Acupuncture for Sharni’s Sore Hips

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Google Maps location for Willunga Vet  Services

Willunga Vet Services
37 Main Rd
SA 5172

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8556 2075
8556 2654

Aldinga Vet Services
16 Heathersay Ave
Aldinga Beach
SA 5173

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8556 5498

Sharni is lovely 12-year-old Border Collie owned by the Fisher-Ryder family.

As a young dog she was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia with significant arthritic changes. She was managed with anti-inflamatories and cartrophen injections. As she got older her arthritis started to cause her more problems and at age seven she started having acupuncture with a vet in Sydney to try to help manage her arthritis.

We first met Sharni in 2009 when the family moved locally. She had very stiff hips that were painful to extend. It had been over 12 months since her last treatment in Sydney. She also had multiple trigger points (muscle knots) in her hip flexors. Sharni responded well to acupuncture and trigger point treatment. It is the extra management she needs on top of her medication to allow her to move freely again. She has been an ‘acupuncture regular’ over the last few years. 

As an old girl now, Sharni still has regular pain relief and cartrophen injections and the acupuncture treatments have gotten closer together as her joints continue to slowly deteriorate. She is still a very happy and lively girl with a real zest for life. Which is lucky because her playmates are nearly-4-year old Isabella (photo), 5 year old Jackson the bouncy Border Collie and mischievous Zac the cat. Her owner Samantha attributes her longevity to her many years of acupuncture treatment Without it, she thinks, her legs would have given up long ago!

Managing arthritis involves a multimodal approach and the plan is different for each dog depending on the severity of their disease and their individual circumstances. A thorough musculo-skeletal examination is very important to determine whether arthritic joints alone are causing the problem or whether there is some muscular restriction also. It is very common for dogs that have joint disease to have secondary trigger points and muscle pain. These cause restriction in movement of the legs – which can often be seen as a shortened stride and not doing the ‘dog stretch’ when first rising. The best treatment for muscular problems is trigger point therapy with a TENS machine and massage. For management of arthritis, diet and exercise changes, joint supplements, cartrophen injections and pain relief may be prescribed. Acupuncture can be used in combination with any of the above treatments. It is a safe and effective adjunct to any arthritis management plan.

Dr Clare Ellis offers acupuncture treatments for dogs and cats on Monday’s at Aldinga Veterinary Clinic and Tuesday mornings at Willunga Veterinary Services. Clare is a qualified acupuncturist, having completed her Certificate in Veterinary Acupuncture with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 2008. She is also a representative of the Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Group. Clare initially trained in acupuncture to be able to offer an alternative to the standard medical therapy available for arthritis. She treats many cases like Sharni each week whose conditions are improved by acupuncture. The number of clients who are choosing to add acupuncture into the pet’s management plan continues to increase as more and more people see how beneficial it can be. Some days are fully booked now!


X-Ray showing Sharni's hips


If you think your pet would benefit from acupuncture please make an appointment with Clare - Aldinga 08 8556 5498 or Willunga 08 8556 2075.



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  • Thanks for the great article Clare did on our special girl Sharni.

    Posted by Sam Fisher-Ryder , 08/01/2013 9:49pm (6 years ago)

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