The Acupuncture Vet

The work of an ACUPUNCTURE VET explained.


The ACUPUNCTURE VET or veterinary acupuncturist is a vet who uses acupuncture for his or her patients. This may not always involve the use of needles but more often than not does so. The fully committed way of working in veterinary acupuncture also demands adherence to holistic principles (i.e. chiropractic manipulation, internal medicine (natural – e.g. homeopathic or herbal) and diet and lifestyle advice), for correchttp://www.alternativevett application. This was a fundamental part of the approach that was built into the methodology, inherited from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM was an archetypal holisticmethodology**. The acupuncture vet may also use moxibustion techniques. At the AVMC, the acupuncture vet (Chris Day) offers a truly holistic application of acupuncture, integrated with chiropractic assessment and manipulation, diet and internal medicine.

The first consultation with an acupuncture vet (vet acupuncturist) differs from the conventional one in some key areas and it usually takes longer, if holistic principles are followed. It can involve a very different examination protocol, especially if TCM is used.

In successful cases, acupuncture appears to be able to act as an alternative to NSAID or other pain killing drug therapy. However, acupuncture is much more than a means of pain control, as it stimulates the body's own healing processes. Pain reduction appears to occur both by blocking the pain pathways (short term) and via natural healing (longer term).


In the traditional Ancient Chinese (TCM**) way of thinking, internal medicine was an integral part of the treatment and supported the acupuncture needling (or any other method of point stimulation), along with dietary advice for better health. Modern Western acupuncture is in danger of forgetting this important ‘ingredient'. In Ancient China, this internal medical support for acupuncture was provided by Chinese Herbs (and some other less acceptable medicines). There is no reason why Western Herbs or even Homeopathy should not provide this essential internal medicine support, if properly integrated. Chris Day. the Acupuncture vet at AVMC, uses internal medicine in support of needling..

In Ancient China, spinal manipulation was also used alongside acupuncture. This is also often neglected by modern Western veterinary acupuncturists (acupuncture vets), to the detriment of patients in the opinion of the AVMC. Every patient presented to the acupuncture vet at the AVMC, whether at the premises or during a visit to a client's home or livery yard, receives a full chiropractic check and necessary manipulation is offered.

Opinion: In the UK, many veterinary practices and individuals have started to use some acupuncture. Many, however, seem to use only needling (or other point stimulation), without holistic and integrated internal medicine, manipulation or diet work. Some even proudly proclaim that they do not follow holistic principles! Each to his or her own . . . .

UK vets may be members of the ABVA and/or of IVAS. Acupuncture vets may or may not use other forms of complimentary and alternative medicine and may specialize in equine acupuncture, canine acupuncture, feline acupuncture etc.

The Alternative Vet (AVMC) offers acupuncture for animals:

At the AVMC, Chris Day acupuncture vet uses detailed and thorough holistic methodology, with integrated alternative and complimentary medicine methods, including frequent recourse to veterinary acupuncture (acupuncture for animals, dog acupuncture, horse acupuncture, cat acupuncture etc.). We use chiropractic manipulation and natural feeding in support in each case. We also use cold LASER, a totally painless energy therapy, to support many cases. This is all delivered in a relaxed, homely and animal-friendly environment, where chemical cleaning agents, herbicides, pesticides etc. are not used. Chris Day, acupuncture vet and holistic vet, has more than 30 years of experience in the subject of veterinary acupuncture (40 years in holistic medicine) and is willing to share experiences, understanding and ideas with veterinary colleagues, veterinary students and animal ‘owners'.

Acupuncture vet at work: Conditions in which the AVMC has found Veterinary Acupuncture (e.g. Equine Acupuncture, Canine Acupuncture or Feline Acupuncture) to be particularly helpful are:

Headshaking, Periodic Ophthalmia (ERU – Equine Recurrent Uveitis – Moonblindness), Arthritis, Back Problems, Back Pain, Disc Prolapse, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Paralysis, Kissing Spines, Spondylitis/Spondylosis, Lameness, Laminitis, Intervertebral Disc Disease, Sinus Problems, Spondylosis, Pain Management. It has also appeared to help many cases of CDRM in dogs, as part of an integrated treatment program.

