Your pet's first acupuncture consultation will usually take 30 minutes to take a full history, treat the animal and discuss aspects of the case. Further consultations are usually about 20 minutes.
Acupoints used by the vet are generally transposed from human acupuncture. We have a skeleton very similar to horses, dogs and cats and so points can be located fairly accurately from species to species. Points can be found all over the body, from the toe to the tip of the nose. They are areas rich in nerve and blood vessel supply but the skin actually looks microscopically different at these foci. Points are distributed along lines of 'energy' called meridians or channels. These energy highways have associations with the organs and are called, for example, the Bladder Vessel, or the Large Intestine Meridian to emphasise some of their uses. When our Vet has taken a history and examined your pet, they will select points that need stimulation.
Stimulation of acupoint sites can be by inserting very thin, one or two inch (2.5cm in cat and dogs to 5cm in horses) sterile, disposable needles through the skin to prompt a response. Needles need to be left in for a variable time and can be stimulated gently by twisting. Once needles are in they are painless. Needles are removed carefully at the end of the session of 10 - 20 mins. Sometimes the needles have worked their way out themselves and are just holding on by the very tip. Most needles will loosen in the skin. This is a good sign and suggests a good response. When we start an animal on a course of acupuncture, the frequency of treatment will depend on the condition, but weekly sessions for 4 - 6 weeks initially is typical. After this time, progress will be assessed and you will be guided as to how to go on from there by your veterinary acupuncturist.
Is Acupuncture Painful?
The first thing to say is that it is impossible to put a needle through the skin without provoking some sensation. It is not always painful, but can sometimes be a sharp sensation. If the acupuncturist has chosen a point that is very blocked, then sometimes stimulation of the point when the needle gets through the skin is uncomfortable. So why do we do it if it is uncomfortable sometimes? Answer: the benefits outweigh the mild discomfort of the treatment. 'First, do no harm' is a general rule to be followed.
If acupuncture really was excruciating and the results were equivocal, then it should be stopped. But the opposite is true. When we humans make a decision to go to an acupuncturist, we do so not for fun, but because we have a problem that we want fixed. Animals don't see it like that. They see it as 'I have this really sore back or leg and now they take me to see this person and all they want to do is put needles in me!'. This is why some pets are pretty confused the first time they go for treatment. So, our job as owners and vets is to reassure them. Pets can be brave or quite timid, just like us. So some will take acupuncture in their stride, some will need reassurance because they are scared.
Conditions where Acupuncture can Help
Acupuncture can help more than just a stiff joint, though most acupuncture is used for painful conditions, but there respiratory problems and behavioural problems that can also benefit. If you would like advice, talk to Claire or Catherine at Parkside. Ask them to examine your animal. They will then be able to give you specific advice on what would be best. You may be referred for acupuncture by one of the other Vets who see your pet and have already diagnosed a problem.
Once a diagnosis has been made, or a surgical condition has been ruled out, then this is a green light to go ahead with acupuncture.
Parkside Vets Claire Mitchelson and Catherine Davidson have training in acupuncture for pets and are happy to advise on how acupuncture may be able to help your pet.
Could acupuncture help your pet?
For advice on how acupuncture may help your pet, please call 01382 810777 where you will be directed to Claire Mitchelson or Catherine Davidson, our vets who specialise in animal acupuncture.
An identichip is a small device, about the size of a grain of rice, which carries a unique number. The chip is inserted under the skin of the scruff of the neck through a needle, which does not require sedation or anaesthesia. Following placement, the chip will remain active for life and allows the identification of your pet through the use of a handheld scanning device.
Should your pet go missing, the details accessed through the chip can allow them to be reunited with you quickly and easily. While collars and tags are useful, they can be lost or removed and therefore do not offer the permanent form of identification provided by a microchip.
Microchipping is a safe procedure and a European reporting system which monitors reactions to microchip implantation has failed to identify any significant problems.
From the 6th of April 2016 it has been a legal requirement that all dogs in Scotland be identified by a microchip. While the law does not apply to cats, it is still highly recommended that any cat with access to the outdoors also be microchipped. Furthermore, if you intend to travel abroad with your pet, a key requirement of pet travel legislation is that your pet must be identified with a chip.
Following placement of the microchip, it is vital to ensure that you keep your details up to date on the chip database. If you move house or change telephone number, it is important to inform the national database otherwise in the unfortunate event of your pet going missing or becoming involved in an accident, it may not be possible to reach you.
If you would like any further information on microchipping, please contact your local Parkside branch to discuss with a member of our clinical team.
Get a 50% discount on Microchipping
Members of the Premier Pet Club receive a 50% discount on Microchipping,
as well as many other great benefits to keep your pet happy and healthy.
At Parkside, our team of dedicated registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) are on hand to advise you on training, feeding, flea treatments and worming. If it has been advised that your pet would benefit from some weight loss, or they require their nails clipped or sutures removed, we offer daily nurses clinics for your convenience.
