Dr Paul Cockerham MA VetMB PhD FSA MRCVS ATCL performs veterinary acupuncture.
Acupuncture has gained increasing recognition as a useful adjunct to modern medicine in animals as well as humans. Under UK law animal acupuncture may only be administered by appropriately qualified veterinary surgeons.
While the traditional theories explaining acupuncture are sometimes expressed in terms of balancing energy in meridians, there is a more medically competent explanation emerging from the research. This involves stimulating the body’s repair mechanisms in the nervous system, immune system, and hormonal and cellular systems.
Acupuncture treatment should first follow an accurate diagnosis and appraisal of all treatment options. In many cases, acupuncture is best used in conjunction with conventional medicine, and in some conditions, it can be used as a sole treatment. It helps minimize the requirements for medications (which may have undesirable side effects). Acupuncture is extremely safe when practised correctly and is well accepted by the majority of animals.
Treatments take about 30 minutes and the number and interval of follow-up treatments varies with the condition. Most animals accept acupuncture well.
Treatment costs are covered by many vet fees insurance policies, please check your policy details carefully
What conditions may respond to acupuncture
Most chronic conditions can be treated, for example:
- Chronic pain from any origin; spinal or nerve damage
- Behavioural problems (often linked to pain)
- Chronic digestive disturbances such as constipation / irritable bowel
- Cystitis in cats
- Chronic respiratory disease
- Fatigue syndromes