Veterinary Acupuncture is one of a variety of services we offer at Belgrave South Vet Clinic. Dr. Joanne Simon is trained in veterinary acupuncture and can use this method to help treat a range of medical conditions.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be defined as the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to restore balance and encourage the body to heal itself. It is an ancient form of Chinese Medicine that has been practised and refined for thousands of years.  More recently clinical research has support the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating a number of health complaints.

How does it work?

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is based on the principle of Qi (pronounced chee), or energy/life force, which flows through the body. When in balance a person enjoys good health, but when the flow is disrupted it results in imbalance or ill health. By stimulating certain acupuncture points the flow of Qi and balance can be restored.

In modern times advanced imaging techniques have been used to show that acupuncture points correspond to areas of concentrated nerve bundles, lymphatics and blood vessels. Stimulation of these point results in the release of neurotransmitters and hormones which in turn regulate blood flow and relieve pain and muscle spasm. Stimulation of nerves can also promote nerve regeneration and stimulate the immune system. In essence Acupuncture is stimulating the body to heal itself.

Is it painful?

In small animals acupuncture is virtually painless. There may be a small reaction to the needle penetrating the skin but once placed, the animal should be comfortable and may even become increasingly relaxed and sleepy. Nonetheless, sometimes an animal will be uncomfortable with the placement of a needle. In these cases, from our experience with human acupuncture, it is presumed that the needle is causing tingling, cramping or numbness. This is not harmful but is uncomfortable and in these cases the needle may be removed without harm.

Is Acupuncture safe for animals?

Acupuncture is a very safe treatment option for animals when administered by a properly trained Veterinarian. Adverse effects are not common but do exist. Following an acupuncture session you may feel your companion is sleepier or that symptoms are worse for up to 48 hours, but after this they should show significant improvement.

It should be noted that, before choosing acupuncture for your pet, it is important that an accurate Veterinary diagnosis has been made and that ongoing assessments are complied with. This is important because once initiated, Acupuncture may mask the signs and symptoms of underlying conditions that may require treatment other than acupuncture.

 What conditions can be treated with Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is beneficial for the management of musculoskeletal conditions such as traumatic injuries, osteoarthritis and intervertebral disc disease. It can also be beneficial in cases of chronic pain, non-infectious inflammation, chronic skin complaints and gastrointestinal upset. If you would like to discuss whether acupuncture may be suitable for your companion animal please don’t hesitate to contact us on 97542316.