In conjunction with your veterinary surgeon, our highly trained nurses can also offer advice and guidance for patients on long term medication, including arthritis and diabetes treatments and for senior patients.
At Parkside, all our clinic nurses are fully qualified professionals, giving you the best care possible. As a nurse-training practice, we can ensure our staff are kept up to date with recent advancements in veterinary medicine. Our RVNs are supported by a team of trainee nurses and surgery assistants.
get unlimited nurse clinics
Members of the Premier Pet Club get unlimited access to nurse clinics at no extra cost.
They also receive many other great benefits to keep their pet happy and healthy.
Travelling with Pets
Important: The rules governing pet travel have changed as of 1st January 2021.
These rules apply to people travelling to and from Great Britain (Scotland, England and Wales) with their pet cats, ferrets or dogs, including assistance dogs. This guidance is only for travel of less than 5 pets and for non-commercial reasons.
The main change for pet travel out of GB is that UK pet passports are no longer valid for travel into the EU. An Animal Health Certificate is now required for each trip to the EU, unless your animal already has a valid non-UK EU passport, issued in an EU country.
Please read our blog post on Post-Brexit Pet Travel for further details on what is required when travelling with your pet:
Going abroad with your pet?
If you have an appointment to obtain your AHC (Animal Health Certificate) at one of our surgeries, please complete our UK to EU Pet Travel Form before your appointment.
Want to take your pet on holiday?
We can make sure your pet meets the requirements to travel within the EU by completing vaccinations and microchipping. We can then issue your Animal Health Certificate on behalf of the government.
Please call your local branch on one of the following numbers:
Dundee: 01382 810777
Barnhill: 01382 739634
Arbroath: 01241 293777
To order a repeat prescription, please telephone your local branch to speak to a member of our team.
Please note that if you are not a Parkside client, we cannot supply medicines without a prescription from your regular vet.
Private prescriptions are available on request. Please be aware that a charge is payable for supplying such a prescription.
To allow us to prescribe prescription medicines, your pet must be under our care, which is defined as having been examined by a veterinary surgeon within the previous 6 months. If your pet has not been seen within this period of time, then it is deemed to be no longer under our care and must be examined before more prescription medicines can be prescribed. In some cases, it may be recommended that your pet be examined more regularly e.g. for conditions which may get worse over a shorter period of time or for medications which carry the risk of more serious side effects.
When dispensing medications to treat animals, vets and pharmacists are required by law to prescribe prescription products which are licensed for use in the species in question, where one is available. Due to the stringent licencing regulations, these products unfortunately tend to be more expensive than the generic human counterpart. Where there are no such licensed products available, alternative medications may be used following the guidelines set out in the cascade.
Should you have any queries regarding the frequency of veterinary examinations recommended for your pet or to discuss the prescribing of medications, please contact a member of the Parkside team.
order your pet's prescription
Please call your local branch on one of the following numbers:
Dundee: 01382 810777
Barnhill: 01382 739634
Arbroath: 01241 293777
Senior Health Checks
As our pets get older, they are unfortunately more at risk of developing a number of conditions including dental disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer. However, the early signs of these problems can be easy to miss due to the “suffer in silence” approach which tends to be adopted by our pets. If a veterinary examination is only carried out once a year, diagnosis may be delayed, resulting in a more advanced condition which is harder to treat.
At Parkside, we offer senior health checks to help identify conditions early, which may otherwise progress to cause more serious issues in future. These checks also provide an excellent opportunity to monitor any existing conditions and to answer any questions you may have regarding caring for your pet as they get older. The recommended frequency of these examinations will vary between individuals, depending on factors such as breed, lifestyle and fitness, but typically we find checks at least every 6 months are beneficial.
If you have any questions regarding your pet’s care or would like to arrange a senior health check, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Parkside team.
Spread the cost of your pet's healthcare
Members of the Premier Pet Club get two health checks each year included as standard. Members also get unlimited consultations and unlimited access to nurse clinics at no extra cost. The Premier Pet Club includes many other great benefits to keep your pet happy and healthy.
Parkside vets Stuart Ashworth and Fraser Goldie have undertaken further study to achieve certificates in small animal orthopaedics and small animal surgery respectively. Between them, they have over 30 years experience in this field and are recognised as advanced practitioners by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
In addition to our regular clinical work, Parkside takes referrals from other practices for the treatment of many orthopaedic conditions including fracture repair, stabilisation following cranial cruciate ligament rupture or patella luxation as well as conditions which may benefit from arthroscopic surgery.
Parkside vet Fraser Goldie has undertaken further study to achieve a certificate in small animal surgery and is recognised as an advanced practitioner by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
In addition to our regular clinical work, Parkside takes referrals from other practices for the treatment of many soft tissue conditions including traumatic wound management, hernia repair and neoplasia as well as conditions which may benefit from keyhole surgery such as exploratory laparoscopy and organ biopsy.