case. These are usually 7-10 days apart, and then I suggest if the client feels there has been a benefit, they arrange future sessions as and when they feel they are needed.
The needles are usually left in for about 10-15 minutes, although I always allow a long appointment time at least initially to ensure that there is no rushing or stress to the patient. After the first session a few animals will seem much worse initially, this usually means they will go on to do very well. Some animals show a slight improvement after the first session, which is shortlived, but this usually becomes a case which improves more and for longer after each subsequent session.
Some clients report a change in mobility, mental awareness, even improved sleep. All patients respond individually, so it’s impossible to say how one will do until we try.
I would estimate that only 5% of patients see no perceptible change, which for a drug free therapy is very pleasing. I use acupuncture as part of a multi-modal approach to chronic pain cases.