Caroline Southerden, Veterinary Acupuncturist, holds weekly clinics on a Friday afternoon

A cornerstone of traditional Chinese medicine, the practice of acupuncture has been performed on animals for thousands of years. There is evidence of it being used in Ancient Egypt and India. Recently, the therapy has become much more common in the West.

What is acupuncture?

The placement of very fine sterile needles through the skin in locations on the body where they can have an effect on nerve function. The needles can go into the skin to a depth of anywhere between half a centimetre and one or two centimetres. Acupuncture is a very safe therapy and side effects are rare.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture stimulates certain nerve fibres that reduce the amount of pain information that's being carried back to the body. It increases the release of natural morphine-like substances in the body, and stimulates blood supply so aids in healing and acts as a pain reliever.

Each time an animal has acupuncture the effect lasts longer, as the body remembers it and builds upon it.

Acupuncture is often used to treat pain and relieve muscle spasms. It is particularly useful for musculoskeletal pain and conditions that cause lameness or pain in limbs, such as arthritis, dysplasia, and ligament injuries.