About 80 – 90% of cats in pain are loosened up by the Aquapuncture procedure, and the effects last 3 – 12 months. Some only need one treatment to last 3 – 4 years.
Let’s be clear right at the start that I do not perform Acupuncture or Aquapuncture.
However, as a sceptic initially, I have seen some very nice results from Dr Barry Nielsen, especially for cats with spinal arthritis.
It's not much help for elbow or knee problems, but excellent for any issues from the neck to the pelvis.
The real benefit is that it is a single treatment, not a series (which makes it more acceptable to both the cats and their owners!).
I make sure the owners are educated on the symptoms of pain after their feline friends are treated, so I'm pretty sure that the effects are real and long-lasting.
At least as successful as Cartrophen and even Meloxicam in some cats.
This process involves the injection of Vitamin B12 and Saline directly into the chosen acupuncture points.
The cat is sedated during the process because it would be too painful any other way, plus it enables much longer lasting effects.
This introduction takes you through the big picture of the process. But the real fun begins in the next video in the sequence.
Dr Barry and I have found that radiographs are no more revealing of the location of the pain than a good clinical examination.
Xrays tell you where bone damage is (and 90% of cats over the age of 10 will have some radiographic signs), but not whether those areas are painful. Just because one of the joints no longer moves, doesn't mean it's not painful. It's just like people who have had their spine fused.
Radiographs, CAT scans, MRI’s and thermal imaging systems do not clarify the source of pain nor the magnitude of it. And anyway - how do you tell how much pain is being experienced?
There is no measurement scale!
However, the cat will ALWAYS tell you where the pain is – YOU have to be careful not to get bitten if you ask them the wrong way! Many cats are so much happier when their pain is relieved that they stop being interested in biting people – yes, they were just doing the best they could to stay comfortable. If you ask nicely (in a Feline Friendly Fashion), then both you and the cat will get on together and help the cat to be Feline Better in no time.
Experience now borne out by the academics trying to find a way to quantify pain is that nothing identifies where is painful nor how painful it is. And what may be extremely painful for one cat may not be for another.
Dr Barry checks the cats first, before any pain or other medication is given – sometimes the cats are so sore or so frozen in pain that it is impossible to examine them. He then decides on trigger points around the body and spine and we sedate them heavily, as injecting 0.3 – 0.5 mls of diluted Vit B12 into the trigger points is very painful.
It may be the relaxation, massage and spasm release of the injections that works so well. The method, whatever the mechanism, has resulted in greater mobility for many cats who have come under the ‘joint care’ of Dr Barry and Dr Kim!