A veterinary practice in Ledbury is introducing a range of alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, which was originally developed in Ancient China.

This unusual treatment, involving needles, is being used to help ease the aching joints of elderly pets.

Leadon Vale Veterinary Centre, in Lower Road Trading Estate, is to offer the therapies to help pets who could be suffering from conditions such as arthritis, back pain and even respiratory disease.

Clinical director, Rachel Mowbray said: “Dogs, in particular, can be canny in hiding debilitating conditions, leading owners to deal with sudden changes in character or decreased appetites in their pets. There are preventative and, in some cases, curative treatments available to either tackle a condition or stop something before it has the chance to get any worse."

A number of medical tests, carried out in recent years, appear to show that acupuncture can indeed help reduce pain discomfort in dogs, and the procedure is becoming increasingly widespread for pets.