The Art of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient art of healing that has its roots in China where first evidence of its existence dates back to 10,000 BC. Veterinary acupuncture came in to practice between 2000 and 3000 BC and hence it is the most field tested means of animal treatment available. 

Over the many centuries this ancient medicine has been refined into modern day application. Acupuncture today is widely accepted for its ability to treat and heal medical conditions in both the human and the veterinary setting.

Dog having Acupuncture

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the stimulation by needle insertion at specific points on the body (known in Chinese Medicine as meridians or energy pathways) that bring about changes within the body as a result. These meridians run internally through various organs and externally in the skin and muscle. It is along these external locations that the acupuncture points lie on.

Acupuncture is an application of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is a holistic approach to healing.

What conditions can be treated with acupuncture?

Approximately 80 – 90% of an acupuncturist’s work lies in treatment of the musculoskeletal system providing pain relief, greater mobility and an improved quality of life. Numerous conditions are able to be treated however with acupuncture including:

  • Bone disease: Spinal pain & disc disease, hip dysplasia & arthritis
  • Muscular disease: Injured muscles, painful and torn muscle, secondary or referred muscular pain
  • Urinary disease: Bladder infections, urinary incontinence
  • Gastrointestinal disease: Constipation, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea
  • Nervous disease: Facial Paralysis, stroke, nerve twitch
  • Geriatric patients: Energy levels, arthritis, general wellbeing
  • Mental disease: Anxiety, depression, nervousness & irritability.
  • Miscellaneous Eye conditions, ear conditions, reproductive disease, respiratory disease & skin disease.

How long does a treatment take?

Allow 30 – 45 minutes for an initial consultation and 30 minutes for follow up appointments. Following initial assessment of the animal, needles are inserted and left in place for between 10 and 20 minutes, however it really does depend on the individual animal.

Musculoskeletal manipulation is then undertaken where appropriate.

How will my pet react to the acupuncture needles?

Animals tolerate the procedure very well and feel little to no discomfort on needle insertion. Occasionally an animal may react if a location is particularly sensitive. Generally acupuncture is a relaxing, soothing experience and some animals will even fall asleep during treatment.

What are the expected outcomes of treatment?

One of three things will be seen following treatment.

  1. Immediate improvement
  2. Animal becomes sore for 24 – 48 hours then followed by improvement.
  3. No change – some animals with some conditions do not respond to acupuncture.

If you are interested and think your pet could benefit from this therapy, please contact us on 02 6040 9099

Dr Rob Willis

Veterinary Acupuncturist

Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons)
Dr Rob Acupuncture

Dr Rob Willis is a veterinarian with 15 years experience now based in Cairns. Dr Rob visits Petfocus Vetcare to service the Albury and Wodonga area every 6 weeks for animal treatments.

Rob has worked in mixed and small animal practice in Australia and the UK before starting his own mobile practice in 2011 ‘Rob’s Veterinary Alternatives’ and now works predominantly on the musculoskeletal system of both horses and dogs.

Rob completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) examinations in December 2010 and continues to undertake studies in both mainstream and complementary animal medicine. Rob doesn’t see them as two opposing ideas or systems but rather individual components that when combined make up a complete healthcare approach.

Rob currently specialises in the treatment of arthritis and acute spinal injuries in dogs and also subtle lameness and riding issues in horses.

Rob also uses stem cell therapy, PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) therapy and joint nutraceuticals (food based medicine) where appropriate.

Common conditions treated:

1. Osteoarthritis 

2. Spinal Disease (Injury, IVDD, Degenerative Myelopathy)

3. Post surgical pain & mobility issues

4. Urinary incontinence

5. Epilepsy

Client Feedback

“Boof is so much better now, he receives maintenance treatments for his neck which has made a huge improvement to his quality of life. He is happier in himself, much more comfortable and we have been able to reduce his usual pain relief from a daily dose to a weekly dose and so far hasn’t needed it this week.”

Raelene, owner of Boof

“I had two of my dogs treated by Rob. Both now have a greatly improved quality of life and are on maintenance treatments as required. Bindi is 12 years old and improved immediately following the first treatment while Musky (11 years) took a little longer to respond but now is great. I would absolutely recommend this therapy to others.”

Pam, owner of Bindi & Musky

“Chelsea is a completely different dog. She has had some very dramatic and fantastic changes. She moves a lot better, is a lot happier within herself and is no longer lame like she used to be. I would definitely recommend the treatment with Rob, particularly for older dogs with arthritis.”

Amanda, owner of Chelsea