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Acupuncture originates in China (1st century BC). Health, from a Chinese point of view, is the result of a continuous circulation of energy called Qi, through channels in the body. To restore the energy flow, certain points where the energy gets closer to the surface of the body are treated. Commonly, very fine needles are used, or the points are warmed using moxa. In anxious patients, or to promote tissue healing, a low-level laser can be used.

Modern Veterinary Acupuncture works well alongside modern diagnostics and conventional treatments to improve a lot of problems. It offers pain relief, improves blood supply and speeds up healing. Acupuncture considers the whole animal and its surroundings.


What can you expect during an acupuncture consult? Many of our questions will be the same as during a conventional veterinary exam but additional information, like the mood of the animal and its eating habits, can help us find the best way of treating the problem. 

Most animals relax during the acupuncture treatment, curling up on a blanket or staying happily on the treatment table. A first treatment takes approximately one hour; follow-up treatments 45 minutes. The owner stays with the patient while the needles are left in place. In Iris‘ experience, a response will often be obvious within three treatments, with many acute problems resolving within two to three weekly treatments. For chronic conditions, treatment intervals are chosen according to the patient’s needs.

Acupuncture works well on a multitude of conditions, for example, chronic pain conditions like arthritis, rehabilitation after surgery like cruciate repairs, or feline asthma, either on its own or in conjunction with other treatment modalities. 

You may be surprised to learn that rabbits respond well to acupuncture. Often a dirty back end in rabbits results from them being unable to clean themselves properly due to back problems. You may find that your rabbit is clean again after acupuncture. 

We currently offer treatments at therapy rooms in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire. 


How the history is taken and how the horse is examined depends on the nature of the problem. In a lameness case, it is important to find out what caused the problem and, if possible, we like to see the horse move. For respiratory problems, for example, husbandry and nutrition need looking at as well as examining the horse. 

Horses have a lot of energy they can utilise and often respond very quickly to acupuncture treatments. For seasonal problems, the most promising course of action is three treatments prior to the onset of problems. If your horse responds well to this, just one or two treatments may be sufficient in later years, providing these are administered before the usual onset of problems. 

Chronic problems with structural changes can’t be undone. Acupuncture, however, can improve circulation, reduce inflammation and pain, and often restore function. These cases often need regular top-ups. After a few initial treatments, acupuncture every three months helps many elderly, arthritic horses to have a better quality of life. 

A visit fee is charged to cover the travelling costs and is shared if several horses are treated on the same yard.   

Acupuncture for cattle, sheep and goats

Ruminants respond well to acupuncture too. Coming from a background of mixed practice, Iris has a very practical approach to the needs of large animals and has experience in treating various conditions in ruminants, for example, musculoskeletal problems, lack of appetite (including calves not suckling) and post-partum issues. 

Cattle acupuncture in the back