Acupuncture 1

Acupuncture (Western Scientific approach) is carried out by veterinary surgeons Helen Walker and Joanne Hallam, based at our Wickersley and Rotherham branches.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting thin needles into the body to stimulate nerves, which can both block pain sensations and stimulate the body to produce natural painkilling substances. The practice is commonly used for pain relief, but in some conditions can also help reset normal functions. It is very safe, but must be performed by a veterinary surgeon so each patient’s suitability can be assessed.

Will it hurt?

Acupuncture needles do not stimulate nerves that cause pain, and the procedure does not hurt. Sometimes it takes a little while for animals to get used to the sensation but most tolerate it very well, often visibly relaxing and even sleeping during the sessions! We would not routinely sedate animals as most accept treatment conscious, however occasionally the problem we are treating is itself very painful and a light sedative is more comfortable for the pet. Surprisingly even cats and rabbits will accept acupuncture treatment.

What kinds of conditions are treated with acupuncture?

Acupuncture is most commonly used for chronic pain such as arthritis, but can also offer relief for other conditions such as disc disease and other spinal pain. It can be an excellent adjunct to other therapies as there are no drugs involved, so it is safe to use in combination with other therapies. Occasionally acupuncture can also help with conditions such as constipation in cats and irritable bowel disease in dogs.

What can I expect during treatment?

During an acupuncture session needles are placed into specific points on the body and stimulated periodically. There is no set “dose” so Helen or Jo judge how much to do as the appointment progresses. Often pets will be sleepy after a session.


Response varies between animals. Some pets may seem a little stiff or uncomfortable; this is a positive response for treatment working however it is important to mention this next time as a shorter session may be in order. Alternatively some pets will have a visible improvement within just a few days. Some animals take a while to respond and you may not notice a difference after their first session. This does not mean they will not respond, though acupuncture is not suited to every animal.  Approximately 80% of pets will respond favourably to acupuncture.


Appointments, which are 30 minutes, can be made at Wickersley or Rotherham branches. We recommend one session a week for four to six weeks,by which point we would expect to see a positive response if acupuncture is right for your pet. Depending on the individual case sessions would then be gradually reduced in frequency as appropriate.

Please contact our Wickersley branch directly on 01709 532262 to make an appointment.