Croft Vet Centre now offers veterinary acupuncture

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the insertion of needles to certain points of the body, called acupoints. With modern advances in science, we have found that a lot of these acupoints discovered 3000 years ago actually correspond to different neuroanatomic locations, such as neurovascular bundles, sites of nerve branching, and motor endplate zones, thus explaining why it works.

What does Acupuncture do?

Acupuncture can help ease acute pain from neuromusculoskeletal injuries and surgery, as well as chronic spinal and osteoarthritic pain. 

It works very well as a part of a multimodal pain management, often used alongside other treatments such as medication and physiotherapy. 

How does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture stimulates release of natural pain relief hormones in our body such as endorphin and enkephalin, and also activates descending pain inhibitory pathways - a natural pain relief pathway in our body. In addition, it also simulates certain inflammatory pathways that help with healing in musculoskeletal injuries. 

Is Acupuncture painful?

Acupuncture needles are very very small, and most animals do not feel or react to it at all. 

In some individuals, needle placements can sometimes cause a small pinch, and later cause numbing, warmth, or heavy feeling. We recommend bringing treats, lick mats, or snuffling mats as a distraction just in case (it also helps distract and occupy your pet to stop them from moving around the room too much!).

Occasionally, some points are more sensitive than others, and animals feel discomfort to the needles placed, in that case, we remove the needle and replace it somewhere else. 

If some individuals are more sensitive, or are shy with a stranger’s touch in general, they may benefit from calming supplements or medication before the appointment.

Is Acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is very safe when carried out correctly (under UK law, only veterinarians can perform acupuncture). Some minor adverse effects seen after a session include tiredness, increased water intake, soreness, muscle spasm, and minor bleeding, which typically resolve quickly. Rare complications include skin inflammation, infection, and broken needle fragments. 

What to expect after a session/when can I expect to see results?

Your pet can return to their normal daily routine after a session, with the exception of no strenuous exercise that day. Some individuals will feel very sleepy after a session (this is a good sign and usually shows that your pet will probably respond well to acupuncture!). 

In some individuals, you may notice a difference after one session, this may last for a short period of time, or until the next session. This is a good sign. With repeated sessions, the effect ‘builds up’ and will last longer.

Other pets may feel a little bit stiff a few days following a session, this just means that the ‘dose’ was a bit too much, but also shows that they are likely going to respond well to it. 

Some pets may not obviously respond after their first session, it does not necessarily mean they do not respond to it —  it can take up to 4 sessions for it to be effective in some individuals as they require more of the ‘build up’ effect. 

How long is a session and how often is it required?

Acupuncture typically has a ‘build-on’ effect, for chronic conditions, we would recommend weekly sessions for 3-6 weeks, then slowly decreasing it to the lowest effective frequency - this is usually monthly.

Sessions are 30min in length. In the first session, the actual part of acupuncture will be shorter, with less needles used so that your pet can have more time to get used to palpation and needle placement. We will also discuss your pet’s medical history and current problems, let your pet wander around and settle in, and relax, before we start acupuncture.

What will I need for the appointment?

Make sure your pet is adequately clean and dry. We may have to cancel the appointment if your pet’s skin is too dirty to prevent the small chance of causing a side effect of skin infection.

Please also bring some treats, lick or snuffle mat as distraction for your pet to stay at a similar spot during treatment.

We will provide an orthopaedic mattress for dogs, and fluffy blanket for cats to sit on during the session, but feel free to bring your pet’s bed from home if you prefer to.

Feel free to bring along a cup of coffee or tea as a session is 30min.

How much does it cost?

The first session is £85.00, and follow-up sessions are £70.00. Appointments last for 30 minutes.

Will my insurance cover this?

Most insurance policies do, but please check this with your insurance.

Please note that unless we have arranged a pre-authorisation and direct claim with your insurance company, we are unable to process claims directly with your insurance company and require payment of treatment on the same day. 

How do I arrange for an appointment?

If you are registered with us, please give us a call on 01280 703451. If you are registered elsewhere, please call or email us, and also contact your vet to email us your pet’s history to .

Practice information

The Croft Veterinary Centre

  • Mon
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Tue
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Wed
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Thu
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Fri
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Sat
    8:30am - 12:00pm
  • Sun

Find us here:

Banbury Road Brackley Northants NN13 6BH
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