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Holistic Vet Services Acupuncture2018-11-02T14:02:26+13:00

Acupuncture complements regular veterinary care

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is part of the ancient healing art of Chinese Medicine where disease is seen as an imbalance in an organism.

Healing involves restoring the balance and can be with the aid of acupuncture, massage, herbs, dietary and/or lifestyle changes.

Acupuncture involves the use of fine delicate needles or heat to stimulate specific points on the body to effect healing.

Holistic Vet Services offers a range of animal treatments, proving affordable, compassionate and comprehensive holistic care for your pets.

What conditions can it be used for?

Acupuncture can be used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the treatment of the following:

  • Disorders like arthritis, muscle and tendon strains and associated lameness
  • Brain disorders like epilepsy, local nerve paralyses

  • Digestive disorders e.g. irritable bowel syndrome, chronic vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Breathing problems like asthma or sinusitis
  • Kidney and Bladder disease like incontinence, recurring bladder infections, bladder stones and chronic renal failure
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Skin disorders e.g. eczema, allergies, itching
  • Eye problems like ulcers, recurring infections, dry eye, cataracts
  • Behavioural disorders e.g. excessive timidity, dominance aggression, fear aggression

  • Immune disorders  e.g. autoimmune diseases
  • Neoplastic disorders e.g. tumours, growths
  • Old age related problems like loss of vision, hearing or forgetfulness
  • Breeding disorders

Most animals can be treated. Dogs and cats are commonly treated as well as horses, which tend to be sensitive to it and respond very well. Acupuncture has also been used on cattle, birds, bearded dragons, wildlife and fish.

Acupuncture reduces pain and inflammation through the nervous system partially via the release of endorphins, the body’s own painkillers. It also has been shown to alter the flow of blood which helps to resolve inflammation and the pain associated with it.

Yes. Acupuncture usually assists the conventional treatment and it is not advisable to stop medication at the beginning of the acupuncture treatment.

Appropriate conventional medication will not reduce the efficacy of acupuncture treatment, neither will acupuncture treatment reduce the effect of conventional treatment. However, as the underlying cause or imbalance of the disease is addressed, it may be possible to reduce or eventually wean the patient off conventional medication.

Animals can become more relaxed and even sleepy during and even after treatment.

Often geriatric animals tend to have more energy and do things they did when they were younger.

How quickly will I see a response to the treatment?

Usually a response can be seen within the first 3 days after a treatment, however some animals that are not sensitive to acupuncture may only respond after the 3rd or 4th treatment. Initially the response will be short lasting, but the improvement last longer the more treatments are given.

The most common side effects are drowsiness during or after the acupuncture treatment. It may last for 24 hours, but usually resolves sooner than that. Other side effects, which rarely occur, include:

  • Sweating – patchy sweating can be seen in horses either during or after acupuncture

  • Trickle bleeding: If the point is very active, it may bleed a bit once the needle is removed- like a pin prick, it stops fairly quickly

  • Pain – in some conditions some acupuncture points may be very active and sensitive, and inserting a needle may be painful during insertion. Muscle spasms with trigger points may be painful initially on needle insertion. Usually the pain resolves within a few seconds, but rarely may persist for a few hours

How long are treatment sessions?

The initial consultation usually takes an hour as a TCM diagnosis involves a detailed history and physical exam. Subsequent visits are between 15 to 30 minutes. It is always best to bring along your pets medical history and medication to the initial consultation.

How many treatments are needed?

The frequency and duration of treatment depends on the condition that is being treated. For acute, severe disease like a disc prolapse, daily treatments are advised, but most longstanding or chronic diseases require weekly treatments until stabilized.  Usually 4 treatments are done to ascertain how well the patient responds to acupuncture.

Chronic diseases like arthritis usually require treatment every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain a good level of pain relief, but the treatment interval  can be much longer depending on the patient’s response.

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