Performed by Sara Croll BVetMed MRCVS
A referral form will need to be completed by your current
Veterinary Surgeon along with a full history of your animal
from your vets.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting fine, solid needles into the body for pain relief or, in some cases, to help the body deal with other diseases.
How does acupuncture work?
It works through the nervous system. The needles block the pain messages and encourage the brain and central nervous system to produce more of the body’s natural painkillers. In conditions that are not painful, acupuncture may help to rest the body’s normal functioning.
Will it hurt my pet?
Acupuncture needles stimulate nerves that do not cause unpleasant feelings of pain that we are trying to treat. They stimulate other nerves that send a more important message to the brain, which is how they block pain. Sometimes animals may react to this sensation as though they are expecting pain, but then relax because it does not occur. Most of the time they accept the fine needles very well and often become relaxed and sleepy during the treatment.
Would my pet need to be sedated?
It is uncommon for animals to need to be sedated. This would only usually happen if they were so painful that any touch or stimulus causes them to be painful.
How often will my pet be treated?
The usual course is once a week for four to six weeks. After four weeks, Sara will know whether the acupuncture is working for your pet and then, depending on the condition and how they have responded, Sara will work out a plan that usually involves tailing off the treatments so the effects are maintained for as long as possible.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is very safe, in the right hands. Legally it must be performed by a Veterinary Surgeon. There have been no official reports of problems in animals, but there are some in humans and these can usually be avoided with care and a good knowledge of anatomy.
What kinds of conditions are treated with acupuncture?
Pain is the most common indication for acupuncture. Usually this means pain associated with arthritis, but also muscle strains, disc disease and bony changes of the spine. Other kinds of pain may respond.
What can I expect during treatment?
After examination, needles will be put into various parts of the body and moved or stimulated a few times. There is not a set 'dose' of acupuncture as there is for medication, so Sara will judge how much to do based on your pet's response both at the time of treatment and after. They may become sleepy and relaxed during the treatment.
And after treatment?
It is not uncommon for pets to go home and sleep very soundly for a long time. This is a good sign and shows your pet will probably respond well to acupuncture. But do not worry if they are not sleepy - this does not mean that they will not respond. Sometimes your pet may seem a little more euphoric than usual, which is also a good sign, but keep them quiet in case they overdo things. Otherwise treat your pet normally after acupuncture. Do not change exercise, diet or medication unless it has been discussed with your vet.
Sara has worked at Maes Glas since qualifying as a Vet from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 2004 and now concentrates on small animals, working mainly in the Barry branch with Jemma.
Outside of work, Sara's interests are running, house renovations, growing vegetables in her allotment and being kept busy with her two children!
Sara is fully insured and qualified as a Veterinary Acupuncturist.