Introduction

Hello! Welcome to my website dedicated to veterinary acupuncture.

My name is MVDr. Lubomír Sojka and I graduated from University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Brno in 1998. I pursue virtually my entire professional life to animal problems of movement control and pain therapy, especially to musculoskeletal system. Recently, I have been focusing increasingly on nonsurgical possibilities for solving these problems. Acupuncture is an inseparable part of these solutions - that implies affecting the human or animal body through punctures with tiny needles into defined and described points and areas on the body.

Acupuncture was used to treat animals already several thousand years ago. Therefore, it is a very ancient and proven technique, extended to the whole world from Asia. Until recently, it was applied only in a traditional way within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), hence, it wasn't acceptable to majority of physicians. Only in the last few years we have seen the development of this technique in the West and its incorporation into clinical practice and into standard options(methods) allowing to affect painful and inflammatory reactions in the body.

Generally speaking, acupuncture as a therapeutic technique is only one. However, the way it is applied is substantially different. I practise primarily so called Western scientific acupuncture, which is based on neuropathophysiology onset, passing and subsequent reflex pain relief and overall nerve impulse. This approach is quite advanced, strongly segmential (as described further) and it has been the subject of intense research in recent years. Its use for musculoskeletal problems also gives significantly better results than the classic approach.

It is impossible to gain knowledge and practical experience in this branch of medicine in our country. Therefore, I often travel abroad (Austria, Great Britain) where I try to learn and gain valuable knowledge from practice.

I am properly trained and officially certificated general practicioner for western veterinary acupuncture and chronic pain management in animals.

Attended courses and Certificates you can find here, here and here..

In the treatment of individual cases I am a member of the Veterinary consulting Yahoo group operating throughout Europe. It gives me opportunity to consult more complicated or rare cases on-line , and thus increase the quality of care for my patients. I am also the BMAS (British Medical Acupuncture Society) member.

In case of your need or a pure interest in this effective and safe treatment technique, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will glady answer your enquiries, alternatively, I will arrange a consultation and examination.

With regards,
Dr. Lubomír Sojka, GPCert (WVA&CPM)

Essential principals

It is neither possible or practical to describe in detail the effect of this method and its mechanism only in the context of this website. However, what can be said is that it depends how acupuncture is approached and how it is applied to a particular patient by a therapist.

Within TCM the body and organs are perceived as a single unit which is strongly interconnected by flow of the life energy (so-called Chi). Individual organs have identifiable pathways in the body, called meridians. In total there are 14. Twelve main ones, paired, and two unpaired ones. In the path of each meridian there are individual effective acupuncture points which activate the area given or, more precisely, organ systems; attenuate or help to restore vital energy direction, which has stopped flowing as it should due to some disorder or injury. We can affect these points using needle puncture. The points on the body being distant from the primary source of difficulties are more commonly used for the treatment of the problem. Furthermore, basic phases (elements), which affect all living things on this planet, also enter the entire system due to their influence. Vital organs can be assigned to these elements as well as an important principle of opposing forces Yin / Yang. This insight and therapeutic system is to be believed. It has a little touch of mystery, mysticism; it tries to get the body back to its natural balance and it is unacceptable for a considerable part of the veterinary professional society.

In contrast, Western medicine's view is mainly neuropathophysiological and segmental. This system uses a mechanism of pain onset and its transmition and affecting the neural pathway through natural, higher neural centers. The pain that comes from a particular place and bothers an animal is directed through so-called slow fibers and influences (makes it more sensitive) a particular center in the brain and its limbic system. If we inject tiny harmless needles in a particular scheme around this spot, leaving them for several tens of minutes at position, then this way formed so-called fast (signal) pain, which is led by fast fibers, in fact overtakes chronic pain sensation and is processed in a different part of the brain where very potent and important substances release after activation of depressant centres (e.g. endorphins, catecholamines, serotonin). Gradually, these substances dampen the painful point.

