Essentials of Veterinary Acupuncture
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Nationally accredited under the Australian Qualifications Framework at postgraduate level

About the Course

Who is it for?

11048NAT-Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Acupuncture is designed for veterinarians who desire to further enhance their skills and knowledge in integrative veterinary medicine. Veterinary professionals are generally working and time-poor. They seek the opportunity for education that fits into their practice and work-life schedule. Successful completion of this course will enable you to integrate a new therapy into practice. 

The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies is a Registered Training Organisation (National provider 91769). We offer nationally accredited training under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Nationally recognized training provides a standard against which courses and colleges can be assessed and assures the student that the course is of an appropriate standard and that government guidelines are met. As RTO accreditation is an ongoing activity you can be assured that the high standards of the CIVT are maintained.  This training is available across Australia and internationally. 

11048NAT-Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Acupuncture is orientated towards applied theory, both traditional and scientific which you can apply to your work almost immediately. You will be able to develop your confidence and competence over time with continuous case support, guidance and feedback from tutors with both simulated cases, an active case forum and then your own clinical cases. You will be able to start using acupuncture within the first module.


Modules and Competencies

11048NAT-Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Acupuncture consists of basic and advanced instruction in veterinary acupuncture as the teaching components; the development of a reflective case logbook of personal experience of the skills practiced, demonstrated professional ability and competence and preparing material and evidence for assessment of competencies.

(Note: IVAS Acupuncture Certification is mapped towards a significant proportion of the 11048NAT-Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Acupuncture and Recognition of Prior Learning is available - an evidence portfolio will be required; if you are Certified in Veterinary Acupuncture elsewhere and have considerable experience please ask us about Recognition of Prior Learning.)

All eight (8) Units of Competency are core units and are required before full qualification is granted. Students are assessed continuously throughout the training and in the final module submit their portfolio of evidence to CIVT for assessment. Qualified assessors of CIVT assess each final submission.

Units of Competency

  • CHCPRP003-Reflect on and improve own professional practice
  • NAT11043001-Apply the veterinary Chinese medicine diagnostic framework
  • NAT11048001-Work within a veterinary acupuncture framework
  • NAT11048002-Prescribe and safely perform veterinary acupuncture
  • NAT11048003-Plan and provide the veterinary acupuncture treatment strategy
  • NAT11048004-Monitor and evaluate the veterinary acupuncture treatment
  • NAT11048005-Provide advanced veterinary acupuncture treatment
  • NAT11043007-Conduct literature review and prepare papers for publication

Course Delivery

As postgraduate students studying at an academic level, candidates are expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study in their own time and be able to practice skills in the workplace. The Course is undertaken over 24 months and the theory component is delivered online with continuous support by trainers and tutors for the development of practical skills in the workplace. The modules are taught by qualified trainers and assessors including Dr Barbara Fougere with major input from recognised industry expert Dr Steve Marsden as well as other recognised industry expert practitioners contributing various components. The course is self-directed and supported by lecture notes, video lectures and comprehensive study guides which take the student through step by step. Trainers and assessors are assigned to each Module to support students in the completion of their activities and assignments as well as supporting them in developing skills and confidence in treating their own clinical cases by responding to cases via forum posts and email. One on one support is what makes this course unique. Your workplace is where you get to apply your knowledge and skills and manage your cases.

Program Duration

Part-time. 24 months. The expected volume of learning and study including clinical case time over the 24 months - 1610 hours.

Service Qualify Commitment

CIVT Management is responsible for the quality of its training and assessment services in compliance with the Standards for RTOs 2015, and for the issuance of the AQF certification documentation. Once you have commenced the training and assessment in this Course , CIVT is committed to completing the delivery of the training assessment within the agreed duration and will further negotiate the timing for completion of the training assessment if you are unable to complete the course due to illness or extenuating circumstances. We offer an Absence of Leave option and an Extension of Course Time option. It is your responsibility to alert us if you require either of these.

How to Apply

Prior to enrolling ensure you read the Enrolment Terms and Conditions and the Student Handbook so you are aware of your obligations and rights.

