Pets Go Holistic

Here’s a great article I discovered in my very own hometown newspaper!! Auburndale in Polk County, Fl is moving and shaking!!!

Pets Go Holistic

Posted August 13, 2008 3:13:57 PM

As more and more people opt for alternative, or holistic, treatments for themselves, pet owners are often asking their veterinarians for natural alternatives to their pet’s treatments. Although I was educated in the traditional scientific western methods, I do reach for nutraceuticals and some other alternatives. I believe in the veterinarian oath; first do no harm, but if it does not harm you I am open minded to try a natural option for healing.

Holistic medicine can be thought of as a philosophy that views that patient as a whole (mind, body and spirit). The focus is on preventing disease with healthy lifestyles including antioxidants, good sound diets and exercise to keep our pet’s bodies balanced and in optimal shape. The use of nutraceuticals involves use of natural herbal remedies instead or in conjunction with other drugs.

Although many pet owners turn to holistic medicine as a “last ditch effort” to help with a difficult disease, there are many other potential uses for these alternative therapies. Always ensure that any alternative treatments are done by a veterinarian or under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Acupuncture, the ancient Eastern art of manipulating the body’s energy, involves the insertion of tiny needles into specific points on the body. These treatments cause the release of chemical messengers into the blood stream and have a profound effect on the nervous system. We use some acupuncture pressure points when we prescribe rehabilitation therapies that combine deep tissue massage with cold laser for healing of bone injuries or after bone surgeries.

Other alternative treatments include the use of herbal medicines instead of drugs to help treat disorders as well as maintain a healthy pet. Many pet owners search out herbal treatments when their pets are diagnosed with cancer. We prescribe many natural herbal remedies to aid behavior issues like storm anxiety, separation anxiety or compulsive obsessive behaviors. Our most popular supplement is milk thistle and we have seen many pets with liver failure respond to it in dramatic ways.

Another popular holistic treatment among people and pets involves the use of probiotics, or dietary supplements containing bacteria or yeast, to provide health benefits. A good example is forti flora, a powder that when added to the food will help control diarrhea caused by changes in food or stress.

From diets to massage, herbs to aromas, there are many different therapies and nuances among holistic medicines. An important thing to remember is that you should always talk to your veterinarian before changing any aspect of your pet’s healthcare. Even dietary changes are best talked about before proceeding. In many instances, holistic therapies can be used with traditional Western medicine to give your pet the best possible outcome.

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