Developed by the Chinese more than 4000 years ago, acupuncture uses tiny needles to stimulate the nervous system. Acupuncture is based on the theory that blockages in the body's systems result in imbalances causing disease and pain. The small needles used stimulate blood flow, nerve conduction, relieve muscle spasm, and release hormones, like endorphins, to heal the body and alleviate pain. Acupuncture is not necessarily a "cure-all", but can work very well on its own, or when combined with traditional veterinary medicine.

Acupuncture can be used to treat or augment treatment of a variety of conditions including:

• Pain: acute, chronic, age-related, arthritis, hip dysplasia

• Gastrointestinal disorders: IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), megacolon, vomiting, diarrhea

• Respiratory problems: asthma

• Dermatological problems: allergies, ear infections, self-mutilation, lick granulomas

• Musculoskeletal disorders: lameness, tendonitis, back pain, arthritis

• Neurological problems: intervertebral disc disease, paralysis, paresis, seizures

• Behaviour problems: fear, anxiety, aggression

• Urinary problems: chronic cystitis, incontinence

When administered by a qualified practitioner, acupuncture is extremely safe. The single use needles are made of surgical grade stainless steel. The needles are tiny and most animals tolerate them quite nicely, with the release of the body's biochemicals, some even fall asleep during the treatment. The sessions can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Acute conditions may respond to one treatment. Chronic conditions will likely need more than one treatment. Once the optimum response is achieved, the treatment interval is extended to the maximum amount of symptom free time that elapses between treatments.