To apply please click on the Enrol button. You will receive an initial survey which you will need to complete and return. A scanned copy of your previous educational qualifications and photo identification (passport or driver’s licence) is also required to complete enrollment. If you have questions before enrolling, feel free to email our Student Services team:

Comments from a Current Student:

"Loving the course. Very informative, well presented and stimulating. You guys have put so much effort in it and sharing all your experience and knowledge is great.  I am already looking for a new vet to join the clinic so I can focus more on the complementary medicine ....", Dr Martina McPeace MVDr, BVSc, GDVWHM



Participants are required to demonstrate evidence of competencies through assessment processes which comprise activities and exercises based on actual and simulated cases in practice over the two year period. This involves submitting both written assessments and performing practical tasks which will be observed by an assessor via Skype, FaceTime or viewing of a video recording. Assessment tasks are assessed throughout the course with final summative assessment occurring with submission of a case log book and two in-depth case studies. Cases presented must cover a wide range of body systems.

International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) Course curriculum can be mapped into the required competencies which means veterinarians who have completed IVAS Certification are eligible to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning for the first five Units of Competency; you may require additional submission of a portfolio of evidence demonstrating currency of skills and knowledge.

If you have studied Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine (e.g. IVAS Certificate in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine or CIVT Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine courses) and can provide evidence of competency, and if you have studied advanced acupuncture techniques and can provide evidence of competency, you can elect to undergo the process of Recognition of Prior Learning so that you do not have to repeat any studies you have already undertaken.

Those who are assessed as meeting the requirements of any single Unit of Competency, will be provided with a Statement of Attainment.

Those who are assessed as completing the requirements of all aspects of the course and providing evidence of Competency for assessment will receive the Award 11048NAT-Graduate Diploma Veterinary Acupuncture.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process where a student may be granted credit or partial credit towards a qualification in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/ or formal learning. Recognition of Prior Learning is offered to those who have pre-existing skills in Veterinary Acupuncture, Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture or training and skills in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine. These candidates need to complete an initial survey of experience and knowledge to determine if the RPL pathway is appropriate. Then they enrol in RPL for the course and begin the process of submission of evidence. This is a rigorous process. Any gaps in the mapping of skills and knowledge may need to be compensated for by completing individual Units of Competency or elements of Competency. A portfolio of evidence towards RPL is submitted. This process can take 1 to 6 months to complete.

Study Outcomes

You will be able to offer this service to clients and increase treatment options for patients. The course:

  • Provides practitioners with skills and knowledge to practice veterinary acupuncture competently
  • Provides practitioners with an accredited postgraduate level award based on assessment of their competence;
  • Provides employees and clients with evidence of a high level of competence and
  • Provides participants with previous training a potential bridge to higher postgraduate qualifications through Recognition of Prior Learning


  • 93 RACE Credits
  • 600 IVAS Credits
Dr Jodi Van Tine
Dr Susi Lam
Dr Barbara Fougere
Dr Cynthia Lankenau
Dr Steve Marsden

Meet the Tutors and Lecturers

Dr Jodi Van Tine
Dr. Jodi Van Tine received a Masters Degree in Cellular Immunology from San Jose State University in 1990. She earned the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from the University of California, Davis, in 1994. For three years she practiced mixed...
2 Webinars and 9 Courses
Dr Susanne Lam studied at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna when she was first exposed to acupuncture through Dr Oswald Kothbauer. After being based in Hong Kong for 17 years, Susi moved back to Austria permanently in 2012 with...
2 Webinars and 11 Courses
Dr Barbara Fougere is a 1986 graduate from Murdoch University Veterinary School Western Australia. She practices in Sydney Australia, exclusively in veterinary integrative medicine. She has served on the Australian Veterinary Association Policy...
18 Webinars and 11 Courses
Cynthia Lankenau, DVM, graduated from Cornell’s Veterinary College in 1981 and joined a 99% dairy practice in upstate NY with a total love of working with small dairy farms. In the attempt to expand her practice knowledge, she joined the...
10 Webinars and 2 Courses
Dr Steve Marsden received his doctorate in veterinary medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in 1988. At the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon he obtained a doctorate in Naturopathic medicine, a Master's of Science...
34 Webinars and 15 Courses

What will you Learn

Work within a veterinary acupuncture framework

  •  Health and Harmony according to Chinese Medicine
    • Introduction to Philosophies of Chinese Medicine and Concept of Dao/ Unity
    • Differences between Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine
    • Introduction to the History of Veterinary Acupuncture
    • Overview of Traditional Chinese Medicine
    • Introduction to the Science of Acupuncture
    • ...

