Acupuncture is a treatment which involves the stimulation of specific points in the body, usually by the insertion of very fine, pre-sterilised, stainless steel needles.

This often superficial stimulation generates many responses within the animal’s nervous and endocrine system. It can affect muscles and the circulatory, reproductive, digestive and urinary systems, as well as antibody production and hormone output. Acupuncture increases the body’s release of natural painkillers – endorphin and serotonin and modifies pain pathways in the brain and spinal cord.

Often after treatment animals exhibit behavioural changes, with improved appetite and demeanour, as well as obvious pain relief. Some individuals are very responsive to acupuncture and will show dramatic improvement after one treatment. The vast majority however will respond gradually over a period of time. The frequency of treatments depends on the individual animal’s needs, but regular top-ups are usually required to maintain the therapeutic effect.

Helen Whitbread is a member of the ABVA (Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists).

For more information please see our acupuncture client information sheet