Acupuncture for Animals FAQ

What is acupuncture? 

Acupuncture is the insertion specialised acupuncture needles into acupuncture points in the body by a qualified acupuncturist. The acupuncture points are found along the meridians in the animal body. Traditional Chinese medicine theory is applied to diagnose the disease and choose the acupuncture points that will be used to treat the patient.

Is Acupuncture the same as Dry needling?

No. Dry needling is done by physiotherapists when a acupuncture needle is placed in tension points or local acupuncture points to release muscular spasms or relief local pain.

When is acupuncture indicated?

Any disease condition you can think of can be healed or treated with acupuncture. The most common use of acupuncture is for pain relief and neurological disorders. Other conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders, skin disease, endocrine disorders and behavioural problems can all be treated with acupuncture.

Will acupuncture hurt my pet? 

When the needle is inserted a DeQi response is usually felt. This could be a tingling feeling along the meridian or a change in temperature around the acupuncture area. In 5% of cases pain or discomfort is experienced. 95% of pets receiving acupuncture will become sedated and some will fall asleep during the treatment.

Are there any side effects or contraindication for acupuncture?

Inserting needles int the body always carry some risk to injury. A qualified veterinary acupuncturist will have the knowledge to practice acupuncture safely and without any harm to the patient.

Most patients are sleepy for 24 hours after a treatment.

When acupuncture is performed, the following conditions
are cautioned or contraindicated:
● Fracture
● Pregnancy
● Open Wound
● Infectious Diseases

How long wills acupuncture treatment take?

On average a treatment session will last between 45 min and an hour. Follow up treatments can be shorter.

How many acupuncture treatments will my pet need?

The number of treatments will depend on the condition that is being treated. Acute conditions can be resolved within ne session. More severe and chronic conditions will require a series of 3 to 10 sessions. 90% of patients will respond or recover after the initial 3 treatments. Frequency of treatments will be discussed as treatment progress.

What does an acupuncture treatment cost?

The price for a session will depend on the acupuncturist. Generally prices per treatment will be between R300 and R800 depending on the experience and qualifications of the veterinary acupuncturist.

Can all veterinarians do acupuncture?

Veterinary acupuncture is classified as a surgical procedure and can only be done by a veterinarian registered with a government body. Only veterinarians that completed a advanced veterinary acupuncture course will be competent in doing proper veterinary acupuncture.

For best treatment results you should find a practitioner that is certified in Veterinary Acupuncture by a reputable Veterinary Acupuncture institution. e.g. The Chi Institute of TCVM or IVAS.

Where can I find a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist?

Please go to The Chi Institute of TCVM or IVAS website to locate a veterinarian near you. Alternatively email for more information.

Be aware of lay people or unqualified people inserting needles into your pet and selling themselves as “acupuncturists”.



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