Meet the incredible Nottinghamshire woman who does a job you probably didn't know existed

Carole with Ellie, a Pointer Cross dog
Carole with Ellie, a Pointer Cross dog -Credit:Jim Connelly Photography

A Nottinghamshire woman is helping animals all over the East Midlands in a job you probably didn't realise existed. Carole Parsons, of Tollerton, offers acupuncture services for pets, and helps anything from dogs and cats to hamsters and rabbits with their pain, with many animals suffering from arthritis.

Carole set up the Pet Therapy Acupuncture and Pain Management company ten years ago and offered the services at a veterinary practice she worked at. After seeing how difficult it was for some owners to bring their pets in due to the pain they experienced whilst travelling in the car or walking she decided to make her business mobile in 2021 and since August 2023 has been running her business full time.

She now offers her services across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and has also made visits to help animals in Lincolnshire and Leicestershire too.

She said: "I've been a vet for 20 years and I used to get acupuncture quite a lot myself from my physiotherapist and I found it amazing, so when I got the opportunity to train in it I jumped at the chance, as so many dogs struggle with arthritis and chronic pain. Not everyone responds, but we get some really amazing cases that respond really well and it's really incredible to know that we are helping them."

Carole using acupuncture to help her cat Fezy
Carole using acupuncture to help her cat Fezy

When asked about the demand, Carole explained that most people don't realise acupuncture is an option for pets, but that her business is steadily growing with more and more requests as people learn about her. She explained that owners have a close bond with their pets and would do anything to help them, and acupuncture is an alternative to other medications but can also be an additional treatment to help pets with their pain.

The 44-year-old added: "There are several practices that do it, but if your practice doesn't then you have nowhere else to go unless you know about me really. Or if your pets are really struggling with their mobility then getting in the car and going to the vet could be a struggle, so having a home practice option is great."

A few weeks ago in March 2024, Carole was thrilled to learn that she had been awarded the Dog Friendly Award for Compassionate Approach To Pets In Pain. Carole has been part of the Dog Friendly Scheme for some years, and explained that it reassures owners that she has "the knowledge and awareness to take account of subtle body language signs that may indicate their dog is unhappy, and take steps to approach and handle them in a way that is less likely to cause them pain or distress."

With the actual acupuncture process, Carole visits the pets at their home and uses treats and lick pads to help keep the animals relaxed so she can place the needles. She added: "Often after five minutes the needles will help endorphin release and then they just relax and drift off."