Work within a veterinary acupuncture framework

  •  Health and Harmony according to Chinese Medicine
    • Introduction to Philosophies of Chinese Medicine and Concept of Dao/ Unity
    • Differences between Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine
    • Introduction to the History of Veterinary Acupuncture
    • Overview of Traditional Chinese Medicine
    • Introduction to the Science of Acupuncture
    • Concept of Yin and Yang - Qualities and Inter-relationships
    • Concept of 5 Elements/ Wu Xing/ Phases - Qualities, Correspondences and Inter-relationships
    • Concept of Cyclical Rhythms in Chinese Medicine (Chinese clock, Seasonal and Diurnal changes)
    • Concepts of Qi, Blood (Xue) and Body Fluids - Jin Ye qualities, Types, Production, Functions, Circulation and Inter-relationships
  • Chinese Medicine Anatomy
    • Characteristics and Functions of the 12 Organs/ Zang Fu/ Extraordinary Fu
    • Characteristics and Functions of the Meridians/ Channels/ Jing Luo - Twelve Main and Secondary and the Eight Extraordinary Meridians
  • Causes of Disharmony
    • Internal (emotional)
    • External (climatic)
    • Miscellaneous (constitution, diet, exercise, work, reproduction, poisons, trauma, parasites, infectious disease)
  • Workshops - Getting Started with Acupuncture 1


Apply the veterinary Chinese medicine diagnostic framework

  • Central Philosophies of Veterinary Acupuncture Review and History
  • Chinese Medicine Physiology
  • Chinese Medicine Pathology
    • Five Elements/ Phases/ Wu Xing including Concept of Causative Factor
    • Eight Principles (Ba Gang)
    • Qi/ Blood (Xue)/ Body Fluids (Jin Ye)
    • Channels/ Meridians/ Jing Luo
    • Six Jing/ Four stages/ Three Jiaos
    • Pathophysiology - Patterns of Disharmony according to Chinese Medicine
    • Zang Fu Pathology and Pattern Differentiation by System
  • Methods of Diagnosis
    • The Circadian Rhythm in Diagnosis
    • Pulse and Tongue Diagnosis
  • Methods of Examination
    • A Chi Points, Trigger Points
  • Taking the Case
  • Workshop- Getting Started with Veterinary Acupuncture 2


Work within veterinary acupuncture principles and practices

  • Neurophysiology of Acupuncture
  • Meridians and Key Acupuncture points- Location of points on all 14 meridians
  • Names, classifications, actions and indications
  • The Lung and Large Intestine
  • The Heart and Small intestine
  • The Pericardium and Triple Burner
  • The Liver and Gallbladder
  • The Kidney and Bladder
  • The Spleen and Stomach
  • The Conception and Governing Vessel
  • Principles of Treatment
    • Acupuncture Treatment Procedure
    • Practical application of Theory and Diagnosis to each individual case
    • Appropriateness of Acupuncture and when to refer
    • Assessment of Appropriate Root/ branch (Ben or Biao) - underlying disharmony and/ or presenting condition
    • Treatment Planning - according to prognosis, treatment acute versus chronic and emergency situations
  • Designing a Point Prescription
  • Empirically Useful Points
  • Special Acupuncture Points
  • Needling Techniques- selection, depth, duration, manipulation, withdrawal and contraindications
  • Moxibustion - direct and indirect methods and contraindications
  • Other Ways of Stimulating Points
  • Interpreting Responses to Acupuncture
  • Workshop - Getting Started with Acupuncture - 3 and 4


Small Animal - Plan and provide the veterinary acupuncture treatment strategy and VETACU804 – Monitor and evaluate the veterinary acupuncture treatment

