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Burnham House Veterinary Surgery

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Notes from your vets
Our acupuncture referral service is currently taking a break and will be returning soon!

Our acupuncture clinic is run by our vets who have been trained by the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists. If you are interested in acupuncture for your pet, please contact us via any of our surgeries and we will be pleased to talk it through with you.

We also accept referrals for acupuncture from other vets, so if you are registered with another practice they can refer you to us just for a course of acupuncture, and you stay registered with your original vet.  Again, we will be happy to talk through any questions you may have.


What is acupuncture?Acupuncture is a form of treatment based on placing fine needles into specific points on the body for treatment of a range of disease and disorders. It is based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, but a Western scientific approach has now been adopted. It has been used by the Chinese and many other Eastern cultures for thousands of years.


How does it work?

The traditional Chinese medical approach involves the balancing the forces of Yin and Yang by stimulating specific acupuncture point on the body along the lines of meridians. This approach has links to Western science as these points are often located over nerve ending and the balance of Yin and Yang somewhat relates to the sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous systems that govern our bodies. The Western interpretation of the mechanisms of acupuncture is still being researched, and in fact the mechanisms of pain and inflammation are not fully understood by scientists. However, it has been shown that acupuncture stimulates a range of neurotransmitters (chemicals that stimulate or inhibit nerves such as endorphins) and the mechanism of causing a small point of nerve stimulation reduces the brain's perception of pain elsewhere. Acupuncture, like many treatments and medications, is not completely understood but the beneficial effects are obvious to treat a range of conditions.


What is it used for?

Acupuncture is mainly used to treat diseases causing pain and inflammation. It is very important that a diagnosis of the problem has been made before acupuncture is attempted to ensure it is suitable.  Acupuncture has been successful in treating arthritis, back pain, hip dysplasia, strains and sprains, behaviour-related skin conditions, and inflammatory gastrointestinal disease.


Is it safe?The risks associated with acupuncture are very low, at the first treatment the most common side effect is falling asleep!  Some animals show an initial slight increase in clinical signs (an "over-response"), which usually resolves quickly and is a good sign that your pet responds well and is suitable for further less intensive or less frequent therapy.  Needles are all individually-packed, sterile and single-use.  They are very fine (much finer than a vaccination needle) and most animals do not notice them being placed.

What will it cost?

Initial consultation and treatment session (40 minutes): £60+VAT

Subsequent treatment sessions (30 minutes): £40+VAT

Pet insurance will often cover the cost of acupuncture treatment - check the wording on your policy.


How do I find out more?

Visit the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists' website here.

Updated 12/3/12 hp