We were using treats to distract him from the vet manipulating the needles. It worked wonders as he loves food!
Sam looking as cool as can be.
Acupuncture (disposable) needles placed in his back and stimulated using a small electrical current from a portable device.
The treatment lasted 20 to 30 minutes. Our dog was calm during this period of treatment and needle manipulation.
You can see the plastic covering in the vets fingers for clean sterile needles - so do not try this at home.
Our vet manipulating the needles gently to remove them after the acupuncture treatment.
The needles did not cause any pain.
All done, needles out and Sam is ready for a sleep.
A number of years ago our dog had acupuncture treatment to help injuries to his rear legs and back, it did help him and appeared to relieve the pain he was experiencing. This treatment was carried out by a specially trained Vet in a veterinary surgery along with pain relief medication. Ask your vet on advice on this before undertaking treatment - and please remember you need to use a specially trained vet to carry out acupuncture treatment on pets.
I had not heard of acupuncture being carried out on animals until one of our dogs hurt one of his rear legs jumping over a wall (a trick he did on a regular basis on the way to the park). After months of being on the lead he was allowed off and immediately went and hurt his other rear leg as well as his back. We were advised that it could be months before he was better, that it may also involve an operation that would take months to recuperate from and that it may be worth trying acupuncture. Our vet works with a specialist Vet who provides a pet acupuncture service and we made an appointment to see her.
I am fairly cynical over the use of eastern medicine and especially of acupuncture; what is the benefit of having pins stuck in you? Well this was to help my best pal – Sam, so anything was worth a try. We were also relieved to find that this treatment was covered by our pet insurance, so while we had to pay the first £110 plus 20% of all treatment we did have a fair portion of the acupuncture treatment covered by insurance. The reason for the £110 excess was due to our dogs age, Sam was 11 when this happened and the amount on the excess usually increases each year, so older dogs have a higher excess to pay for each type of treatment you undergo.
After the first treatment our dog was very tired, Alison our Vet said that it is normal and Sam slept after we got him home. During the treatment he did not seem phased in anyway by the Vet carefully and gently putting in the needles in his back. This was after he was thoroughly checked over and while we believed the problem was his leg(s) our Vet also identified very tense muscles in his back. So the needles went into Sam’s head (a very small one) and the rest into different positions on his back. He did react badly to a small needle being placed in his foot; however that was the only occasion he displayed any problems with the acupuncture treatment. The next day he walked a lot easier and obviously in less pain – what a relief to us.
The acupuncture treatment started off at weekly intervals (for our dog at least) and was gradually decreased based on how his reaction to the treatment and health improvements, the idea being that we will be able to have an acupuncture treatment when he needs it, possibly every 4-6 weeks. This also saved on the expenses involved.
Sam had a number of acupuncture sessions and he was like a new dog, even though at 11 years old he had been through the wars with different injuries and operations. It was wonderful to see him wanting to go for walks again and appeared to be in a lot less pain. I put much of this down to the acupuncture treatment.
During the treatment (before and afterwards) he was on painkillers / anti-inflammatory treatment and this did help him a lot as well. I do believe the acupuncture helped him walk better and helped Sam enjoy longer walks.
Sam lived for another 2 years and enjoyed living in his new home in the Scottish Highlands where he often went for long walks in the forest, along the beach and of course his favourite occupation - paddling and swimming in the sea. We lost Sam due to cancer in June 2009, the day before he died he was at the beach and loving it. While we will always miss him he did have a great life and was loved lots by everyone who knew him. I am sure Acupuncture did help him and if you have an animal suffering muscle or joint pain then discuss with your Vet if Acupuncture is a viable option.
Page updated April 2011
Pet Lovers Digest has a useful page on pet acupuncture and the Vet who runs the website also offers animal acupuncture services in the West Sussex area.
Pet Acupuncture by qualified Vet in the Midlands - www.petacupuncture.co.uk
Grove Lodge Veterinary Group - Animal Acupuncture
If you are a professional animal acupuncturist and wish to have your website or contact details listed then please contact us with your details.