This „overtaking“ happens in the upper (dorsal) corner of the spinal segment of the body. A variety of biologically highly active substances occur simultaneously or subsequently along with pain relieving substances. These biological substances also inhibit inflammatory responses and affect reparative healing processes after experiencing an injury etc. It is necessary to know that a relatively large proportion of these elements hasn´t been outlined in detail yet and brain itself as a central governing body hasn´t also been mapped so far ... Therefore, we try to search application points around the source of the pain (inflammation), or we try to activate the spinal segment, from which the body (or area) innervated. If the situation and anatomical localization allows, we use classical functional acupuncture points in this area as well. It is possible to precisely detect their presence, for example by blocking after application of a local anesthetic. Points can be stimulated through the needle, and thus the effectiveness of acupuncture is increased significantly. We use manual stimulation, magnetic field effect; treatment of a very weak, precisely defined electric current respectively – so-called electroacupuncture.

I can confirm from my own clinical experience that if this technique is used as indicated, it is very effective and safe. It is necessary to emphasise that the most accurate diagnosis should be determined and acupuncture should be applied to your pet only by properly trained, a certified veterinarian precisely!!! Then it can be used as a purely independent as well as an adjunctive therapy to many other diseases and disorders (e.g. the solution of decreased appetite and pain in oncological diseases etc.).

So it is worth to spread awareness about it between breeding and veterinary professionals.

Electroacupuncture

As the name implies, this is a technique where the needles, inserted into the sites and acupuncture points, are stimulated with a precisely defined electric field. Application of an electrical current stimulates the nerve endings and subsequently releaseas important neurotransmitters; substances affecting pain, improving the healing process and increasing the blood circulation in the area. However, different frequencies influence various mediators and have different effects on the suppression of pain in the brain and spinal cord. A character (curve) of the electrical stimulus is also substantial. Progress with a significant peak is inappropriate.

To the maximum clinical effect, it is necessary to use the newer types of generators of electricity, which allow periodic alternating usage of both low frequencies (below 10 Hz) and high frequencies (up to 100Hz) and have quadratic and relatively flat curve of current flow. This alternating oscillation during one treatment and the possibility of selecting the level of intensity of electric current ensures that it is accepted well by patient, without defensive movement of an animal. And especially, so necessary neurotransmitters are released and pain is suppressed. The stimulation of neural tissue also occurs as well as changes in nerve conduction. As a matter of course, there should be the possibility of connecting multiple channels; built-in timer; optional, continuously adjustable range of intensity of electric current and sound signaling the end of the set time therapy.

Precisely processed clips, through which the device connects to a relatively thin and tiny acupuncture needles, are then a necessity.

In my practice I use a new digital AS Super 4 digital needle stimulator from German company Schwa-Medico. It is easily portable and enables to connect up to 8 needles over 4 working channels.

I recommend electroacupuncture treatments in the following cases:

  • When classical acupuncture needle stimulation isn´t sufficient.
  • After spinal trauma caused by injury or intervertebral disc disease.
  • When a longer and more intense suppression of chronic pain is needed (especially neuropathic pain after e.g. spinal cord damage, cancer pain).
  • To support wound healing and solving some skin problems during the use of acupuncture.
  • To increase the stimulation of tissue (various forms of paralysis) during neurological defects, primarily of peripheral nervous system.
  • To attenuate acute and severe pain after operations and injuries.

Treated animals

At the beginning I want to say that acupuncture can be used as a single therapeutic technique. In practice, however, I rather apply it as a complementary technique, or, to be more precise, supportive. So much depends on the diagnosis! Own therapy consists of an initial detailed clinical evaluation with emphasis on musculoskeletal or neurological apparatus and actual needles implementation. I rather try to use less punctures and target them accurately. The use of acupuncture should be done in a quiet environment, away from the actual operating practice where the animal is not unnecessarily stressed. Application time is usually from 10 to 20 minutes per session, then repeated once a week. Therefore, it is always necessary to book in advance! One course of treatment usually consists of 3-4 applications. Another treatment is already highly variable and dependent on the original problem.

