AILING pets could get a new injection of life with the opening of a new acupuncture clinic at a Wakefield veterinary surgery.

Senior veterinary surgeon Laura Sellers has launched a chronic pain and acupuncture clinic at Chantry Vets’ main practice in Alverthorpe with the aim of helping pets overcome pain.

Based on the scientific principles of western veterinary practice, acupuncture involves the placing of needles into specific locations on the body, to alleviate pain.

It has been used on humans for several years but it is becoming more common to give animals acupuncture.

Laura, who has been a surgeon at Chantry since 2013, was inspired to introduce acupuncture at the practice after receiving the treatment to help ease the pain of a shoulder injury.

Laura said: “It was quite a nasty injury from playing badminton but I found the acupuncture really helped relieve the pain and it worked very quickly.

“The use of acupuncture in veterinary medicine is something I had been interested in for a while so I decided to go on a training course.

“Now we have introduced the service at Chantry and the initial reaction has been good. It is possible to really see a difference in the animals once they have had the treatment; they seem more calm and relaxed.

“We have started by treating pets with back pain but acupuncture can also be useful in treating arthritis and many other painful conditions.

“This is an affordable way of treating pets and a lot of insurance companies are now covering it for pets.”

Acupuncture works by stimulating nerves under the skin and in muscle tissue, blocking pain messages in the nervous system and prompting the body to produce pain-relieving endorphins and healing chemicals.

The service can be offered to dogs, cats and rabbits with a range of conditions, including osteoarthritis, muscular pain and digestive problems. It works well alongside other treatments including physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.

Laura added: “We are happy to take referrals from colleagues for patients suffering with a range of orthopaedic, neurological and chronic pain conditions.”