The WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre offers acupuncture to small animal patients as a complementary treatment for: 

  • arthritis
  • chronic pain
  • recovery from back surgery

As a complementary therapy, acupuncture treatments may help to reduce or eliminate the use of medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs for chronic conditions such as arthritis. 

Dr. Romany Pinto is a clinical associate at the Veterinary Medical Centre who is a certified veterinary acupuncturist (CVA). She studied at Florida's Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine where she received her certification in 2008. Her training incorporates modern medicine into the traditional Chinese approach to medicine. 

What to Expect

The initial acupuncture session takes about an hour. To help make a diagnosis, Dr. Pinto will ask questions about your pet's health and behavour. For example, she might establish whether the animal is heat-seeking or cool-seeking by asking if your pet prefers the cold floor to a warm bed. She will also ask your pet's medications and medical history.

There are charts of known acupunture points available, but needle placement changes based on the specific animal and on the condition being treated.

The length of the actual treatment varies. Dogs generally take 20 to 30 minutes, but the time differs with every patient. Species such as cats and rabbits generally require less time. At your next visit, Dr. Pinto will ask you to describe the animal's behaviour after the session to help determine the correct treatment length.

Typically, animals may act quieter and be more "mellow" on the day after a treatment, but they will be back to normal by the next day.

The number and frequency of treatments also varies. For example, Dr. Pinto may treat a patient with arthritis twice in the first week and then once a week after that. If there is improvement after the first four to six weeks, Dr. Pinto will continue treatment but start decreasing the frequency. For example, some patients that receive ongoing acupuncture therapy only come in every five to six weeks.

Information for New Clients

If you have never visited the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre before, please visit New Clients for information about location, parking and other details.