ACUPUNCTURE is practised mostly on horses, dogs and cats, but other animals do benefit. It has been tried at some point on most species, including rabbits, cattle, pigs, parrots, birds of prey, guinea pigs and rats. Pets can undergo acupuncture for a wide range of conditions such as joint problems, pain and inflammation, muscle spasms, wound repair, lameness and nerve problems, and after accidents and surgery. It is also given to induce labour and to help animals giving birth. Incontinence can be eased and some inflammatory skin problems will also respond.
With horses, acupuncture may improve endurance and stamina. During treatment, very fine needles are used at specific points on the body, but for sensitive or worried pets a special laser, photonic or electrical stimulation can be used instead.
When the needle reaches a specific point there may be a sensation like a dull ache and some pets find this uncomfortable.The other options are gentler and less invasive. If your vet doesn’t practise acupuncture, he can refer you to a specialist.