Acupuncture at Alma Veterinary Hospital

**Update February 2014 - We are currently unable to offer acupuncture appointments while Victoria is on maternity leave.**

 At Alma Veterinary Hospital we offer Western Medical Acupuncture as one of our services. Victoria Rudolph, our vet has been practicing acupuncture since 2006.  Tim Hosken our senior partner is also trained in medical acupuncture and performs some acupuncture consultations. Both are Members of the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists.


Acupuncture involves inserting a needle or needles into the body to achieve a therapeutic effect. Medical Acupuncture differs from acupuncture used as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (which is based on a different medical philosophy of diagnosis and treatments which was developed by the Chinese in the past). Medical Acupuncture practitioners use their ''Western'' medical knowledge of anatomy, physiology, diagnosis, treatments and disease processes as taught at Veterinary School combined with emerging scientific data on the mechanisms of how acupuncture works and its effects on the body. Acupuncture is increasingly being understood as a method of manipulating the body''s own nervous system using stimulation with needles.

At Alma Veterinary Hospital acupuncture is offered as a treatment option in cases where it may be beneficial and is often used in combination with other options as appropriate. It is most commonly used as a method of pain control in cases of chronic (or long term) pain in conditions such as arthritis. It appears to help 9 out of 10 patients in this group, some a small amount and some a lot. Unfortunately, there is currently no way of predicting which patients acupuncture will help and which it will not without trying. A primary course of 4-6 treatments a week apart is normally recommended. If, after this time there is no improvement treatment is stopped. Treatments for cases responding to acupuncture are then planned on an individual case by case basis. Appointments usually last up to one hour each.

Examples of Patient groups that often benefit are:

Patients that cannot tolerate pain relief drugs,

Patients that are on other medications that are incompatible with pain relief drugs (for example the older patient on treatment for allergies or chemotherapy who also has arthritis)

Patients that have been on standard pain relief therapy for some time, but this is no longer enough to control their pain and give them a good quality of life.

Patients with muscle pain that is not responding to conventional treatment

Acupuncture also has some benefit in the treatment of ''Lick Granulomas'' and Urinary Incontinence.

We sometimes take referrals from other practices who do not have an acupuncturist. These patients must be referred by their normal Vet who must be happy for the treatment to be carried out. We keep in close communication with referring Vets as needed on a case by case basis.

Animals usually co-operate well with acupuncture treatments and will often lay down and relax and sometimes even fall asleep during treatment, much to the surprise of their owner. If you are considering acupuncture treatment for your pet and have any questions please call the hospital and speak to Victoria, who will be happy to answer them.