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Acupuncture for Pets

Acupuncture is one of a variety of therapies that we use at East West Vets to treat your pet. It is an ancient form of healing originating in China, where the earliest books on acupuncture, both human and veterinary, date back to 2,500 B.C. At that time there was already a complex knowledge of pathology and medicine, so acupuncture has been practiced for at least 4,500 years. Acupuncture is the oldest system of medicine still used today.

Acupuncture for pets is a specific strength at East West Vets and is used in excess of 80% of the cases presented each week.  Using a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbs and other modalities we repeatedly produce excellent results.

Dr Nevill puts needles in dog

How does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is based on a theory that there is a circulation of energy or "qi" which travels through well defined channels or "meridians" just below the surface of the skin. These meridians are connected to internal organs as well as all the other structures of the body. Acupuncture points are specific points, which lie along these meridians. When a needle is inserted into a point on a specific meridian this regulates the flow of energy within the meridian. In healthy animals this energy flows smoothly, in sick animals the energy does not flow smoothly causing pain and encouraging disease. Acupuncture treatment re-establishes the normal flow of energy and helps restore health.

Recent research has shown that stimulating acupuncture points affects all the major systems of the body. Acupuncture stimulates the body's  own inherent healing abilities by the release of endogenous endorphins. The drug free nature of this therapy appeals to many clients, as it is free of side effects and drug residues.

Analgesics are not commonly used with acupuncture but of  course can be given if there is acute pain. Dietary changes and herbal remedies may also be prescribed.

Dr Nevill puts more needles in dog

What conditions are responsive to acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be used as a primary treatment in many cases, when medications are not working or contraindicated because of side effects, or if surgery is not possible. Acupuncture can be used in both large and small animals. In small animals, Acupuncture is most commonly used for the following problems:

Laser acupuncture

How often are the treatments and how long do they take?

Treatments vary depending on the methods used to stimulate the acupuncture points. Generally fine acupuncture needles are used and left in place for 10 - 20 minutes. Other methods are Aqua puncture (injecting a solution into the point), Laser or Electro puncture. Patients are treated 1 - 2 times per week for 4 - 6 weeks. Clinical improvement with acupuncture takes time as it stimulates the body's own healing mechanism.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is one of the safest therapies if practiced by a competent acupuncturist. Side effects are rare because acupuncture stimulates the body’s own system of healing and no chemicals are administered resulting very few complications.

Watch Dr Nevill talking about and demonstrating acupuncture