Why You Should Consider Holistic Veterinary Care
Lately, we’re flooded with “all natural” phrases. It’s plastered on our food and dog food, and even popping up as promises in our doctor’s and veterinarian’s offices. While it’s easy to feel confident choosing items or services labeled as holistic, make sure the product or service really do address every part of your life and your dog’s life. Better yet, make sure it works for your dog. If it doesn’t, find an alternative. Think of holistic veterinary care as a different way of looking at things. You’ll be shocked by the results.
My Position on Holistic Veterinary Care
Allow me to explain my philosophy because I believe it’s important to readers. So many articles are biased, as some writers have an agenda. while I do have my personal passionate moments, I try to be as unbiased as possible.
Now, I’m neither a veterinarian nor a human doctor. I’m a professional dog trainer and an educated consumer who follows what works. Trust me, I’m skeptical. Many things sound too good to be true, so I only trust modalities that have benefited my dogs, clients’ dogs and myself. If it doesn’t work, I don’t bash it. I assume it just didn’t work for me personally, but I’ll explain my personal experience.
I’m not looking for miracles, though they would be nice, but they frankly don’t happen often. Instead, I’m looking for improvements to increase quality of life, decrease symptoms and, most importantly, diminish the main concern. I’ve had amazingly positive experiences with holistic care, if not for my dogs, for myself. I believe seeking a holistic veterinarian is worth the effort and drive, as it most certainly complements some traditional medicine. However, I don’t believe holistic veterinary care or holistic medicine for humans is a cure-all. I haven’t witnessed it yet.
What is Holistic Veterinary Care?
A Different Way at Looking at Things
Holistic care focuses on addressing all parts of the body and not just one specific area. Basically, you’re not treating symptoms. You’re identifying the main cause and ways to address it. A great example of where holistic veterinary care is applicable is dog allergies. If your dog has chewed a hole into his skin due to allergies, you understand the struggle. Holistic vets focus on why your dog is so itchy, as the cause is usually an imbalance somewhere in the body. Once the imbalance is corrected, the symptom of itchiness goes away. Now, I wish it were that simple, but it does take time, patience and a very experienced holistic vet. Holistic veterinary care worked for my Miniature Bull Terrier that was plagued with chronic yeast infections on her skin.
Many years ago, I had a dog that licked his front leg so much he caused a huge lick granuloma and our regular vet continued to treat him with antibiotics and steroids. He most certainly felt better. When the steroids wore off, he was back to how he was before the medicine, so I knew something else was lingering. I scheduled an appointment with a chiropractor who was certified to perform adjustments on pets. As the chiropractor ran her hands along my dog’s spine, she realized he was misaligned and adjusted him.
Wow! I watched my dog’s eyes roll in the back of his head and immediately lie down. When I brought him home, he literally slept for two days and seemed much more relaxed. And the licking stopped. After consulting our chiro and doing a bit of research on my own, my dog probably had transferred pain or a pinched nerve due to his misalignment. So once the pain stopped, he quit licking where it hurt.
Finding a Holistic Veterinary Clinic
Most holistic veterinarians are certified in chiropractic care, acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Depending on your dog’s condition, they may use one or all modalities offered. They’re literally assessing your dog at the moment. Don’t forget to bring along a list of your dog’s medications and supplements, as they’ll need to know about those in advance.
A holistic vet exam is a bit different than your regular vet’s exam. They look at your dog’s tongue, feel his pulse and feel along his skin. You may see muscle testing, which is asking the body what it needs to heal itself. Before rolling your eyes, I firmly believed for the longest time that this was a huge money-making gimmick. I changed my perspective when I was flat on my back from a bulged disc, and muscle testing indicated a certain herb could help with my imbalance. Well, it’s either take an herb or continue popping Lortabs, so I decided on the herb. Within two days, I felt amazing and my back quit hurting. Now, it wasn’t just the herb that helped; it was also the chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture. Within two weeks, I was symptom-free.
Finding a holistic veterinarian is much easier in 2015 than before. I highly recommend locating someone through the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. Remember, anyone can label himself as holistic or natural, but AHVMA only lists veterinarians who have completed required certification and coursework. If you have to, make the drive to a holistic veterinary care clinic–it’s worth it.
I would love to hear your thoughts! What are your experiences with a holistic vet and which vet did you choose? By sharing our experiences, we’re helping our dogs.