  • Veterinary Acupuncture
  • Strategies for the Pain and Paralysis
  • Strategies for Neurological and Ophthalmologic Conditions
  • Strategies for the Gastrointestinal System
  • Strategies for the Hepatic system
  • Strategies for Endocrine and Reproductive disorders
  • Strategies for Dermatological and Ear Conditions
  • Strategies for the Urological System
  • Strategies for the Cardiovascular
  • Strategies for the Respiratory System
  • Strategies for the Hematologic, Infectious and Immune System Disorders
  • Strategies for Neoplastic Conditions
  • Strategies for Behavior
  • Strategies for Common Feline Conditions
  • Strategies for Common Avian and Exotic Species


Equine/ Large Animal - Plan and provide the veterinary acupuncture treatment strategy and VETACU804 – Monitor and evaluate the veterinary acupuncture treatment

  • Introduction to Equine Acupuncture
  • Equine Acupuncture Channels and Points
  • Equine Acupuncture Strategies for Lameness
  • Equine Acupuncture Strategies for Internal Medicine and Behavior
  • Bovine Acupuncture Strategies


Provide advanced veterinary acupuncture treatment 1

  • The Clinical Approach in Herbal Medicine
  • Interpreting Outcomes in Herbal Medicine
  • Chinese Herbal Treatment of some common Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Chinese Herbal Treatment of Renal Conditions
  • Chinese Medicine Food Therapy
  • Overview and Clinical Application of Acupuncture Neurology
  • Practical Application of Neurophysiology to Common Conditions


Provide advanced veterinary acupuncture treatment 2

  • The Eight Extraordinary Meridians
  • Advanced Point Stimulation
  • Six Heavenly Influences
  • Determinants of Life - Critical Care Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine
  • Bi and Wei Syndrome
  • Sinew Channels and Ancestral Sinews
  • Advanced Equine Acupuncture Techniques


Prepare veterinary case studies for publication and reflect upon integrative veterinary medicine practice

  • Research and Communicating Chinese Medicine
  • Case Reports
  • Critical Thinking and Analysis
  • Applying Reflective Practice
  • Professional Practice
Read More
Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Acupuncture

Before you take the course

Below requirements are needed before you can take this course.

Essential entry requirements

Students must have access to:

  • At least thirty (30) patients over the duration of the course, addressing cases across a wide range of body systems
  • A video recording device such as a smart phone or webcam
  • A computer (with Adobe Reader, Microsoft Word and a web browser installed)
  • The internet
  • Acupuncture equipment

Recommended entry requirements

As this course provides vocational education and training in practical and theoretical skills relevant to the provision and integration of Chinese herbal medicine into veterinary clinical practice, for entry into the Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine, applicants hold either:

  • A veterinary science degree (Bachelors or DVM) or equivalent OR
  • A relevant bachelor degree or postgraduate qualifications (Graduate Certificate/Diploma or Master) together with significant relevant vocational practice (minimum 5 years) OR
  • A veterinary nursing qualification (Cert IV or above) with significant experience (minimum 5 years) plus written practice support to provide cases

Exceptions to these will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

It is also recommended that entrants have:

  • A high level of language, literacy and numeracy levels; sufficient to interpret and analyze lectures, journal articles and prepare written reports and case studies
  • An intermediate level of technology skills; sufficient to use an online classroom, download documents, upload assessments and post on forums

LLN support requirements and eligibility to enrol in the qualification are assessed at enrolment.

For students residing in Australia ONLY, you will be required to apply for, or use a pre-existing, Unique Student Identifier (USI).

Course Testimonials

Get inspired with our student journeys.

"Since a childhood spent growing up in Central Europe among the fields and forests, I always had a close relationship with nature and always knew I wanted to become a vet. I gained my degree during the Velvet Revolution and fall of communism – an exciting and elating time in Europe. Later I had the opportunity to relocate to Australia and I went back to university to gain Australian veterinary qualifications, spent the next five years after graduation working in my first job, then bought a small animal clinic in Tasmania. When CIVT webinars started to ’pop up’ I was fortunate to listen to Dr Barbara Fougere and a few days later I enrolled in the GDVWHM course. Signing up for GDVA was for me a logical continuity in my newly re-discovered passion for herbs and natural therapies. The passion to use alternative medicine was growing and I eventually decided to sell my clinic to fully focus on facilitating the healing process in its wholeness and more natural ways."

