Alternative Veterinary Healing

AcupunctureVeterinary Acupuncture

When you seek medical care you have treatment options. Our veterinarians and medical staff strongly believe your pet should have options too. That's why we offer both conventional treatment and alternative medicine, including acupuncture, herbal remedies and nutritional care. Our veterinarians not only examine and treat the body, but care for your whole pet, carefully considering all the variables that influence physical health and well-being.

Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which uses sterile needles or lasers to stimulate special points on the body. TCM is an holistic approach that takes into account all the variables that influence your pet's health and well-being. Its goal is to restore the body's balance, thereby enabling self-healing.

Dr. Cathy Skinner and Dr. Jo Elliott are both qualified and experienced Veterinary Acupuncturists. Before treatment starts, Dr. Skinner or Dr. Elliott will thoroughly examine your pet. This examination often involves collecting an in-depth history of environmental and emotional situations that may be affecting your pet's condition, as well as palpation of certain acupuncture points.

How does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture points contain nerve bundles, clusters of blood vessels and increased numbers of mast cells that release histamine and other chemicals, including the body's natural pain killers when stimulated. Stimulating these points allows us to directly affect the flow of energy – Qi (pronounced Chi) – throughout your pet's body and treat your pet's illness without drugs.

The effects of point stimulation are numerous and include:

  • Pain relief, local and systemic, through endorphin release and naturally occurring anti-inflammatory substances.
  • Increased immune response
  • Cardiovascular changes
  • Neurotransmitter changes

AcupunctureWhat can be treated?

Acupuncture can effectively treat most conditions that Western medicine can treat, including:

  • Pain
  • Musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis and trigger points
  • Nervous disorders
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Eyes, ears, skin (including allergies)
  • Geriatric complaints
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Respiratory problems
  • Urinary problems

What can I expect?

Treatments themselves last anywhere from 10 minutes to 20 minutes once the needles have been placed, depending on the condition treated and the specific method used. Pets are typically treated once weekly for four to six weeks, but this can vary based on the individual pet's response to the treatment. Results range from immediate improvement to simply making your pet feel more happy and energetic.

How can I find out more?

Talk to any one of our friendly staff, or make an appointment to see Dr. Cathy Skinner, who is one of our Senior Veterinarians and an International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) accredited acupuncturist.

For further information, please visit the following sites:

Veterinary Acupuncture:

General Acupuncture:

Frequently Asked Questions

Will it hurt?

Needle placement is generally well tolerated. All animals will feel the needles, some react more than others, some points are more active and therefore more responsive.

Does my pet need to be sedated for the treatment?

Generally no. We do have a few who are particularly scared or dangerous animals who do need to be sedated, but they have still benefited from their acupuncture therapy.

How long does it take?

The body determines how long the needles stay in the points. Generally each treatment will take 10-20 minutes once to the needles are in. The number of treatments needed will depend on the problem and your pet's response. Be prepared for at least 4 treatments, maybe more.

Does my pet need to stay in the clinic?

No, treatments are done during an extended consultation and you are welcome to stay with your pet during treatment.