Veterinary Acupuncture is probably over 2000 years old, and has been developed from clinical observations by veterinary surgeons in ancient China. These clinicians noticed that digital pressure, applied to certain points in an animal's body appeared to relieve pain and improve general health. It was from these humble beginnings that the art of veterinary acupuncture was born. 

The theory of traditional chinese medicine centres around Chi (vital energy). Chi is believed to flow around the body in meridians or channels, 12 in all. If the flow of Chi is disrupted or blocked in any way, pain or disease will follow soon afterwards. 

Acupuncture needles are used to help to restore Chi to flow in the right direction. These needles have a copper coiled handle and a wedge shaped end which is quite blunt when compared to a sharp hypodermic needle. It is this unique shape that allows it to pass through blood vessels and other body tissues without causing harm. 

The acupuncture needles used in small animal practice are tiny and cause virtually no pain on insertion. Occasionally a needle will be inserted into a sore spot which will sting momentarily but then pass. This is thought to be a good sign, especially if the needle is then observed to vibrate whilst inserted in the skin of the animal. 

Generally animals become very relaxed once the needles are inserted, some may even appear to be asleep during treatment! 

Conditions which respond well to acupuncture include:

  • Muscle/Ligament sprains and strains
  • Hindleg problems
  • Paralysis
  • Arthritis
  • "Back pain"
  • Some skin conditions
  • Non specific vomiting (once everything else has been ruled out)

Veterinary Acupuncture at Glebe Veterinary Surgery is carried out by referral only. This means that the patient must first be examined by a veterinary surgeon and then referred to the acupuncture clinic. 

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