Acupuncture – Witchcraft or Wizardry?

Google Maps location for Riverport Veterinary Hospital

Riverport Veterinary Hospital
1 Avoca Street
SA 5214

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08 8555 5690

Victor Central Veterinary Clinic
35 Crozier Road
Victor Harbor
SA 5211

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08 7522 4300



Like most scientists I am a sceptic.  I need some evidence to convince me that something is worthwhile doing.  A great example is a doggy pheromone spray that was released a couple of years ago.  I just couldn’t bring myself to recommend it to clients until it successfully stopped my own dog peeing inside the house!

I had a similar experience with acupuncture.  Fresh out of vet school I went to work on dairy cows in North-East Victoria.  A common scenario a dairy vet will be confronted with is what is called a “downer cow”.  This is basically a cow that has recently given birth and is now unable to stand up.  This can be for a variety of reasons with a common one being “Calving paralysis”, in which the birth process has damaged the cow’s pelvic nerves making it difficult for her to stand.  I had learnt about all sorts of traditional treatments during my training but I hate to say that in vet school acupuncture was barely even mentioned.  Thankfully my first boss had done some training in acupuncture and showed me some simple points to use on these downer cows during my very first working week.  Needless to say, acupuncture became part of my routine treatment for downer cows.  Seasoned dairy farmers would often laugh as I stuck needles into seemingly random (of course they were  accurately and meticulously anatomically placed!) spots in their cows, but I loved the phone calls the following day thanking me for helping these cows get up.  These were often cows that the farmers thought would never walk again (yes, unfortunately this does happen quite commonly).

That was the extent of my acupuncture practice and training.  Thankfully I now work with a vet who actually understands acupuncture and can treat more than one condition!  Dr Casey Jacobs has undertaken advanced acupuncture training and now provides an integrated acupuncture service for cats and dogs. 

Dr Casey treating Toblerone

We will have to convince Casey to write a blog on how and why acupuncture actually works, but I have seen her cure some conditions that we would not have thought possible.  We now use acupuncture as part of our practice in treating both surgical and medical cases.

If you think your pet would benefit from acupuncture give Casey a buzz at either of our clinics….she would love to talk to you about it

Another one of our wonderful patients receiving acupuncture therapy

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