Are you familiar with integrative veterinary medicine? It’s a type of veterinary practice you should know if your dog or cat has a spinal condition. Taking your pet to an integrative veterinarian can benefit your paralyzed dog and you in lots of ways. It can save you time and ensure that your fur kid receives coordinated medical care.
Life can get crazy for the caretaker of a paraplegic pet. When Sophie started to lose her ability to walk, we made visits to our regular veterinarian for her medical workup, we went to a specialist for laser therapy, and we had weekly appointments with the holistic veterinarian for her acupuncture treatments. There were a lot of balls in the air that could have been simplified if an integrative veterinarian had been involved
What makes integrative medicine different from conventional care?
An integrative veterinarian is trained to combine the best of standard medicine with the addition of complementary and holistic care. Traditional Western medicine is based on using pharmaceutical drugs to treat an animal. Integrative healing adds natural therapies to the mix and develops a treatment plan for the individual pet.
And while the treatments are based on a natural approach, integrative medicine incorporates therapies that have scientific evidence behind them.
The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies views the practice as, “The bridge where cutting edge science meets tradition.”
Which natural therapies are used by integrative veterinarians?
There is a wide range of treatments available in integrative healing. These include:
- Physical rehabilitation
- Chiropractic care
- Chinese herbal medicine
- Diet and nutrition
- Nutritional supplements
- Use of essential oils
Which health problems are treated with alternative therapies?
Integrative medicine is used for a variety of common illnesses and conditions such as:
- Back and spinal diseases or injuries
- Gastro-intestinal diseases
- Diseases of the immune system
- Skin conditions
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Liver Disease
How does a veterinarian become an integrative practitioner?
Veterinarians must go through a post graduate course to become a practitioner. Two popular programs are through the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies and the Veterinary Institute of Integrative Medicine. In addition, schools of veterinary medicine such as UC Davis, LSU, and Ohio State also offer courses.
If you have a paralyzed dog, an integrative veterinarian might be your best bet for optimal care. Paraplegic pets require ongoing treatment from many modalities and it would be beneficial for your dog to have one professional in charge of coordinating all of their individual health care.