We use a range of treatments in the care of pets suffering with arthritic conditions. Drugs to reduce inflammation and pain are usually the first choice of treatment along with advice on feeding and exercise. The so-called “nutraceuticals” can be helpful either in the form of a prescription diet or as a dietary supplement. They include chondroitin and glucosamine which are thought to promote healthy cartilage within the joints. Arthritis can also be helped with pet laser therapy and acupuncture.
What is Acupuncture for Pets?
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting fine solid needles into muscles and other soft tissues to give pain relief. Acupuncture for pets can be very effective in treating arthritic conditions as part of a package of treatments. It is especially useful if your pet develops an allergy or side effects to more conventional drug treatments. Acupuncture works mainly by stimulating nerves, causing the release of hormones including endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller. It has been found to be effective in around 65% of cases, enabling pets to remain active and comfortable and helping to reduce medicine dosages.
Will Acupuncture Hurt My Pet?
No. Acupuncture needles stimulate nerves that send messages to the brain which over-rides the messages of pain that their nerves are sending. Sometimes animals may react to this sensation as though they are expecting pain, but then they relax because it does not occur.
Most of the time they accept the fine needles very well and become relaxed and sleepy during the treatment. Often they even appear to look forward to treatment when they next come back to the practice. It is very uncommon for pets to need to be sedated for acupuncture.
Acupuncture is very safe in the right hands and can only be performed in this country by a fully qualified vet.
How Often Would My Pet Be Treated?
Here at Dave Cumber Vets, acupuncture is performed by Kate Reeve who is one of our most experienced vets. She recommends an initial course of 3 treatments at 10-14 day intervals to see if it will keep your pet mobile and pain free.
Kate is available at our Dorchester surgery at Mellstock Avenue on most Wednesdays and Fridays.
If you have any questions or would like to book your pet in with Kate for an initial acupuncture assessment please contact us on 01305 784197 (Weymouth) or 01305 251632 (Dorchester)