Anything You Can Do

Your pet can do too. At least when it comes to health care. As more and more people become aware of alternative and holistic health care for themselves and their families, they are finding the same choices offered for the four legged, winged and finned family members.

Holistic veterinary care encompasses many disciplines in its various branches. Its roots are in a philosophy that asks “why” and “what.” “Why is the patient suffering from a disorder or disease?” That question leads to “what.” “What are the circumstances of the patient's lifestyle: nutrition, environment, hygiene, exercise, relationship with the owner, daily stresses, newly introduced stress factors?” . . . The list can be a long and varied one and the effective holistic veterinary caregiver must be willing and able to keep an open and questioning mind in order to discover and effectively treat the ailment. Once this is ascertained the holistic practitioner focuses not only on treating the patient for the present condition, but also on long term protocols to restore and maintain a healthy daily life.

The branches of holistic care are many and varied. Some are as old as nature itself; others ancient as Far Eastern civilization, but embraces modern, conventional treatments in conjunction with less invasive supportive therapies. “Holistic” is two-fold: it considers and treats the whole of the patient and it will utilize the whole spectrum of medical knowledge to accomplish this goal. A patient may need surgery to repair damage or remove an aggressive growth, but, for example, a therapy such as the Tellington touch can be used as a complementary treatment to minimize physical and mental trauma and expedite healing.

One of the first areas of practice that comes to mind for many is veterinary chiropractic. Manipulations of the joints and muscles can be used for maintenance of health as well as a curative therapy for some musculoskeletal problems. More and more pet owners whose pets participate in sports -- and owners and trainers of professional sporting animals -- are turning to veterinary chiropractic care for preventative therapy as well as to help determine the soundness of their animals for their chosen activity. Dog agility and weight pull are two sports whose participants depend on chiropractic evaluation and treatment of their dogs.

Acupuncture and acupressure treatments are another facet of holistic veterinary care that many pet owners are familiar with by name, even if they have never been to a practitioner. Both disciplines rely on releasing blockages in the nerve passageways to effect relief -- and in many cases a cure. One of the primary goals of acupuncture in veterinary treatment is aimed at stimulating the animal's immune system. Once the immune system is working freely and efficiently, there is less need -- if any -- for more drastic interventions, or, if intervention is still needed, the strengthened natural immune system is a strong ally to whatever treatment is indicated.

Herbal medicine is another branch of the tree; ancient Aryuvedic, Native American, Chinese, even more modern plant based treatments -- ever used Bach's Rescue Remedy for pets with anxieties or fears? You're using herbal medicine. Herbal medicine is as varied as the cultures of the world.

Nutrition, behavioral modification, homeopathy (vaccines are loosely based on a homeopathic philosophy), nutrient augmentation therapy, chelation therapy, massage and different “touch” therapies are other avenues of treatment available to the holistic patient.

The branches of holistic veterinary treatment are many and varied and a growing number of pet owners are searching for answers to their pets' health dilemmas in this school of thought. Tough, resistant and even sometimes otherwise untreatable conditions are sometimes brought to heel using this approach. Allergies that were unabated by any traditional veterinary medicine have, for some patients, been alleviated or even completely halted by a holistic approach.

The AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association) site can help locate a holistic veterinary practice in your area. This article was provided by the authors from direct targets where you can find great information on the benefits of orthopedic dog beds and elevated dog feeders.