What to expect during your pet’s

Initial Acupuncture Examination


During your pet’s ONE hour Acupuncture Initial Examination, Dr Williamson will review your pet’s detailed medical and personal history, perform a complete physical examination and evaluate components of a Chinese medical exam.  Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) looks at whole body health from the physical, emotional, mental, and environmental perspectives.  Dr Williamson will evaluate your pet’s pulse quality, tongue color and coating, and feel for sensitivities throughout his or her body.  Information from your history and the Conventional (Western) and Traditional (Eastern) exams will help Dr Williamson create an overall diagnosis and treatment plan.  She will discuss her treatment strategy and why certain points will be used during your pet’s acupuncture session.      

There are a number of acupuncture techniques that can be used to treat your pet, but during the initial examination Dr Williamson will use the most common approach called “Dry Needling.”  This technique uses very thin, sterile, single use needles to pierce the skin over acupuncture points throughout the body.  During your pet’s first treatment, Dr Williamson will select a number of important points initially but will add additional points during future treatment sessions.  Your pet may experience a skin or muscle twitch when the needles are inserted but this sensation quickly subsides.  Most patients do not mind treatment and many of them relax once the needles are inserted, some even fall asleep!  

Once the needles are in place, Dr Williamson will leave the room so you and your pet can relax, and spend quiet time together alone.  It is very common for needles to fall out during treatment.  This can be due to patient movement or the body’s natural release of the needle when the treatment is complete at that specific point.  We expect treatment times will vary between 15-30 minutes depending upon patient needs.  One of our staff members will check in on you and your pet during this time frame.  

Once the treatment is complete, Dr Williamson will return to the room to remove the needles.  If you find a needle lost in your pet’s fur once you return home you may simply remove it and throw the needle in the regular garbage.  We expect that patients will be tired the day of or even the day after treatment.  Acupuncture asks the body to move energy which may be a new experience for your pet.  Moving energy can cause your pet to want to rest more but signs should not persist beyond 24-48 hours.       

Acupuncture is typically recommended at weekly intervals for the first month then as needed thereafter (ie:  every 2-4 weeks).   Dr Williamson will discuss options for future treatment and frequency at the close of the initial examination.