Karingal Vet Hospital

328 Cranbourne Road, Frankston, VIC, 3199

P: (03) 9789 3444

Email us

Karingal Vet Call Directions
Book an Appointment

Pet Acupuncture

Why Pet Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles along meridian lines. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), these Meridian lines were understood to be the body’s channels of energy. TCM believes that disease is borne out of energy imbalances, and the insertion of fine needles along these energy channels help to rebalance the body, easing the disease.


As Western practices seek to understand alternative therapies, a number of human and veterinary clinics have started to work with acupuncture. Now, it is becoming increasingly common to use pet acupuncture for the treatment of behavioural issues, to speed up the healing process and to help relieve arthritic pain.


Western medicine understands acupuncture slightly differently to TCM but still recognises its positive effects. The tiny, virtually painless needles are inserted in pressure points, areas of the body where nerve clusters and muscles meet. This stimulates the body’s own healing abilities and can trigger the release of endorphins and cortisol. Pet acupuncture can:


  • Stimulate nerves
  • Increase blood circulation
  • Relieve muscle spasms
  • Trigger the release of hormones, endorphins and cortisol


Both TCM and Western medical practitioners agree on the efficacy of pet acupuncture treatments for both physical and behavioural issues.

Acupuncture for Dogs, Cats and Other Pets

Acupuncture has been a part of TCM for over 4,000 years. It is a natural therapy that aims to relieve sufferers of painful physical symptoms, such as arthritis, and behavioural issues like feline anxiety.
We may recommend pet acupuncture for the following conditions:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions (accounts for approximately 80% of cases seen)
    • Arthritis
    • Inter-vertebral Disk Disease
    • Traumatic Nerve Injury
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
    • Diarrhoea
    • IBS
  • Urinary disorders
  • Respiratory problems
    • Feline Asthma
  • Dermatological problems
    • Lick Granulomas
    • Allergic Dermatitis

What Happens in Animal Acupuncture?

We may suggest pet acupuncture in treatment programs for these issues, or you might ask about the service if your pet is experiencing behavioural problems, such as anxiety or aggression.

To begin, we conduct a thorough Western examination on your pet to identify the cause of the symptoms and the best course of action. A TCM examination is also performed to pinpoint the precise pressure points to be targeted in your pet’s acupuncture therapy.


Then once a week for 6-8 weeks, or as required, your pet undergoes acupuncture therapy. Small acupuncture needles are inserted along your pet’s meridian lines by our qualified Veterinary Acupuncturist for 15-30 minutes. Most pets find this relaxing and some even fall asleep.


If your pet does enjoy acupuncture, or if you wish not to use needles, alternatives are available, such as laser therapy.


Treatment is different for every pet, but we generally see positive results within a few days. Acute cases tend to respond faster and may only require 1-2 sessions. More chronic conditions can require more sessions, with long-term improvements being noticeable after 3-4 weeks.

After the First Session

Owners are often amazed by the rapid and dramatic positive responses to their pets’ acupuncture treatments. Long-term effects may take several sessions before becoming apparent, but immediately following an acupuncture treatment, pets typically show one of three responses:

  • A brighter mood with no change in symptoms
  • Symptoms abate for 1-2 days
  • Symptoms inflate for 1-2 days before improving

Qualified Veterinary Acupuncturist

Our pet acupuncturist is a qualified vet with an additional certification in veterinary acupuncture from The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS). Animal acupuncture takes time and skill and should only be performed by professionals.


Pet acupuncture is an increasingly popular alternative and adjunct treatment. More and more clients are encouraging clinics to embrace holistic vet practices, such as laser treatments and cryotherapy. Pet acupuncture is a safe treatment option to minimise pain, abate certain signs of disease or illness and improve your pet’s quality of life.

328 Cranbourne Road, Frankston, VIC, 3199

P: (03) 9789 3444

The Karingal Veterinary Hospital is open 6 days a week.

Our hours are

- 8am-6pm Monday-Friday,
- 9am-5pm Saturday,
- Closed on Sundays,

* We are closed on public holidays.