Acupuncture for Animals

Acupuncture for Animals

Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach to treatment of disease via accessing defined and very specific points on the body. This may be done with extremely fine stainless steel needles, laser light stimulation, electrical stimulation or injection of saline at those points. The knowledge and techniques have been used for over 2000 years by the Chinese and other Asian healers, and have been gaining acceptance in western medicine.

TCM puts the relevant signs in context of emotions, temperament, home life and environment etc allowing the clinician to a treatment plan that may involve acupuncture, herbal remedies and alteration of diet and environment.

Dr Durelle Esnouf qualified in 2005 through an internationally recognised year-long intensive course (IVAS) and has many regular patients.

Traditional belief is that the acupuncture points can influence “meridians” or energy channels, that run both externally along the limbs and internally. Manipulating these points can alter the energy, either helping a local problem, or affecting a more distant area.

Western understanding shows an increase in the local cell metabolism at these points, improving immune function, nerve and blood supply and reducing pain and helping healing.

Anatomically there are many close similarities between humans and other species and horse acupuncture has also been used for nearly as long as in people.

Patients with musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, delayed post-operative function and spinal issues are very good candidates.

Veterinarians in this practice have been highly trained in western medicine techniques of scientific diagnosis, pathology, radiology, surgery, medicine and a raft of other disciplines. However, there are still times when treatment options may be limited by cost, contraindicated with underlying disease, age or other medications. In some cases we just don’t have all the answers, or all the solutions.

Acupuncture is a painless and relatively inexpensive therapy than can be used in conjunction with the usual treatments, or on its own, after a diagnosis has been made. We would never use acupuncture as a trial instead of a reasonable investigation, and we would never use acupuncture on its own when other therapies are proven to be more effective. After an initial consultation, your veterinarian may suggest acupuncture as part of the treatment option.

The cost is a standard consultation fee for the first consultation if your pet has already been assessed at our hospitals, or slightly higher if referred from elsewhere. Treatment usually takes half an hour for the first visit, and 15 minutes for follow up treatments. Subsequent treatments cost the same as a standard revisit fee. Electro-acupuncture takes more time and equipment and is a little more expensive. If your pet normally visits another veterinary practice we are more than happy to take a referral for acupuncture. We will refer your pet back to their usual veterinarian for all other services and medication repeats. Many of our “responder patients” choose a 4-visit pre-paid option which is about 20% cheaper than 4 separate visits.

Most owners are worried about the pain from the needles however the majority of patients are completely un-fussed! Laser is a good option for the more sensitive points. We like to see some improvement after 2-3 treatments.

Cats can be surprisingly good acupuncture patients too!

Please call our staff if you have any further questions, or to book your pets acupuncture treatment.