I primarily use quality Japanese brand acupuncture needles Seirin. They are sharp and their surface is specially treated. Animals tolerate them very well, and colored plastic endpoints are clearly visible in the coat. To stimulate the various acupuncture points, I use manual stimulation, pulsed electromagnetic field, or, more precisely, the standard electroacupuncture. I perform the actual application mainly in Western way, or I combine both principles.

Unfortunately not all animals are good candidates for the acupuncture. For some patients I prefer long term treatment by specific medicaments with neuromodulatory function and with the effectiveness in central nervous system. Therapeutical goal is to identify type of the pain and suffering in every individual and make „bespoke“ pain management.

Dog

It is indicated that a dog responds to this technique similarly to a human. In the population there are 80% of individuals sensitive to acupuncture, 10% are very sensitive, and one session is all they need, and 10% are low responders, and then this technique is not very suitable. The big advantage is that painful or inflammatory conditions can be very well controlled even in those animals which have some other systemic disorders (e.g. renal insufficiency, heart failure, hormonal dysfunction, etc.), or, alternatively, the administration of conventional analgesics has significant side effects on them.

Using acupuncture one can solve or positively affect for example these diseases:

  • Joint pain, particularly in connection with osteoarthritis and dysplasia.
  • Back pain, often caused by a damaged intervertebral disc or spondylosis.
  • Ligament damage (incl. the cranial cruciate ligament injury) and tendons in general. Inflammation of the biceps tendon in the shoulder.
  • Neurological diseases like paralysis of the peripheral nerves (eg. the facial nerve) or cauda equina syndrome.
  • Incontinence due especially to the bladder sphincter dysfunction.
  • Certain immune mediated diseases (e.g. polyarthritis). Generally, through acupuncture one can balance the immune system to normal.
  • Acupuncture as part of rehabilitation: after spinal surgery, after the so-called infarction of the spinal cord, after some types of total paralysis, etc.
  • As a stimulating and toning method in general weakness, after suffering severe illness or injury, in old age.
  • As an adjunctive technique in chronic renal failure, accompanied by loss of appetite and vomiting.
  • Certain skin problems (eg. acral lick granuloma).

And many other disorders or diseases.

Cat

A cat is generally more sensitive to acupuncture than a dog, but sometimes it is more difficult to cooperate in the application itself. So I use thinner and smaller needles than the standard, which are very well tolerated thanks to a specially modified tip.

Scope and therapeutic options are practically the same as with the dog. It is worth mentioning the possibility of treatment for some disorders of large bowel (chronic obstipation / megacolon) and urinary bladder (FLUTD syndrome). Another options are stimulation/enhancement of general body condition for patients with chronic renal insufficiency or complementary treatment of chronic sinusitis/rhinitis syndrome. Cats with disabilities and chronic pain prevail in my practice. Problems with pain in the hip, knee and back are most commonly treated. Due to the great limitations in classical medicamentous therapy (the use of non-steroidal drugs or opiates), this technique is particularly promising with cats! I also like combining it with magnetic therapy.

Price list

Prices are current and reflect difficulty gaining an education and experience abroad. I also have to comply with international standards of treatment and material used, which increases the total cost of treatment. Prices already include 21% VAT and cover detailed health report processing as well.

Dogs and cats:
Introductory comprehensive examination, problem consultation and first application of acupuncture 1600 CZK
Follow-up application 1000 CZK
Consultation of painful conditions and pain treatment plan 1300 CZK
Medical treatment check-up 900 CZK
Electroacupuncture – a surcharge 250 CZK
Prescription 150 CZK

Contact information

ZLIN
Mobile treatment of your pets by acupuncture at home. No extra charges!

email: lubkas22@gmail.com

PRAGUE
Veterinární klinika Anima, s.r.o.
tel.: +420 251 512 941
www.klinikaanima.cz