Holistic Veterinary Services
Holistic veterinary medicine is growing in leaps and bounds as it has shown time and again that it can help improve your pet’s quality of life. Holistic medicine refers to complimentary and alternative therapies– but also includes routine care– to encompass the whole patient and whole picture. A more appropriate term to describe holistic veterinary care might be “integrative medicine” as, while there is a primary focus on non-conventional therapies, there is no fear in using conventional medicine and procedures if and when they are indicated.
Integrative medicine combines the two main modalities in the most effective way possible at the time of treatment. A lot of what is chosen for your pet depends on how severe and how advanced the health issue has become.
Beyond homeopathy, herbal medicine and routine veterinary care, Pawsitive Veterinary Care offers a variety of other complementary services that can enhance your pet’s life. Below is an overview of the different types of Holistic therapies you may hear or read about. Pawsitive focuses mainly on homeopathy, herbal medicine, and nutrition, but we also have infrared laser therapy, chiropractic care, Bowen therapy, nutriceuticals, BodyTalk for Animals, and conventional of course.
Homeopathy is a system of medicine developed in the late 1700’s by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann and uses very dilute yet potent forms of many different every day substances, such as sand, or dog milk, or mercury, to name a few. The principle of treatment is to find a remedy that causes many of the same or similar symptoms in an individual that are seen in a diseased patient and then to use that remedy, often as a single dose, in a very diluted form to stimulate the patient’s own life force to heal itself. It is not unlike a vaccination, which uses dilute solutions of diseases to stimulate the body to become immune to the disease. Other homeopathic remedies are combination remedies in lower potencies that are used to detox, stimulate or suppress a particular organ or organ system. These are often prescribed for longer periods of time.
Herbal medicine may be more familiar as many are aware that a great deal of today’s well-known medications are sourced from plants. For example, digoxin, a well known cardiac drug, comes from the foxglove plant, morphine comes from the poppy plant and atropine is extracted from the deadly nightshade plant. We use herbal medicines more like conventional medicines in that they are often prescribed 1-3 times daily over several days or weeks, sometimes for long periods of time. At Pawsitive, we use both Western herbals and Eastern herbals and occasionally Ayurvedic remedies.
Nutrition is the cornerstone to our holistic health care methods. We are firm believers that you are what you eat. There have been countless pets over the years that have improved immensely from whatever their problem happened to be simply by changing over to a natural raw diet. Raw means raw. It consists of meat, bones, organ meat and fat (in other words, animal) mixed with a variety of vegetables, fruits, egg and certain supplements, such as kelp. Dogs and cats, being carnivores, can be weaned onto the raw diet at the moment they start eating solid food at 4-5 weeks of age and can continue on it for life. There is no “puppy/kitten”, “adult”, and “senior” versions of this diet style. The percentage of the pet’s body weight that the pet is fed changes from quite high at first to quite low as a senior, but it is the same food. The benefits to feeding a raw balanced diet are too numerous to elaborate here, but read our articles on Raw Diets and Obesity in Pets in the <Articles> (link) section of this web site for further info. Always get expert advice before embarking on a change to raw food for your pet(s).
Laser Therapy was added to our list of modalities about 3 years ago and we have been more than happy with it’s results. We use laser for a variety of ailments including, but not limited to, post-op pain and swelling, skin and ear inflammation, sprains and strains of muscles and joints, back pain and disc disease, and wound healing. The pets really seem to enjoy it and become quite relaxed. We often combine laser therapy with chiropractic care with back and joint problems as the results are even better.
Chiropractic is offered at Pawsitive by Creative Healing, a chiropractor right next door to our facility and very handy at that! We keep Dr. Easterling quite busy with as many as 25-30 patient visits weekly and have been working together with her since 2004. The results of chiropractic adjustments on dogs and cats can be absolutely amazing to witness and we highly recommend regular visits to Dr. Liz! As mentioned above, together with laser, the results are magnified.
Neutraceutical, a portmanteau of the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical”, is a food or food product that provides health and medical benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease. and would include the likes of vitamins, glucosamine, probiotics, plant extracts and so on. Common neutraceuticals used at Pawsitive include the above as well as whole food concentrates, mineral mixes, berries and vegetables in dehydrated form, and fish oils, to name a few. Some pets need to be on a prescribed neutraceutical for the rest of their life, and others for a temporary amount of time, for example, probiotics after the use of antibiotics.
BodyTalk for Animals is provided to our patients through the services of several practitioners in the area. We have been using and recommending BodyTalk for Animals for about 4 years now and have found it a very useful adjunct to our more physical therapies. I describe it as a blend of Reiki, Emotional Freedom Technique and Animal Communication, but others may not find this an apt description. Situations where we think BodyTalk may prove beneficial are many and varied, but usually involve issues that may have an emotional component at the root of the health concern. For more information on this modality, follow www.karilesick.com or www.bodytalksystem.com.
Conventional veterinary medicine would consist of the more well-known practices and procedures offered at most clinics. For us, conventional medicine would include antibiotics, steroids, anesthetics, heart medications, deworming chemicals, lice and flea products, and so on. Conventional procedures that we offer include spays and neuters, all other surgeries, dentistries, x-rays, and vaccinations. With each of these procedures, our approach is dramatically different in some ways and the same in others. As an example, our vaccine protocol is to give immunizations only in the first year and to do titre tests beyond that to measure immunity, thus allowing us to tailor the vaccine program to each pet. As we think that most pets treated conventionally tend to be over-vaccinated, this is one area that we harp on a lot . We are also vastly different in our spay and neuter recommendations and do not have a one-size fits all approach. For more information on this, please contact us.