Project Description

Pain & Mobility Clinics

Like us, our animals experience pain and discomfort in a variety of forms and to varying degrees.

As they are unable to tell us in words how they feel, as pet owners it is our job to look out for signs that might indicate there is a problem – signs that can often be easy to miss but may include:

  • Stiffness getting up and down, particularly after rest or exercise.

  • Difficulty jumping into a car, or jumping up to or down from higher surfaces

  • A reduction in exercise, and increased resting periods

  • Changes in eating, sleeping and drinking patterns

  • Restlessness, or the inability to get comforatble

  • Acting out of character, either increased aggression, submission or vocalisation

  • Scruffy or matted coat, longer or thicker claws

  • Constantly licking or chewing parts of their body

Animal pain and mobility clinics at Charter Vets in North Devon

When should I consider a pain and mobility clinic?

Advances in veterinary management and general improvements in how we look after our animals means they may be living longer. This is great news, but with it comes complications from age-related disease such as arthritis. The Charter Vets approach to pain management utilises a variety of techniques that complement conventional medicine, ensuring we maximise the comfort and mobility of your pet.

The Pain and Mobility Clinic isn’t just for older cats and dogs, though. We see many cases of chronic orthopaedic and neuropathic pain in younger animals. Examples include:

  • Recovery and rehabilitation from surgery

  • When conventional medications are not sufficient or poorly tolerated

  • Pain with no identified source

  • When owners feel their pet needs more support or wonders ‘what more can I do?’

Dr Dave Tittle Charter Vets - acupuncture, hydrotherapy, Pain & Mobility Clinics

A targeted approach to pain management.

The Charter Vets Pain and Mobility Clinic has been designed and developed by Dave Tittle BVetMed CertVA GPCert (WVA & CPM) MRCVS RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Veterinary Anaesthesia.

Dave has a multimodal approach to pain management. He combines traditional aspects of veterinary medicine with more advanced techniques such as intravenous infusion therapy and targeted delivery of drugs.

Dave holds a GP Certificate in Western Veterinary Acupuncture and Chronic Pain Management. He is a member of the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists and the Western Veterinary Acupuncture Group and is a practising small animal acupuncturist. His methods are broad but his objectives are specific: to reduce pain, increase mobility, improve quality of life and enhance the wellbeing of your pet.

What to expect from our Pain and Mobility Clinic

The clinic will begin with an initial referral consultation which will provide an in-depth assessment of your pet’s requirements, as well as discussing any concerns and expectations you might have. This will form the basis of a bespoke pain management plan which may include:

  • An overview of current pain relief

  • Any possible changes to the prescription or administration of medication

  • Acupuncture

  • Hydrotherapy

  • Environmental modifications

  • Adjustments to lifestyle and exercise

Once on a pain management plan, all patients require regular assessment and updating of their treatment recommendations in accordance with their progress, being sure to account for any changes in their needs.

Acupuncture forms an important part of the Charter Vets Pain and Mobility Clinic.

What is acupuncture?

Evolved from the ancient art of placing needles into specific locations in the body in order to relieve pain, acupuncture today is a combination of traditional Chinese medicine and contemporary scientific knowledge. It offers huge benefits not only for those suffering with chronic pain but can actively promote healing and recovery in addition to increasing resistance to disease.

How does it work?

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system. The needles block the pain messages and encourage the brain and central nervous system to produce more of the body’s natural painkillers. In conditions that are not painful, acupuncture may help to reset the body’s normal functioning. After examination, needles will be placed into specific points of the body and moved or stimulated a number of times. Unlike conventional medications there is not a set “dose” of acupuncture, so acupuncturists judge how much to administer based on your pet’s response, both at the time and after the treatment. Sometimes we may utilise electro-acupuncture if this is deemed suitable for your pets condition.

Will my pet feel discomfort?

Acupuncture needles stimulate nerves that do not cause the unpleasant feelings of pain that we are trying to treat. They stimulate other nerves that send a more important message to the brain, which is how they block pain. Sometimes animals may react to this sensation as though they are expecting pain, but then relax because it does not occur. Most of the time they accept the fine needles very well and often become relaxed and sleepy during the treatment. Often they appear to look forward to the next treatment when they come back to the practice.

Acupuncture is commonly used within the Pain and Mobility Clinic for:

  • Chronic pain such as arthritis

  • Rehabilitation from surgery, particularly orthopaedic and spinal surgery

  • Muscle strains

  • Urinary and bowel disorders

  • Respiratory and digestive problems

acupuncture for pets at Charter Vets in North Devon

“It is important to highlight, that when acupuncture is offered in the Pain and Mobility Clinics at Charter Vets, it is as an adjunct to conventional medicine and techniques.
We utilise acupuncture as part of a multimodal approach to pain management and rehabilitation.”
Dave Tittle BVetMed CertVA GPCert (WVA&CPM) MRCVS RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Veterinary Anaesthesia

The Pain and Mobility Clinic is based at Charter Veterinary Hospital, Roundswell.

If you are a Charter Vets client, please call your usual surgery and we will arrange an appointment to assess and refer your pet.

If you are not a Charter Vets client, assessment is available via referral from you pet’s regular veterinary surgeon. Please ask your vet to email with your client contact details and patient details.


Pain and Mobility Clinic referral consultation: £150
Pain and Mobility Clinic subsequent consultation: £75
Acupuncture referral consultation: £192.10
Acupuncture per session: £64.99

acupuncture for pets at Charter Vets in North Devon

Need to arrange a referral?

Call us on 01271 371115 or email with your client contact details, patient details, a prioritised summary of the history, and any supportive imaging, lab work and full clinical notes file. For imaging, original sized jpeg exports are still helpful but dicoms are even better, which can be shared via Dropbox to the above email address.