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  • Writer's pictureNewnham Court Vets Editor

Veterinary Acupuncture and its benefits for Izzy

Izzy, an exuberant Weimaraner, is nearly 13 years old. Whenever she comes in to the practice, everyone knows she is there, demanding treats, cuddles and generally being the centre of attention. She has led a chequered life, with major surgery to remove a malignant cancer, multiple episodes of gastroenteritis, partial paralysis of her larynx, and chronic weakness of her back legs due to spondylosis of her spine.

This condition, where bony bridges form between the spinal vertebrae, has been causing Izzy the most distress over the last year or so. She could no longer jump on the bed or open doors, and her walks were now minutes long instead of the hours that she used to enjoy. Painkiller medication had helped her initially, but the beneficial effects of these drugs seemed to have worn off.

After initial clinical assessment, her “Owner Directed Veterinary Outcome Profile” (ODVOP) score was 20/24, with 24/24 being worst.

She then had a combination treatment of acupuncture and laser treatment weekly for six weeks. At the end of the six week period, her OPVOP score was 7/24, and Izzy was more like her younger self. She resumed playing, jumping up and other playful activities. The spondylosis will never go away, but acupuncture and laser therapy is helping her to have a better quality of life.

Treatment is repeated monthly, maintaining her ODVOP score between 5/24 and 7/24.

Why acupuncture?

Acupuncture can help in the management of chronic pain, osteoarthritis and other conditions. It can be used alongside all conventional pain killers, and has no side effects. Animals tolerate the insertion of the fine needles very well, and even the most stressed cat will relax after needles are left in position for 10-15 minutes. Often needles on their own will achieve the desired effects, but sometimes they are connected to a very low current electrical stimulator.

Many patients benefit from laser therapy at the same time as acupuncture. This is very safe and well-tolerated. Laser and acupuncture treatment helps treat stiffness and pain via different mechanisms, and complement each other.

Here, an anaesthetised patient has laser treatment after an x-ray. Anaesthesia is NOT usually required for either acupuncture or laser treatment.

If you want to find out more about using these complementary treatment methods, please contact reception. If you are a client of another practice, we will liaise with them to arrange the appointment.


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