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Learn more about our multidisciplinary referral service at the Animal Care Hospital, Douglas.
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We are delighted to now offer pet acupuncture to our patients to help with pain relief. Please call us on 021 489 3033 to book an appointment with our veterinary acupuncturist Orlaith O’ Mahony.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the practise of inserting fine, solid needles into the body for pain relief or, in some cases, to help the body deal with other diseases.
How does acupuncture work?
It works through the nervous system. The needles block the pain messages and encourage the brain and central nervous system to produce more of the body’s natural painkillers. In conditions that are not painful, pet acupuncture may help to reset the body’s normal functioning.
Will it hurt my pet?
Acupuncture needles stimulate nerves that do not cause the unpleasant feelings of pain that we are trying to treat. They stimulate other nerves that send a more important message to the brain, which is how they block pain. Sometimes animals may react to this sensation as though they are expecting pain, but then relax because it does not occur. Most of the time they accept the fine needles very well and often become relaxed and sleepy during the treatment. Often they appear to look forward to the next treatment when they come back to the practice.
Would my pet need to be sedated for this treatment?
It is uncommon for animals to need to be sedated. This would only usually happen if they were so painful that any touch or stimulus causes them to be painful. Perhaps surprisingly, cats and rabbits often accept acupuncture treatment very well.
How often would my pet be treated?
The usual course is once a week for four to six weeks. After four weeks we will know whether pet acupuncture is working for your pet and then, depending on the condition and how they have responded, we will work out a plan that usually involves tailing off the treatment so that the effect is maintained for as long as possible.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is very safe, in the right hands. Legally it must be performed by a veterinary surgeon. There have been no official reports of problems in animals, but there are some in humans and these can usually be avoided with care and a good knowledge of anatomy. There are a very few cases in which we would have to be very cautious about using pet acupuncture, but your veterinary acupuncturist can advise you of these.
What kinds of conditions are treated with acupuncture?
Pain is the most common indication for pet acupuncture. Usually this means pain associated with arthritis, but also muscle strains, pain secondary to disc disease and bony changes of the spine. Other kinds of pain may also respond.
Functional conditions such as constipation in cats and irritable bowel type problems in dogs may also respond.
What can I expect during treatment?
After examination, needles will be inserted into various parts of the body and moved or stimulated a few times. There is not a set “dose” of pet acupuncture as there is for medication, so your vet will judge how much to do based on your pet’s response both at the time and after the treatment. They may become sleepy and relaxed during the treatment.
And after the treatment?
It is not uncommon for pets to go home and sleep very soundly for a long time. This is a good sign and shows that your pet will probably respond well to acupuncture. But do not worry if they are not sleepy – this does not mean that they will not respond. Sometimes your pet may seem a little more euphoric than usual; this is also a good sign, but keep them quiet for the rest of the day or they may overdo things.
Otherwise treat your pet normally after acupuncture. Do not change exercise, diet or medication unless it has been discussed with your vet.
What about response?
Your pet may show one of three responses to treatment:
If you would like to book a consultation, please call us on 021 489 3033.
At the Animal Care Hospital we understand that admitting your pet for an anaesthetic or sedation is a very worrying time for you the owner. We would like to reassure you about the safety of our anaesthetic protocols here at the hospital. We are confident about our anaesthesia for the following reasons:
1. We offer in-house pre-anaesthetic bloods to determine if your pet is healthy enough for an anaesthetic, depending on the results we may use a different combination of drugs or administer intravenous fluids. We have our own laboratory which enables us to have blood results within the hour allowing us to make real-time decisions on your pets anaesthetic needs.
2. We utilise a balanced approach to anaesthesia, this means a combination of a mild sedative injection to relax your pet, followed by an intravenous (into the vein) injection that will anaesthetise your pet briefly (count back from 10!!), then just like in humans, anaesthesia is maintained by intubating (ET tube down throat) and administering a mix of anaesthetic gas and 100% oxygen. Pain relief is administered before, during and after the anaesthetic. We believe pain is commonly overlooked and under treated, at the Animal Care Hospital we endeavour to correct this.
3. Anaesthetic protocol – our anaesthetic drugs are some of the safest and most modern available.
4. Our new surgery wing has oxygen piped in and quality control is extremely meticulous.
The intravenous injection is administered via a catheter into the vein, and during the anaesthetic your pet may thus receive fluids or any other drugs that may be required. The tube in the throat (endotracheal tube) gives us control of the airway if extra breaths are needed to be given, and also protects the airway from blockage while your pet is asleep.
Anaesthetics are constantly monitored by trained, experienced and qualified veterinary nurses.
After the procedure is finished and your pet is being recovered from anaesthesia, we monitor recovery closely, keep your pet warm and monitor his/her temperature. Extra pain relief is administered as needed.
If you have any questions about any of our services or you would like to book in for a consultation, get in touch!
We have an on site cat boarding facility situated adjacent to and run by the nurses and vets of the award-winning Animal Care Hospital in Douglas. This new facility is purpose-built and equipped to provide a healthy, happy and comfortable environment for your cat while you are on holiday.
We allocate at least 15 minutes for each consultation. Our consultations are with experienced veterinarians who are dedicated to the health of your pet.
A thorough clinical examination of your pet will be performed at every visit. We believe in the importance of continuity of care and where possible, upon your request, consults can be scheduled with the specific vet who has been dealing with your pet.
We have consultations available Monday - Saturday, visit our contact page to find our opening hours. Emergency consultations will always be seen as a matter of urgency.
We also provide emergency out of hours care for our clients.
These are aimed at keeping your pet healthy from the time of its first arrival to ensure you get off on the right footing and keep it that way throughout its life.
We have full digital radiology facilities for taking high quality diagnostic x-rays. This provides us with clear images to aid diagnosis. The digital images are stored in a database and allows us to easily send images via email to specialists if the need arises.
Our x-ray machine gets daily use as is it a vital aid in the investigation of many cases for example chest x-rays for coughing, abdominal x-rays for vomiting etc. Our x-rays are taken and processed at the same time and our vets will give you the results of the x-rays on the day they are performed.
Similarly we offer same day results with our ultrasound (scans) done with our new, state of the art, high quality ultrasound machine. There have been many advances in recent years in how ultrasound scans are used in both routine and emergency cases.
We are also proud to avail of the services of a veterinary specialist in ultrasonography who visits the hospital monthly to perform our more complicated ultrasounds. Typically scans carried out are of the abdomen, heart and chest.
Grooming is provided here in the hospital by our excellent dog groomer Grace Kelleher. Grace has been a groomer for many years and is experienced with all breeds of dog. Grace will always consult with you about your dog’s individual needs and is happy to facilitate any special requests you may have.
If you have any questions about any of our services or you would like to book in for a consultation, please call Grace on 085 724 6397.
Our investment in top of the range laboratory equipment allows many of our tests to be done in-house, enabling speedy same day results. This can be vital for critically ill patients by allowing the right diagnosis to be made quickly and the appropriate treatment started right away.
We pride ourselves on being able to provide state of the art surgical care and expertise.
All of our very experienced veterinary team perform routine operations and surgical investigations. We are able to perform a wide range of orthopaedic and soft tissue surgical procedures.
We have expanded, significantly developed and invested in our surgical facilities and advanced surgical equipment.
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