Dr Martina McPeace

"I just wished to thank you for a wonderfully taught and well organised rehabilitation course. I learnt a great deal and have been able to use the skills I have gained immediately with excellent outcomes.....even surprising the specialists! The course was concise on commonly seen ailments, yet detailed to provide comprehensive treatment plans for cases. I am so pleased I enrolled in the course."

Dr David Ward

"My first encounter with veterinary acupuncture was in 2000 when I started working part-time for a vet heavily into alternative therapies. I did conventional medicine on his days off. It was always intriguing to read through his cases and inspect his strange equipment and mixtures. I would often hear from clients how he had “fixed up” their pet with some acupuncture or drops as if it was just a regular treatment modality. Years later after several moves and starting a family, I found myself again in a small clinic where the practice owner also used acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I decided it was time to look further into integrative medicine and acupuncture. The CIVT was recommended to me by a friend and the completely online format suited my family needs. I have finally figured out what damp and spleen deficiency is, which was such a puzzle, years prior. I did find it difficult to study this time around and took longer to complete my diploma than I had planned. My tutor, Jodi was fantastic, always available if I had any questions and ready with encouraging words when I needed them. I found the whole team at the CIVT to be very understanding and helpful. Acupuncture and TCM gives me another treatment option and I particularly love it for the older patients that may be on multiple medications already or who’s organ systems are already compromised."

Dr Tina Chen

"When I graduated in 1980 there was no mention of acupuncture as an alternative or an adjunct. I visited a friend of my parents in Switzerland in 1993, who was a healer. In the couple of months I spent there I met clients and other practitioners in various modalities and started to open my mind a little. In 1995 I worked in a practice in the Hunter Valley, where the owner used to use an iodine compound liquid to do "acupuncture" on sore muscles (by "ringing the dragon" ) and saw some effects. I then bought a "cookbook" for acupuncture in the horse, which I rarely used in the future years, but I did read it. In 2013 I had a vet working for me who was in the middle of her IVAS qualification. I saw some of the results she got and became intrigued, so I enrolled in the "Introduction to Acupuncture" short course at CIVT. Using that opened my eyes more and I looked at several courses before settling on the CIVT course. I don't regret it! But it took a quantum shift in my western scientific brain to get my head around the theory!! What I find most useful is the broadening of my vision so I look at cases with stereo vision now, and the chance to do other things besides drugs to affect a treatment. The downside is my consults now take longer!!"

Dr David Bartholomeusz

"I'd like to express my gratitude to the CIVT team, especially Dr Jodi Van Tine, for coaxing me through the course. I have been fascinated by different approaches to medicine and therapeutics for a long time, particularly for conditions that western medicine does not always seem to address as thoroughly as I would like as a practitoner. I love the bond I build with my TCVM patients and clients."

Dr Katherine Beaton
BVSc (Hons), GDVA

"The knowledge I have gained through my studies is invaluable and provides me with skills I can apply to all my patients. I am grateful and happy that I can use this new knowledge to the further benefit of companion animals. I graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) from the University of Sydney in 2007 and began practicing in Singapore, where I curently own three clinics. I completed my Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine in 2014 and was the first Singaporean veterinarian to obtain this qualification. Obtaining both Graduate Diploma in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine enhances my competitive advantage over my veterinary colleagues. My particular areas of interests are small animal internal medicine, veterinary Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture, orthopedic surgery and emergency medicine. I have been involved with the Singapore Veterinary Association, serving as President in 2014. I have always adhered to the philosophy that all animals – whether beloved pets or strays – that come to me are treated exactly the same way, I always seek to provide the best level of veterinary care for all animals no matter how advantaged or unfortunate they might be. My top three tips for my colleagues are:

1.Stretch your mind and heart to save more animals and relieve them from discomfort whereby western medicines have shown limited progress in doing so

2. Pursue your interest in this field with constant learning and upgrading

3. Excel and do your best always in life and never give up. Preserve, embrace all challenges in life and be determined, focus to reach to your ultimate goals in life."

