When we looked into acupuncture to help with our German Pointer’s Degenerative Disc Disease, we were at the end of our tether as to what to do to help our wonderful boy. He is currently 11, and had been living with the condition, consisting of prolapsed discs close to the base of his spine, for a number of years, alongside bad arthritis and a number of other medical conditions.

All we can now say is we wish we had found Sarah years earlier. Acupuncture has changed our dog’s life, as well as ours!

Before acupuncture, and despite being on strong painkillers, he would struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Every day he would tremble and shake and get up very slowly, looking very stiff and extremely sad. We would need to take him for a slow walk around the garden to get him moving again. Often he would just lay down on the grass, clearly in pain and so sad. He would also struggle so much to get comfortable anywhere during the day, and constantly move position or be circling trying to find a place it didn’t hurt.

At least 2-3 times a week it would be a lot worse than that; he would actually scream out in pain, just trying to get up in the morning. The same would happen if he had laid in the same position for more than about half an hour. It was heart-breaking watching him crying, howling, in so much pain, but being unable to help him.

We did wonder what the future held. We had been referred to various orthopaedic vets but with no real breakthrough in reducing the pain or doing anything to help the condition.

We actually put off acupuncture for nearly 2 years as we had concerns about efficacy, safety and finding the right person to administer the treatment.

After more research and reading how it had helped dogs with different conditions, we decided we had nothing else left to try. We eventually found Sarah Priggen, although she is based over an hour away from us. On speaking to Sarah I knew she was the right person and we booked our first session in January 2019.

And that is when life improved for our wonderful dog more than we could ever have dreamed!

The difference after his first session was noticeable, but I have to say we at first put it down to coincidence. In fact, we were so convinced it couldn’t possibly help that much it took us another couple of sessions to really believe that the acupuncture was the thing reducing his pain.

We soon came to realise that a week had passed, then 2 weeks, then 3 since he had cried out in pain. He still looked a little stiff sometimes in the morning, but was up much quicker, and generally seemed much happier in himself. This progress continued, still not crying out, and we started to realise that it was only by the end of week 3 after treatment he slowed down a little and sometimes looked stiff again.

We therefore continued acupuncture every 3-4 weeks, and have done ever since. After 3 months, we decided to stop giving our dog his morning painkiller, to really test what was happening – well he was fine! We do give it to him for a week in the run up to being due his next treatment, but he can cope without it. Before he wouldn’t have been able to move without the painkiller.

Two years on, we can honestly say his life has changed forever. we can’t remember the last time he cried in pain, and he’s back to his happy self at all times. He’s out walking again, rather than a 5 minute leg stretch, which was all he could manage before. In fact it’s all we can do to stop him running!

Sarah’s compassion and love for animals is clear to see, and her knowledge and experience as a vet gives us ultimate confidence. Our dog loves her, and looks forward to his treatment.

For anyone doubting that acupuncture works, I can tell you that it categorically does. Not only do we now have control over the pain of our dog’s back condition, we also realised his legs no longer shake with the arthritis! He used to have Cartrophen twice a year to help with arthritis, but no longer needs it. Our vet is amazed as usually when dogs get older they need more of the medication, not less!

Acupuncture has really been a miracle for us, our only frustration is we didn’t find it sooner. We are aware of many other canine, equine and feline conditions it has helped, and as you know animals cannot lie or have a placebo effect! Thankyou Sarah for everything you have done to help him, we are so very grateful.