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What is Holistic Veterinary Medicine?

While it may not be something you are thinking about daily, it is possible that your dog or cat could benefit from holistic veterinary care. This can range from acupuncture to nutraceutical treatments and even holistic pet food. Today, our Liberty Lake vets explain holistic care in greater detail.

What Does Holistic Care Mean?

Holistic veterinarians treat pets with "gentle, minimally invasive" techniques, determining the best combination of conventional and alternative treatments. According to the AHVMA, holistic veterinary care entails considering the entire picture of the patient and developing a treatment protocol that includes a variety of therapies for healing the patient.

Instead of surgery, a holistic veterinarian may try acupuncture, massage, or herbal medicine to treat a problem. For example, a dog may have a bulging disk, and surgery could cost thousands of dollars, so a holistic vet may be the last resort. Holistic veterinary options can supplement or replace traditional vet care or can serve as an alternative if a pet parent objects to traditional methods.

Most holistic vets offer a combination of holistic methods and traditional medicine and surgery. These are usually referred to as 'integrated practices.' While they are rare, some offices offer solely holistic services.

What is a Holistic Vet?

An important thing to note: Holistic vets are veterinarians. After vet school is when holistic vets receive their additional training in holistic medicine. Thus, if you're looking for a holistic vet, make sure to check out the qualifications and training listed on their website. You can even check the AHVMA's database to find holistic vets if you're searching for one.

Of course, just like in human medicine, there exists some tension between traditional and holistic vets. Of course, this isn't always the case, as more conventional vets are referring more of their clients to holistic vets whom they trust. This is because newer veterinarians are more exposed to holistic practices than older vets, and so are more open-minded about the holistic approach to healing.

Are Holistic Vets Better?

No, it is not better than any other type of medicine. As mentioned above, holistic medicines are often used in combination with traditional medicines.

Vaccinations and other traditional treatments are still necessary for the health and healing of pets. But in recent years, conventional medicine has been embracing more and more holistic medical practices. Because multi-modal treatment programs frequently combine both conventional and holistic alternatives, distinguishing between types of veterinarians is becoming more difficult.

Holistic medicine cannot replace immunizations or other types of conventional medicine, but it can provide supplementary therapy alternatives for pets who aren't responding to traditional treatment or who are unable to handle certain treatments or therapies. But sometimes conventional medicine, such as surgery, is the only option for treating a pet's problem. Every pet and every situation is unique.

What is the difference between a Holistic Vet and a Conventional Vet?

The main differences between these two types of vets can be summed up as follows:

Conventional Vet

Conventional veterinarians practice medicine, which includes the use of medications, surgery, and radiation to treat various ailments. This is the most common and scientifically supported treatment offered in most animal hospitals. Western, allopathic, mainstream, orthodox, biomedical, or conventional medicine are different names that refer to these treatments.

Vaccination for diseases, antibiotics for infections, and surgery to cure or remedy abnormalities in a pet's health are all recommended by conventional veterinarians.

Holistic Vet

Holistic veterinarians, as opposed to traditional veterinarians, use treatments like acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic practice, and homeopathy in their treatment programs. Holistic veterinarians have had the same training as conventional veterinarians, but they have attempted to understand various techniques of therapy that are not considered mainstream. They usually use multi-modal, whole-body methods for treatment.

Are you curious about holistic treatment options for your dog or cat? Contact Legacy Animal Medical Center with any questions you may have or to book an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

At Legacy Animal Medical Center, we are always accepting new patients! Our veterinary team's experience and passion make all the difference to the patients at our animal medical center in Liberty Lake. Contact us today to book your first appointment.

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