Dr See Yang Lee

"I used to be a huge sceptic of anything other than conventional Western medicine. What changed my view was an incident a few years ago involving a cat owned by my colleague. This cat was suffering from chronic spinal disease and ataxia which progressed to a neurogenic bladder. We tried everything we could from a Western medical perspective to no avail, until finally as a last resort, my colleague took the cat to a TCVM practitioner. After treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, to our amazement, the neurogenic bladder completely resolved! The cat's ataxia improved as well. That was the turning point that changed my mindset and piqued my interest in integrative medicine. Integrative medicine can offer our patients so much more than we thought was possible! My Grad Dip means a lot to me and marks the culmination of 2 years of hard work and study. It has given me tools and skills to change the lives of many animals in a non-invasive way - including helping my own dog to walk again - and for that I am extremely grateful."

Dr Dawn Wong

"I was a bit frustrated with conventional medicine as we used anti-inflammatories and antibiotics for most cases, and we were often stuck when these did not work. While I was still studying veterinary science we treated a dog for liver failure at the University hospital, but without success. So I asked my sister, who is a graduated human homeopath and acupuncturist for advice. Fortunately my lecturers at the University gave permission to use homeopathy in combination with the conventional meds. The dog recovered fully. I was very inspired. Later I was treating endurance riding horses in Namibia. Anti-inflammatories, osteopathy and physiotherapy certainly helped, but acupuncture had a greater impact. After a while I felt I was only treating superficially and wanted to know more detail, I moved to New Zealand and started studying with CIVT. It has been very rewarding and I am grateful for having continued onto the Grad Dip, as learning about the advanced techniques has enabled me to treat at a much deeper level and help many more patients. It has given me a new lease of life in vet medicine."

Dr Ingrid Spitze
New Zealand

"My interest in integrative veterinary medicine actually developed from personal experience where I saw quite a gap in conventional medicine when pharmaceuticals failed - often owners were left with such limited options and I felt compelled to believe there must be more to offer. My Grad Dip in Veterinary Acupuncture actually represents over 10 years of interest and tenacity in pursuing study in this area. I would sporadically search for accredited qualification in this area, the moment I discovered CIVT and the offered courses was a eureka moment, and even more so finally graduating with my qualification.


Sharleen Green McInnes
New Zealand

"I was delighted to have the opportunity to use the ADF Formulator as part of my Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Acupuncture course. For years I have seen the benefits of feeding "real food" in my patients, and increasing numbers of clients are asking for help in formulating homemade diets. The ADF program allowed me to formulate both raw and home-cooked diets that are tailored to individual patients, and I have the comfort in knowing that they are balanced properly. It allows you to choose from a large database of foods and supplements so that you can use ingredients that are both available to your clients, and those that are best suited to their health and medical needs. What a great tool at our fingertips!"

Dr Ashley Bernauer
BSc (Hons), DVM, GDVA

"The Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Acupuncture has allowed me to access other avenues to treat veterinary patients in a more holistic approach to their ailments. I am now able to integrate the best of Western medicine with the best of traditional Chinese medicine to solve both short and long-term conditions. I was inspired to pursue acupuncture and complementary medicine to reduce the side-effects and tailor my medicine to individual patients, particularly in elderly animals. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have given me an additional armoury to treat all veterinary patients."

Dr David Ward

"When I embarked on my chosen career as a Veterinary Nurse back in 1991, I had never imagined I could have achieved this accreditation. Veterinary Nurses now are given so many great opportunities to choose a pathway that excites them to come to work each day. I was fortunate to work with Dr Miriam Rustemeyer who introduced me to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Veterinary Acupuncture at a clinic I previously worked for. My employers Dr Lynn Mathison and Dr Nicole McMillan were keen to continue the service at the clinic and could see the benefits of integrated veterinary therapies with Traditional Chinese Medicine and Veterinary Acupuncture.

Unfortunately, my mentor and friend, Dr Miriam moved to the Apple Isle (in a time where cross-border travel was easy). It was at this point that I decided to grasp my newfound passion for Traditional Chinese Medicine and Veterinary Acupuncture. Through the support of my veterinary colleagues, I undertook my first step with CIVT studying the Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture. On completion, my desire for more knowledge was ignited, hence my continued studies with CIVT resulting in my Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Acupuncture.

