Making Sense of Types of Alternative Medicine for Pets

by Dr. Shelby

Every day we hear the words "natural", organic, and holistic being used by companies trying to selling their goods. This in turn, has prompted many people to seek alternative medical treatments and natural products for themselves and their pets. There are many safe medical "alternative" treatments available to your beloved companions, but to start understanding what some of these treatments are, we must first start with an understanding of the terms holistic, homeopathic and integrative.

Holistic Medicine emphasizes gentle, minimally invasive treatments based on the whole body, mind and spirit of the patient, not just the disease or body part. The principle behind this is that when there is an imbalance in one area, it affects the whole body. Factors such as environment, nutrition, stress levels ,genetics, etc. are all taken into account and treatments are based on the individual patient. Therapies may include homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage and herbal medicine. A holistic veterinarian may also use integrative medicine to treat your companion.To read more about holistic medicine please see, visit the Veterinary Institute of Integrative Medicine's website.

Homeopathic (Homeopathy) Medicine is a holistic form of medicine which is founded on the principle that "like treats like", meaning that a substance in high doses which causes a disease has the same capability in small doses to cure the same. A homeopathic veterinarian will use remedies derived from nature and dilute them to a minute form. The goal of homeopathy is to cure the disease rather than treat or mask the symptoms.

Integrative Medicine the best of all worlds. It is the combination of holistic and conventional medicine. A more holistic approach to treatment, integrative medicine provides several diverse and safe options for your pet. Integrative therapies including laser therapy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, therapeutic ultrasound, massage , spinal manipulation therapy (chiropractic), and electrical stimulation have become more readily available. Most holistic veterinarians, teaching and specialty hospitals, as well as many general practitioners, now offer complimentary services.

Working with your veterinarian you can find the right combination of treatments to achieve a better quality of life for your furry friend.