Seeing a Holistic Vet – Discover the 5 Surprising Advantages
In some cases, the traditional treatment modalities of veterinary care may not be enough to help to resolve health issues your pet might be suffering from. That’s why holistic vets are becoming increasingly popular – they can offer a complementary range of treatments tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual animal.
Find out more about the benefits of seeing a holistic vet for your pet’s individual medical care needs.
Traditional Treatment Plans versus
Integrative Veterinary Care
The holistic vet focuses on integrative care, which takes into account the entire animal – mind, body, and spirit – to address underlying issues that cause health problems. Traditional treatment plans focus on symptoms rather than the root cause of a problem, which can result in only temporary relief for your pet. Through an integrative approach that combines herbal remedies, diet modifications, and lifestyle changes, holistic vets are enabled to achieve better health outcomes for their patients.
A holistic veterinarian approaches animal health from a more integrative and comprehensive perspective compared to a conventional veterinarian. See below some key differences between holistic and conventional approaches to veterinary care for your pet:
Emphasis on whole-body health
A holistic vet’s focus is on providing the best possible care for the animal and supporting its overall health, rather than simply treating isolated symptoms or diseases. By focusing on the whole animal patient and addressing the root causes of health issues, integrative veterinary medicine can help improve an animal’s quality of life tremendously and prevent future health problems.
Use of complementary therapies
The holistic vet may use complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, chiropractic, and homeopathy, in addition to conventional treatments, to promote healing and balance in the animal’s body.
Your holistic vet tailors their treatments to each animal’s unique needs, taking into account factors such as age, breed, temperament, and lifestyle, rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach.
Holistic vets place a strong emphasis on preventive care, including proper nutrition, exercise, and environmental factors, to help keep animals healthy and reduce the risk of disease.
Generally, holistic veterinarians aim to address the root causes of an animal’s health issues, rather than simply treating symptoms, and strive to promote long-term health and wellness in their patients.
There is limited research comparing the effectiveness of integrative veterinary medicine to conventional treatment, as it can be difficult to get funding and design studies that accurately compare these two approaches. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that integrative veterinary medicine can be effective in improving animal health outcomes.
One study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found that dogs with osteoarthritis that received a combination of conventional pain medications and acupuncture had significant improvement in their mobility compared to those who received only pain medications. (Altman et al, 2004.) (1)
Another study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine found that dogs with heart disease who were treated with a combination of conventional medications and an herbal supplement had better survival rates than those who received only conventional treatment. (Schoen et al, 2012) (2)
Overall, while more research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of integrative veterinary medicine, there is evidence to suggest that this approach can be a valuable addition to conventional treatment and can help improve animal health outcomes. It is important to note, however, that the most appropriate treatment approach will depend on the individual animal’s health needs and should be determined in consultation with a qualified veterinarian.
Does a holistic vet work together with your primary care veterinarian?
Yes, working together with you, the pet owner, your primary care vet, and the holistic vet is a very important element of integrative veterinary medicine.
It can be easily combined with conventional veterinary medicine by coordinating conventional and complementary veterinary care, tailoring treatment plans to the unique needs of your pet, prioritizing the safety of treatments, and monitoring progress through regular checkups with both, your primary care vet and your holistic vet.
By taking a holistic and integrative approach to animal health care, veterinarians can provide the best possible care for their patients, using a combination of conventional and complementary treatments as appropriate.
(1) Altman, R. D., & Lerman, R. H. (2004). Acupuncture therapy for osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis. Archives of internal medicine, 164(8), 857-861. DOI: 10.1001/archinte.164.8.857
(2) Schoen, A. M., Tierra, M., & St. Clair, L. (2012). Use of a standardized Chinese herbal formula in dogs with asymptomatic heart disease. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 26(6), 1300-1306. DOI: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2012.01011.x