What I love about Traditional Chinese Medicine and Veterinary Acupuncture is the ability to learn from your clients. Watching how animals respond to treatment is so uplifting for the spirit. Having the ability to work with the veterinarians and demonstrate how Traditional Chinese Medicine and Veterinary Acupuncture can be used as an integrative therapy opens up so many benefits as an option to routine drug treatments or in conjunction.

A heart felt thank you to my tutor Dr Jodi Van Tine; without her continued support and encouragement I would have never achieved my goal. Also, a massive thanks to the team at CIVT who were always there to help. I could not fault this course in anyway. Thank you for showing me the 'Holistic' approach to Integrative Veterinary Therapies."  

Bronwyn Lamb

"To be honest, I never thought I would pursue practice in integrative medicine. In vet school, I was skeptical of acupuncture. It wasn’t until I started practicing small animal medicine where my interest was piqued. I have been lucky enough to work beside Dr Jean Pitcairn and saw the benefits of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine first hand. With her support, I sought out an acupuncture certification program and CIVT was a great fit. The graduate diploma course provided me with all of the information I needed to be successful in my practice in a way that was easy to digest. Despite being entirely online, the plethora of videos and live sessions with my tutor made learning the material seamless. Dr Jodi Van Tine was amazing as a tutor and was always available to help, so I never felt lost or confused throughout the course. I am so grateful for CIVT and the now expanded care options I am able to offer my clients and patients. Practicing acupuncture with Western veterinary medicine has opened up a world of possibilities for my patients. Thank you, CIVT!"

Dr Amanda Gonneville
United States of America

“Conventional medicine is great and new techniques are impressive in diagnosis and treatment areas. But I always thought that an important part of our capacities as doctors was being lost, that is intuition, feelings, case by case medicine, and how to use our hands. That’s how I got interested in alternative medicine, especially acupuncture. After two years of (hard) training, I can say that I found what I was looking for. I see my patients differently and I see medicine in general differently. I really think that, thanks to acupuncture, I can help my patients more than before. I can also offer new options to desperate owners. I am happy to relieve pain or serious symptoms with as few allopathic treatments as possible. It’s very interesting to see how different medicines can be used together even if it is not always easy to combine everything. I am convinced that all these practices and knowledge can be mixed in a way that we find what is best to help our patients. Thank you for this amazing experience and for all the doors that were opened because of this course!”

Dr Sarah Vandeweeghe
New Caledonia

"I have been working as an equine musculoskeletal practitioner offering integrated therapies for some 18 years now. Along the line, I became interested enough in some of the presentations I was observing to start a postgraduate research degree studying the ongoing effects of premature or dysmature birth in horses. There is research into other large animal species, and humans of course, yet our understanding with mature horses is limited. Having identified a range of related effects, I was awarded my PhD in 2019. I was at that time experiencing the benefits of acupuncture in my own animals when treated by a vet. I became interested in learning more about acupuncture to both develop my practice and to potentially address issues relating to equine gestational immaturity. I am so glad that I was able to join the Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Acupuncture! It has already enhanced my practice on so many levels and I’m inspired by being able to support sick horses as well as those presenting the more ‘regular’ musculoskeletal pathologies. I am grateful to CIVT for giving me this wonderful opportunity to learn."

Dr Jane Clothier

"Completing the Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Acupuncture through CIVT was a positive experience that has allowed me to evolve as a veterinary practitioner. The expert tutors at CIVT provided comprehensive knowledge and unwavering support throughout the course, making the learning process engaging and inspiring. I am now armed with invaluable skills, I confidently integrate acupuncture into my practice, witnessing remarkable results in my patients' well-being. I would not hesitate to recommend this course to veterinarians looking to provide their patients with a more holistic or integrative medical approach." 

