> Vet Referrals > Services Offered > Pain Management and Acupuncture

Pain Management and Acupuncture

We are delighted to introduce Pain Management Clinics; these are designed to help patients and their owners cope with chronic pain and mobility issues. The clinics will be led by vet Simon Burgess, who has a Certificate in Chronic Pain Management and Western Veterinary Acupuncture and will also be delivered by Les Cox. The vet team will be assisted by RVNs Helen Quartermaine & Eleanor Martin, plus external physiotherapist support from Sophie Pickard

Who can benefit from the pain and mobility clinics?

  • Patients with arthritis (80% of dogs over 8 years and 60% of cats over 6 years old have radiographic evidence of arthritis)
  • Elbow/Hip dysplasia
  • Lumbosacral disease, disc disease, other forms of back pain
  • Three legged animals to help maintain function
  • Behavioural changes – e.g. aggression – a significant proportion of newly aggressive/fearful biting dogs will be painful
  • Painful neoplasia

What's involved in the initial consultation?

Prior to the initial consultation we will send clients a comprehensive questionnaire to fill in about their pet’s lifestyle.

The initial consultation will last 60 minutes and will be a comprehensive review of the pet’s circumstances.

The vet will then review the findings and following an examination will discuss the problems that have been found. They will formulate an individual treatment plan that will address these issues, discuss the possible complications of treatment and how we will check the treatment is working.

Treatment Options

There are many different recommendations that might be made. Below are just a few examples of the treatment options that might help an individual pet:


Acupuncture involves inserting very fine needles into the body. It is mainly used for pain management and works by blocking pain messages and encouraging the body to produce its natural painkillers. It is particularly good for muscle pain and arthritic pain.

The initial course of treatment is usually once a week for four sessions. After four weeks we will know whether acupuncture is working for your pet and will work out a long-term plan for maintaining its effect.


Physiotherapy is a very effective way of supporting older osteoarthritic patients and also younger patients that are recovering after joint surgeries or fracture repairs. It will improve range of motion in joints and alleviate stiffness. It can be used as a preventative measure or to help the body heal. It can also improve muscle tone and help treat non-healing wounds

Physiotherapy treatments range from massage, stretches, joint manipulations to using various pieces of equipment including therapeutic ultrasound. There will also usually be exercises to perform at home.

Weight Control

When animals are less mobile it is common for them to gain weight, which exacerbates any underlying problems. Weight control is therefore an essential part of any treatment plan. Our nurses will work out a suitable weight reduction programme with you.


Many different drugs are available to manage and control chronic pain. They can be used temporarily while other treatments take effect, or longer term to enable the patient to have a better quality of life. The exact drugs that may be suitable vary from condition to condition and from individual to individual. The benefits and side effects of each one will be discussed at length during the clinics.

Exercise modification, hydrotherapy & surgery

Exercise programmes are designed to encourage normal movement, increase fitness and strength. Hydrotherapy performs the same functions but can be more helpful where weight bearing needs to be limited. Occasionally surgery can be useful to reduce pain. For example, young animals with severe hip dysplasia may benefit from a hip replacement.

Joint Injections

There are a number of situations in which injections into the joint may help a patient. We have a range of options including corticosteroids, platelets and stem cells which aim to reduce joint inflammation and slow down the progress of arthritic change through to Arthramid injections which form a spongy shock absorbing cushion in the diseased joint making it much more comfortable.

To make an enquiry or book an appointment please call 01765 602396 or complete our Referral Form by clicking here.

I am emailing to express how grateful I am for the care my dog has received from you.

Fudge is a chihuahua who developed mobility problems a few years ago and has had increasing difficulty walking which resulted in him being carried more and more. Our previous vets were excellent and very caring but did not offer a specialist pain clinic. On moving to Ripon we registered with Bishopton vets and while attending an emergency appointment for him I mentioned that he had these difficulties to the attending vet, Simon, who mentioned that he ran a pain clinic which may be of some benefit to Fudge. Fudge was booked in for pain clinic and his journey began. An in-depth assessment which was holistic and gave me opportunities to ask questions was undertaken and a treatment plan that included medications, acupuncture and physiotherapy was developed. Fudge showed signs of improvement after his first few treatments and the encouragement I received from Simon, Sophie physio and Sophie nurse has been invaluable. Reception staff have also been amazing and spoil him by breaking biscuits for him to enjoy after his treatment.

Now we are further along and visits have reduced but his improvement continues. Fudge is enjoying life and now runs around the garden most days, walks independently and only needs picking up when he decides he doesn’t want to walk the way I want him too! I cannot praise this service enough.
Pat Brown - March 2022