What you need to know about holistic medicine for dogs
Bella is a young dachshund who walked into my office with total paralysis after jumping off a chair. While her breed is predisposed to previous problems, she has just passed out of puppy age and this was a very serious case. Her legs didn’t react at all, her tail was lifeless, and she could only get up a little on her front legs.
Her owner was very concerned, but as a retiree, he did not have the resources to do orthopedic surgery. Bella and her owner did not have pet health insurance to cover their vital medical needs and had few options.
I had a week with Bella and a limited budget to see what I could put together with my latest acupuncture training, some traditional Chinese veterinary medicine, and everything else I could use of Mother Nature’s energetic magic.
Holistic Medicine For Dogs: The Effects It May Have On Pets
Fortunately, there are many options from the various pathways that fall under the umbrella of holistic healing. Holistic medicine is a trending topic in animal care, but has been around as long as humans have roamed the earth.
Where did holistic medicine come from?
In the past, all medicine was natural as people discovered new and better ways to help themselves through famine, infection, and extremes.
Then, with the advent of modern medicine, holistic therapies with the promise of healing through clinical advances in modern health care fell by the wayside.
The resurgence of holistic health is returning as people relearn that accepting nature and the old ways couldn’t have been such a bad idea.
Many pet owners interested in holistic medicine have often used some form of it themselves. From acupuncture to herbs, the excitement to add these and other instinct-based pet services is bigger than ever.
What Holistic Medicine Can Do For Your Dog
There are many important reasons for interest in this expansion in the veterinary and animal health communities. Animal owners experience a closeness to their animals that is truly unparalleled in the human-animal bond.
Worried about medication side effects, they are better informed than ever about their pets. With the knowledge and information, more pet owners are willing to ask for more services, different types of treatments, and natural ways to help their pets that are preservative, chemical, and drug free.
The main goal of using natural therapies is to get to the bottom of a disease rather than just treating the symptoms.
Top concerns for pet owners include diet concerns, joint pain, the needs of aging dogs, and protecting a dog’s future health from the side effects of chronic medication such as organ damage.
The spectrum of possibilities of holistic healing is broad.
From the well-known acupuncture, homeopathy or herbal therapy to essential oils, harmonics or Reiki, holistic practices can be used for almost every disease process.
An informed and trained veterinarian will address aspects of holistic and conventional therapy to find the best protocol for each patient.
The benefits of natural medicine for your pets
One of the added benefits of holistic living for pets is cost effectiveness. As soon as the first work is done, regular maintenance is often cheaper than lifelong medication.
These therapies are a great way to help animals use their own bodies to get better, whether they’re battling pain, joint disease, or other issues. The power of long-term prevention, customization, fitting, and results offers a real bang for an owner’s buck.
The body has an enormous number of natural pathways that can be tweaked to keep the pet healthy. The body’s ability to restore and regenerate through the use of various natural hormones is more sustainable than using more traditional medication to control symptoms.
By doing this, you decrease the body’s reliance on medication, resulting in a more substantial recovery. This was the case with Bella.
Bella’s transformation with holistic medicine
For days my team worked with Bella’s rehabilitation using acupuncture, water therapy, physical therapy and herbal compounds. We combined the holistic treatments with a few injections of conventional medication to relieve the pressure on your spine.
On the third day her tail wagged. On the fourth day, she was put in a wheelchair and strolled around the clinic. When her owner picked her up a week later, she was standing alone, walking slowly, if a little unsteadily.
In just a week of intense natural healing, her life came back instantly. That was 10 years ago and I still see Bella occasionally for a vote. Thanks to holistic medicine, she and her owner have spent many happy years together.
Dr. Jim Carlson, a Holistic Vet, is hosting Holistic Vet Advice with Dr. Jim and Cristen Carlson on Voice America World Talk Radio. He owns the Riverside Animal Clinic & Holistic Center in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.