Dr Amy Vascotto

“After graduating, I spent 5 years in a busy general practice in the heart of Toronto, where I quickly realized that I was seeing a cycle of animals with chronic diseases that were being managed symptomatically with steroids and antibiotics. The treatments would work temporarily and then they would be back a few months later with even more severe symptoms. I knew there had to be more that I could offer my patients and do so in a way that wouldn’t wreak havoc on their microbiome and immune systems. I decided to leave the practice and start my own holistic mobile service. Having taken multiple Western herbal courses, I had a fairly good background on this modality however I had always wanted to learn about Traditional Chinese Medicine. I stumbled upon the Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Acupuncture and I knew right away I had to enrol. The course was amazing and the staff were incredible. I didn’t know it at the time of enrolment but I was pregnant and gave birth midway through the course. The course coordinators and my wonderful teacher Dr Van Tine were incredible at working with me and providing me with the flexibility I needed to stay on track with the material but also allow for time to enjoy my newborn. Graduating from this course has been such a huge accomplishment for me, and I am so excited that I can now offer my patients even more modalities to help them thrive and manage any of their health concerns.”

Dr Paris Asghari

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more about the questions that our students asked?
Is online study right for me?

The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies offers courses that are both challenging and rewarding. You can learn at your own pace under the tutelage of experts in their field. Online or distance learning is not for everyone. Think carefully before you enroll. To succeed in online learning and distance education you will need:

  • A commitment to study and enquiry
  • To be capable of self directed learning with our guidance and support through your course
  • Motivation to pursue your course of study
  • Access to the internet and a printer
  • A good internet service that provides a good speed for downloads
  • An enthusiasm for engaging with your tutors and peers
  • The ability to work on your own or collaborate in a team
  • The capability of an independent level of written and spoken English
  • An appointment by phone may be requested prior to course commencement- we don't want you to start if we think we can't provide the right experience for you
  • If you are not sure contact us, we can help you gain a  full understanding of our courses before applying.

What you won't need is to pay airfares, travel, hotel bills by participating in green education!

All our courses are available to enrol at any time.  Our courses are part time, self paced within the course timeframe, and fully online.  Sometimes there is a scheduled start date for a course, in which we accept a group intake of enrolments. This encourages a cohort of students to move through the course together, making for a more interactive learning experience.

Although some courses have live sessions available, there are no live sessions that you are required to attend for any of our courses.  Our courses are delivered online and are self paced within the course timeframe, to give you the greatest flexibility with your study. You can study anywhere, anytime that suits you. We have great learning tools such as lectures, comprehensive course notes, videos, online resources, discussion forum and continuous support from our highly qualified and experienced tutors to help you can get the most out of your course.

Please refer to our enrolment terms and conditions when seeking extra time in a course, 

If you take a "leave of absence/deferral" from a course this freezes your progress in the course.  You will have no access to the course during this time.  A request for a leave of absence/deferral can be made for up to 3 months, initially.  Longer periods of time away from the course can be reviewed after this time.  If you want to use any course resources whilst you are taking your leave of absence/deferral you will need to download the material (such as documents, course notes, reading material) beforehand.  There is no fee to take a leave of absence/deferral, however your regular payment instalments for the course will continue.

If you request an "extension" for a course, you may be given extra time in a course and still have full access to the course.  An extension can be granted for up to, or equal to, the maximal period of study for that course.  There is a fee involved in applying for an extension, this varies according to the amount of extra time requested and is found on the link provided.


This depends on the type of course you enrol in.

Our introductory or short courses require approximately 3-5 hours per week.  Our Certifications and Graduate Diplomas require approximately 5-10 hours per week.  This will vary amongst individuals, depending on the pace in which they learn.  More time may be needed each week, depending on how long an individual needs to spend on completing assignments. 

If you are a registered Veterinarian, you are eligible to enrol in any of our courses, 

If you are a Veterinary Technician or Veterinary Nurse or Animal Health Professional you may be able to apply to enrol in selected courses for Veterinarians, however you will need to go through an eligibility process first. Otherwise, you can apply for our courses for Animal Health Professionals, 

If you are a Pet Owner, you can apply for our courses designed for Pet Owners, 


Earn your own CIVT certificate of completion

The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies offers courses that are both challenging and rewarding. You can learn at your own pace under the tutelage of experts in their field. What you won’t need is to pay airfares, travel, hotel bills by participating in green education!

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the program, as per the stipulated requirements.

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