Animal acupuncture can play an important part in Integrated Pain Management. Ask your acupuncture vet.

There is evidence* that acupuncture vet treatment, especially in the case of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), may stimulate stem cell activity to improve and hasten healing. There may be a cross-over here, between Acupuncture and Stem Cell Therapy, possibly making the invasive intervention of Stem Cell Therapy more of a distant option. See also: LASER Therapy. We certainly don't advocate surgery (fenestration) for paralysed dogs with disc prolapse, as they usually seem to recover remarkably well under acupuncture and integrative natural medicine and it has to be said that results of treating post-surgical patients have not been so good.

ACUPUNCTURE VET at work: We see animals for acupuncture vet consultations at the AVMC premises and we regularly visit an area stretching from Wales to London, from Devon to Kent, from South to North Midlands and from Bristol and West Midlands to the Wash and East Anglia. Visits are mainly to see horses but we can also arrange house calls (home visits) for domestic pets. We see many patients from London and visit London homes.

N.B.: The RCVS has ruled that it is illegal for a non-vet to deliver acupuncture, even with veterinary permission (Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966).

Equine Acupuncture Canine Acupuncture Feline Acupuncture

Much of our work is to treat horse backs and to acupuncture horses but, of course, we also see many dogs, cats and other animals, whether at our premises or at their homes.

Page describes the work of an acupuncture vet

also known as: acupuncture veterinary surgeon – acupuncture veterinarian – veterinary acupuncturist – UK

Holistic VetHomeopathic VetAcupuncture VetHerbal VetChiropractic VetNatural FeedingAlternative Vetcomplimentary VetNatural Vet


  1. Moldenhauer S, Burgauner M, Hellweg R, et al. Mobilization of CD133(+)CD34(-) cells in healthy individuals following whole-body acupuncture for spinal cord injuries. J Neurosci Res. 2009 Dec 22 [Epub ahead of print].
  2. Yan Q, Ruan JW, Ding Y, et al. Electro-acupuncture promotes differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells, regeneration of nerve fibers and partial recovery after spinal cord injury. Exp Toxicol Pathol. [Epub ahead of print].
  3. Sun Z, Li X, Su Z, et al. Electroacupuncture-enhanced differentiation of bone marrow stromal cells in to neuronal cells. J Sports Rehabil. 2009;18(3):398-406.

** N.B.: Chris D, acupuncture vet and holistic vet, does not support the use of any animal parts in TCM (e.g. from bear, tiger, rhinoceros). In many cases, not only does this amount to unwarranted exploitation of animals, in our opinion, but also it is commonly ‘endangered species' that are involved.

Biographic detail: Christopher, vet acupuncturist (acupuncture vet) for over 30 years, has been involved in the academic side of the training of acupuncture vets (veterinary acupuncturists – vet acupuncturists). He is one of a growing number of acupuncture vets, serving the animal community. In 1987, he established what was probably the first holistic veterinary practice in the UK and is part of a growing community of holistic vets.

Garrison Savannah and the equine acupuncture vet.

Veterinary acupuncture is without side effects

Veterinary acupuncture is safe in all species

Veterinary acupuncture is safe for all ages, including during pregnancy or suckling

Veterinary acupuncture requires no laboratory animal experimentation

Veterinary acupuncture, properly (holistically) applied, treats the patient, not the symptom

Veterinary acupuncture stimulates the body's own healing ability

Veterinary acupuncture operates at the bio-energetic level

Veterinary acupuncture can form part of an integrated pain control program

Veterinary acupuncture, when delivered in a holistic package, stimulates a return to more normal energy balance within the body, enabling better endogenous healing capability.

N.B.: We use only new sterile-packed needles when giving veterinary acupuncture.

The acupuncture vet at AVMC employs holistic principles

The acupuncture vet at AVMC supports needling with integrated natural internal medicine

The acupuncture vet at AVMC supports needling with gentle chiropractic manipulation

The acupuncture vet at AVMC also uses a range of other natural holistic therapies, which can be called upon to help a difficult case

The acupuncture vet at AVMC uses flexible one-piece needles, which cannot accidentally break off in the patient

The acupuncture vet at AVMC uses fresh, factory-packed sterile needles for each patient


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