Pound Corner • Wangford • NR34 8RS
… your award winning, independent small animal practice


Wangford Veterinary Clinic is now able to offer acupuncture treatment for dogs.

Vicki Holland Howes, MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon has completed a course in veterinary acupuncture.

Acupuncture has gained increasing recognition as a useful addition to modern medicine in animals as well as humans. Under UK law animal acupuncture may only be administered by appropriately qualified veterinary surgeons.

While the traditional theories explaining acupuncture are sometimes expressed in terms of balancing energy in meridians, there is a more medically competent explanation emerging from research. This involves stimulating the body’s repair mechanisms in the nervous system, immune system, and hormonal and cellular systems.

In many cases acupuncture is best used in conjunction with conventional medicine however, in some situations, it can be used as a sole treatment. It helps to reduce the patient’s requirements for medications which may have undesirable side effects. Acupuncture is extremely safe when practiced correctly and is well accepted by the majority of animals.

Alternative therapies including acupuncture are so successful that the majority of insurance companies will now cover the costs if treatment is recommended by a vet.

What is acupuncture used for?

Acupuncture can have enormous benefits for animals with chronic (long term) conditions, such as arthritis and back pain, behavioural problems (often linked to pain), digestive / bowel problems, respiratory disease, fatigue syndromes, incontinence and more.

What happens during treatment?

Fine needles are inserted into your pets body at specific skin points. They are then moved a few times by the vet, depending on how your pet responds.

How does it work?

It works two ways. The needles block pain messages to the brain. In turn this encourages the brain and central nervous system to produce endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.

Is it safe?

Acupuncture is very safe, but must only be performed by a veterinary surgeon.

How long do sessions last?

Usually only between five and 30 minutes, depending on how your pet responds.

How many sessions will my pet need?

Sometimes, pets only need one treatment. Usually however, we’ve found a course of up to six weekly sessions is the best way to see the full benefits of the treatment. After that, you may need extra sessions to make sure the effect is maintained as long as possible. It depends on the individual animals and how they respond – just like people!

Does acupuncture hurt my pet?

No. Most animals accept the needles and even become very relaxed and sleepy. Because of this, it is very unusual for an animal to need to be sedated to undergo acupuncture?

What about after the treatment? Are there any side-effects to acupuncture?

We’ve found pets can be very sleepy after treatment or feel very happy. Either way, it is a good sign that the treatment has worked and we recommend they have a quiet time for the rest of the day.

How will I know if it’s worked?

Watch your pet carefully after treatment – you’ll see one of these three reactions.

  1. Your pet may seem stiffer at first but after a couple of days, be better than before treatment. This suggests the treatment has worked but may have been a bit much at the time. This can be adjusted at the next treatment session.
  2. No apparent change. Have faith – this may mean your pet may take longer or the improvement was not significant enough for you to see it. We recommend you stick with the course of treatment recommended by the vet, as 80-90% of animals do respond well to acupuncture, unfortunately there are no guarantees.
  3. Your pet is clearly happier and moving better within three days. Great. The improvement may not last though to the next treatment but that’s to be expected. As the course continues, the effects, should last longer each time.


While the majority of insurance policies now cover alternative therapies, we always recommended you check your policy.

Your pet deserves every chance to be pain free. Find out if acupuncture might be the answer by booking an initial consultation with Vicki on 01502 578999 .