By Brian Puterman
Holistic veterinary medicine deals with your petís health
as a whole. Body, emotions, mind and spirit are all taken into account when
treating you petís illnesses and conditions. From there the practitioner can
develop a treatment protocol using a wide range of therapies for healing the
patient. The holistic veterinarian is interested in genetics, nutrition,
family relationships, hygiene, and stress factors. Holistic medicine is
inclusive of every facet of your companion animalís life including your
relationship to the animal. Itís preventative as well as curative in nature.
Holistic medicine, by its very nature, is a humane
science. The systems used in holistic medicine are gentle, minimally
invasive, and focus on the patient well-being and stress reduction. Holistic
thought is based on love, empathy and respect.
Holistic medicine attempts to address disease through a
series of analytic observations. When treating the animal, the goal of the
holistic veterinarian is to find the root cause of the pathology. Even the
most basic illness may have several layers of causation. Only when the true
source of the ailment has been found is there the possibility for a
long-term recovery. After discovering the foundation of the illness the
holistic veterinarian prescribes the most effective, least invasive, least
expensive, and least harmful treatment for your pet. In more extreme
situations surgery and drug therapy from conventional medicine may be
integrated with alternative techniques to provide a complementary whole.
The first building block in preventing disease is proper
nutrition. A vast majority of pets eat what would be considered a complete
and balanced diet, but they are not getting their individual needs met
nutritionally. Obviously paying close attention to the ingredients in
commercially produced food and supplementing your pets diet with vitamins
and minerals is a good start. Donít let things like ďcomplete nutritional
needsĒ on a label influence you. There may be a proper amount of vitamins
and minerals in the can, but your pet may not be absorbing these nutrients
for a variety of reasons.
Itís best to create a diet for your pet with natural foods
designed with his or her needs in mind. These natural foods will be
palatable, preservative free, practical and cost-effective, as well as
environmentally sound. For more information, see our article
The Benefits of a Raw Food Diet.
Below is a list of some of the many modalities
incorporated into holistic veterinary medicine.
sometimes known as Orthomolecular Medicine: This is a modality that
incorporates supplemental minerals, vitamins and nutrients that remedy
deficiencies, prevent disease and can reverse tissue damage. Supplements are
prescribed that assist the organs and body tissues and aid the body in
Behavior Modification: This
incorporates ethology, biology, nutrition, pharmacology, lifestyle
evaluation and aspects of modern psychotherapy. Every discipline listed here
affects behavior, disease and health.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture has
been used in China for nearly five thousand years. It is the primary
treatment for a quarter of the world's population. The main goal of
veterinary acupuncture is to strengthen the body's immune system in order to
encourage the body's adaptive, homeostatic mechanism.
Botanical Medicine: This form
of medicine uses the plant and plant derivatives as therapeutic agents.
These plants originate anywhere in the world. There are over 4000 botanicals
Ayurveda: This is a whole
system of holistic healing from India that means literally "the Science of
LifeĒ. Ayurveda includes not just the treatment of disease but also the
creation and maintenance of health and wellness. It emphasizes living in
harmony with the laws of nature.
Using complementary and alternative medicine gives your
veterinarian a variety ways in which to treat diseases. An important aspect
of holistic medicine is the prevention and early detection of disease. In
conventional medicine veterinarians wait for something to go wrong and then
fix it. Holistic health practices, on the other hand, are incorporated into
the day-to-day life of the pet.