How do I make an appointment? Please call or SMS directly on 0472 830 661 or email me at sophie@animalbalance.com.au.
Dr. Sophie may be in consult so please allow time for a response.

How long is the initial consultation? The initial consultation lasts 1.5 hours to allow for a detailed and extensive consultation and usually involves an acupuncture treatment. We will review your pet’s previous history and diet, select an individually chosen herbal formula, and discuss any helpful nutraceutical supplements.  

How much is the initial consultation?
The initial consultation involves an in depth TCVM physical examination and diagnosis, acupuncture treatment, diet and supplement advice. The cost is $195 - this includes the house call visit fee within 20km of Red Hill South. For distances greater than 20km from Red Hill South please contact me for pricing. If prescribed, herbal medications are an additional cost.

How much are revisit consultations? A 45 - 60 minute revisit (including acupuncture and herb review) is $130. This includes the house call visit fee within 20km of Red Hill South. For distances greater than 20km from Red Hill South please contact me for pricing. If prescribed, herbal medications are an additional cost.

How do I pay? You can pay with a credit or debit card via Eftpos.

Do you do house calls? Yes! All visits are at your home – your animal will feel more relaxed and comfortable. There is no extra charge for the house call (within 20km of Red Hill South) – please see above for the consult fees.

Do you offer telemedicine? Yes! I can work alongside your regular vet to provide integrative care. Your pet must have had a health check within the last 3 -6 months, and ongoing regular checks with your regular veterinarian will be required to ensure your pet gets optimal care. An individual care plan will be devised and sent to your regular vet including details of diet recommendations, herbs and supplements, or Medicinal CBD recommendations.
Some issues are best seen initially with a face-to-face visit, then I may able to offer revisit appointments as a telemedicine consultation. The fee for telemedicine consultations is $80 (30 minutes) or $120 (45 minutes).

How does a telemedicine appointment work?
Please call / SMS / email me to book an appointment time. I will need all of your pet’s medical history including any relevant diagnostic/laboratory results prior to the consultation (you can ask your regular vet to email this to sophie@animalbalance.com.au). Your pet must have been checked by a veterinarian within the last 3 - 6 months. We can talk on the telephone or video (FaceTime) – please advise when you make your booking if you have a preference. Pre-payment is required to secure your first booking – I will email you an invoice to pay prior to the appointment time.

Do I need a referral from my vet?
No, you do not need a referral from your regular vet, though it is helpful for me to work in partnership with them. I provide holistic veterinary support including acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutraceutical and diet advice. In some cases, I may recommend diagnostic imaging or blood tests which will need to be carried out at your regular vet. 
Please let me know at the time of consultation if you would like me to send a report back to your vet.  

PLEASE NOTE I DO NOT carry conventional medications such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication – you will need to obtain these medications from your regular vet. 

PLEASE NOTE I DO NOT provide routine veterinary care, urgent care or after-hours appointments.

Why do you need the vet’s history notes?
It is very helpful for me to see any recent blood test results or other diagnostics that have been performed (x-rays, ultrasounds, pathology reports). This and the previous illnesses they have had help to form a TCVM pattern diagnosis. Most patients have their own ‘regular vet’ for conventional veterinary care – please let me know if you would like me to send a report back to your vet.  

Do I need to have anything ready for the consultation? Feel free to have ready their favourite blanket or toy that helps calm them. Your pet will be offered treats or a licki mat to keep them occupied while having acupuncture – please provide your own treats if they have any specific food intolerances. Additionally, at the initial consult it is helpful to have any current medication, a summary of their diet and any other significant history ready.  

Where do I get the herbs or nutraceuticals from? Usually I will have the Chinese Herbal formulas required with me at the time of the house call. If I need to make a custom blend, this will be dropped off to you or posted to you once this is ready. Nutraceutical supplements can be ordered online with a prescription that I will provide.  

Repeat Prescriptions I am able to dispense repeat prescriptions of herbs or CBD provided that:· 
- There has been no significant change in their health or conventional medication.
- Your animal has been seen by me in the last 6 months
Please allow 7 working days for your prescription to be filled. I make each herbal remedy specifically for your animal.

There is a prescription fee for medications from a compounding pharmacy, chemist, or online pet chemist. I do not charge a prescription fee for compounded Medicinal Cannabis (CBD) or for a repeat herbal formula, however if we need to alter formulas or the treatment plan please book in for a revisit.

Legally I am only able to dispense a 6 month supply for your pet. If your animal has not been seen in the last 6 months please book in for a revisit appointment instead of ordering a repeat prescription. 

What is Acupuncture? Acupuncture can assist your pet to return to normal function faster, reduce pain, reduce reliance on medication, and improve general wellbeing. Acupuncture can be used to inhibit pain pathways and can also cause the release of hormones and chemical messengers in the body resulting in more generalised pain relief. It can help treat a variety of musculoskeletal and medical problems and improve general wellbeing. Neurological disorders including paresis, paralysis, and vestibular disease may be resolved more quickly when acupuncture is added to the animal’s western biomedical protocol. Cancer patients also benefit greatly from acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture treatment is usually combined withChinese Herbal medicines, diet and lifestyle advice.

How often does my pet need to have acupuncture?
I advise a course of 4-6 sessions of acupuncture initially (each visit being 1-2 weeks apart). Approximately 80% of animals respond well to acupuncture. If your pet has little or no response to acupuncture during this time, it may be that acupuncture is not the best treatment modality for your pet. If this occurs, then we can discuss alternative options that we have available. 

How will my pet react to the needles? Most animals tolerate needle placement very well and can become very relaxed or sleepy during treatment. For animals that don’t like to sit still for long, I may use aquapuncture (injection of Vitamin B12) in the acupuncture points which is quicker. For animals that cannot tolerate needles I can also use laser to stimulate the acupuncture points.

What should I expect after an acupuncture session? There are a few possibilities.
- An improvement in your pet. This may be in demeanour or in the condition.
- No response. This may be that it is simply too early in the treatment plan for your animal - we need a minimum of 4-6 sessions to determine how well your pet responds.
- Your pet seems more painful. This can occur if too many needles were used, or were in place for too long. We can alter the needle placement duration or quantity of needles at the next session. 
With subsequent treatments gradual improvement is to be expected, until there is complete recovery, or a plateau is reached. For chronic conditions, ongoing sessions are often needed to maintain the improvement. 

What is TCVM? TCVM stands for Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. It aims to bring the body back into balance to activate the body’s own self-healing. It works on the cause of the disease rather than treating the consequences of the disease using acupuncture, food therapy, and herbal medicine.