The reasons you may want to have a holistic veterinarian on your team:
- Your pet is ill and you want to treat them holistically.
- You want to prevent illness, save money and have your companion live a long life.
Who is an integrative veterinarian?
- She/he is a veterinarian, trained in using conventional drugs and diagnostics.
- She/he has also been trained in one or many different holistic approaches.
There are good ones and great ones, and you will have to discern the difference.
Some homeopathic veterinarians will consult by phone, skype or email.
Different Trainings Include:
- Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (acupuncture, herbs and foods, moxa, Tui Na)
- Herbal Medicines,
- Flower essences,
- Tellington Touch,
- Healing Touch for Animals
Some of these have certification programs with a year or more of courses, exams and evaluation of clinical ability. Others are either self-taught or not regulated.
The best is to have a partnership where your integrative veterinarian encourages you to do all the healing modalities you want to learn. You and she may differ about the number of vaccines, raw versus cooked meat, flea control and more, yet you should both accept the other person’s point of view.
Some veterinarians and their staff are wonderful with your animal — others great at explaining to you what is happening with your animals. A few are good in both areas. Few veterinarians are perfect, and we all have bad days. Your animal should at least be comfortable with your choice and you should be able to get your questions and concerns addressed.
Perspective of a Holistic Veterinarian
Treat the whole animal, not merely the current problem.
If there is a current problem, for example diarrhea or itching, a good holistic veterinarian will ask questions about what problems there have been in the past, what has changed in the household or the environment that may have triggered the current complaint and if there is anything that makes the current complaints better or worse.
They will always evaluate the overall energy level of the animal. Their goal is to make the animal healthier for life, not just to get rid of the current symptom.
They will educate you and explain what they see when physically examining your animal.
A good holistic veterinarian will be thrilled at what you are learning at the Holistic Actions! Academy – setting of a goal of deep healing and not merely symptom relief; basic health care of feeding fresh diet, few toxins, etc; 6 P’s, especially the one on Patience; that you are keeping a journal; that you want to be a partner with them rather than merely asking for treatments.
Finding a Holistic Veterinarian
- STEP 1: Go to the web sites for each holistic veterinary organization and read about that modality. Go to their referral list to find one near to you.
- STEP 2: visit the web site of any practitioners you are interested in.
WARNING – put on your critical decision making hat. It may be a very conventional looking clinic yet the bio of the holistic vet seems excellent. It may seem very holistic, yet they are pushing a lot of treatments. (Some are on the web sites because they took one class, joined the organization, then quit completely. Some are no longer in practice, etc.) Some practitioners are members of only one or two of the organizations. It’s usually best to work with a veterinarian who is an expert in just one method. You do need to go to every site.
- STEP 3: do an internet search to find more possibilities – “holistic veterinarian Baltimore” or “herbal veterinarian Baltimore”.
- STEP 4: call any local holistic practitioners for people, local health food stores and even pet stores to inquire who they know.
- STEP 5: if no one near seems like a good match, look for a homeopathic veterinarian who does phone consults.
- STEP 6: personally evaluate the veterinarian (see below).
Filter for “phone consults” if your pets do not like to drive or no holistic vet is near you. (While veterinarians at other organizations’ websites may say they are trained in homeopathy, if you want a homeopathic veterinarian, it is best to select from one of these sites. Even here, there may be one who only studied a little, so still carefully interview them.)
- The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy
- Pitcairn Institute for Veterinary Homeopathy
- The National Center for Homeopathy
- British Association of Veterinary Surgeons
- International Association for Veterinary Homeopathy
- AHV – Australia Holistic Veterinarians
- International Veterinary Acupuncture Society
- American Association of Veterinary Acupuncture
- Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
- Belgium Veterinary Acupuncture Society (links to many other organizations)
- British Acupuncture Association
CHIROPRACTIC AND OSTEOPATHIC
Chiropractic is good for many health conditions, not merely lameness.
- Animal Chiropractic Association
- Healing Oasis Alumni
- Osteopathy Association
- Options for Animals
- NAET – Nambrudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique – great for treating allergies among other problems.
POSTURAL REHABILITATION INTERVENTION
Good for many problems, not merely musculo-skeletal
- Postural Rehab Vet Organization
- Craniosacral and Bowen – http://www.animalconnectionnetwork.com/ not all are vets, so also look for this modality at the AHVMA web site.
Nitty Gritty Of Making A Selection
Once you have done the internet work suggested above, how do you select one to start with, how do you know if you are getting good service, what can you do to help them help your animals?
Schedule time with the veterinarian you are interested in – pay for an appointment, offer lunch, do a phone call and ask:
- What modalities are used?
- What is their training?
- Is their goal overall health or to merely treat the current complaint? This may be the most important question.
- What organizations they belong to & how recently have they gone to conferences or taught?
You Are in Charge – Make Sure She/he Is Following Good Holistic Principles
- She/he will always ask about the history, overall energy, what might have caused the current problem, the environment and what makes the symptoms better or worse.
- Their physical exam will be gentle, complete and they will show you (you may need to ask) what they mean by “gingivitis, big lymph nodes, heart murmur”, etc.
- They will be willing to answer your questions and explain why they are recommending a particular treatment.
- If they recommend conventional treatments (antibiotics, prednisone, etc.) they will explain to you why they choose this over holistic, and give you a chance to request the more holistic treatment.
- They will not do anything (vaccinate, treat) without asking you first.
- They will recommend fewer or no vaccinations and a raw meat or at least more holistic diet. They will be open to you having a different opinion.
- They will schedule follow up appointments until your animal is really healthy, with great BEAM (behavior, energy, appetite and mood) and none of the Early Warning Signs of Internal Imbalance.
What You Can Do to Help Your Holistic Veterinarian
- Keep a dated journal of any problems, even little ones.
- Write down any treatments given. Using the Healthy Animal’s Journal will help you know if your animal is merely getting temporary help or is really progressing to a deep cure.
- Contact them if you are unable to give the treatments or your pet does not want them.
- Call if symptoms worsen, or they are less energetic and less happy, or you have concerns.
- Keep working on a regular basis until your animal is in GREAT HEALTH.
- Thank them.
HA! Academy can help you find the right vet. While you learn how to best help your pet.