Animals come into our lives as gifts from God, for companionship, to teach us, and to heal us. They deserve our very best efforts in caring for them. – Dr. Basko
Every holistic veterinarian has graduated from an accredited veterinary school with training in science, and modern conventional therapies – they know how to diagnose, read x-rays, evaluate blood tests, and determine what kind of ailments are plaguing your pet. Many have sought extra training in surgery, nutrition, and oncology.
Holistic veterinarians then compliment their traditional veterinary expertise by studying modalities of:
1.) Traditional Chinese Medicine theory and acupuncture theory
2.) Nutrition therapy, and herbal medicine
3.) Animal chiropractics, hydrotherapy, and physical therapy
4.) Homeopathy, energy healing, and light therapy
Current Medical Model
The field of medicine in general, is geared to kill germs and surgically repair parts…like a working on a machine or a car. When something isn’t working, you just swap it out with new parts or provide an oil change. I like to call this approach mechanical medicine. Now, these tactics are necessary, but surgery and elimination of germs don’t address the whole picture, or more importantly, the cause of the issue.
Lots of vets will try to manage pet problems with drugs, steroids, or surgery, but unless the root of the issue is addressed- it will continue to return. For many pets under this kind of care, long term use of pharmaceuticals and costly surgeries are their future. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Putting the “Whole” in Wholistic
The holistic perspective of healing recognizes that the whole body must be in balance for good health to exist.
The main focus of holistic veterinary medicine is prevention of disease through natural diets, proper exercise and training, and vitamin and herbal supplementation.
This means not only treating the physical symptoms of a disease but also supporting the body’s immune and organ systems in healing the disease or imbalance by itself. Prevention of disease is encouraged by taking an assessment of the mind, body, spirit, and environment, and making the necessary changes to support the well being of your pet. If all imbalanced aspects of life are addressed, then the pet is in a better position to heal. This is why we insist that our clients consider home-cooking for their pets, in addition to severely limiting the amount of chemicals (preventatives and vaccinations) the pets are exposed to.
Acupuncture therapy has been practiced for many thousands of years in Asia, and is still an important technique used to enhance healing of the body. It works by balancing and moving energy within the living body through a system of channels and acupuncture or energy points located at specific areas. Needles, electricity, lasers, and injections of vitamins are used to stimulate these acupuncture points. Most animals tolerate the treatment very well, and in fact, many settle in for a good nap while receiving acupuncture!
I am certified by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, and I’ve been training other veterinarians to perform acupuncture on animals for the past 30 years. Sharing what I’ve learned and furthering the “reach” of holistic therapies is a core value of my practice.
- Allergies / Skin Problems
- Geriatric problems
- Immune system disorders
- Digestive disturbances
Herbs & Supplements
I utilize herbs/supplements to complement the treatments in my practice because they have little or no side effects, and they function to:
- Cleanse and detoxify the body
- Facilitate healing of the immune system
- Control symptoms without the use of drugs
- Improve the functions of internal organs
- Provide micro nutrients missing in the diet
- Strengthen the Vital Force of the body
Many common pet ailments can be alleviated or strengthened by an improvement in the quality of the food the pet is eating. The problem with commercial pet food is that the industry is unregulated and products are not often inspected, thus many of these products contain questionable and harmful ingredients.
These pet foods are often saturated with harmful chemical preservatives, food coloring, pesticides, heavy metals, excess amounts of salt, sugar, rancid fat, over-cooked oils, mold, and meat that has been condemned for human use. Commercial diets stress the animals, by interfering with proper assimilation and metabolism of nutrients and thus cause many degenerative diseases and premature aging. I attribute the high incidence of skin diseases, cancer, and many forms of arthritis to the over-feeding of commercial diets (both canned and dry). Also, because most if not all, commercially prepared diets for dogs and cats have been developed for the “masses,” most of these “scientifically” prepared foods are inappropriate for dogs living in the many different climatic regions of the country.
When I started cooking for my own pets over 35 years ago, it was truly a learning experience for me to discover what works and what does not. I noticed that they seemed happier and had more energy. After a few months, they began to smell better, their coats were shinier and they quit scratching.
Holistic medicine still carries a bit of a stigma. It is still a relatively uncommon approach, though we should see a shift in this with the rising popularity of the organic and green living movements. I have been utilizing holistic modalities in my practice for over 35 years and have seen how successful they can be to treat critical problems. Holistic medicine offers the all the benefits of healing, with none of the side effects as compared to traditional treatment options. My approach is to exhaust holistic remedies first, and then proceed to conventional methods if needed.