What is "holistic" veterinary medicine?
Holistic medicine is often misunderstood or misinterpreted as "quackery" by most people. This is because we often associate it with "abandoning what my doctor says" and trying something more "natural" for my pet. However, a balanced approach is the BEST approach to medicine. Treating the individual patient as a whole is the goal of holistic medicine. Taking into account their diet, environment, stresses and the conditions that led them to the disease process in the first place is essential to treatment. As a small animal practitioner I understand the importance of conventional western medicine but as with all things it does have some limitations. For example, veterinary medicine is limited in what it can offer pets for anxiety, geriatric weakness, stiffness in joints and neurological disorders to name a few. Often times, we find ourselves shaking our heads when a standard treatment doesn't work on all pets. That is because no two individuals are alike! So my interpretation of holistic medicine is to take what conventional medicine has to offer and enhance your pets health or treatment with acupuncture, herbal remedies, food therapy and environmental changes.
I didn't know they did acupuncture on pets?
This question always makes me smile because it means I have a lot of work to do! Yes, pets and people really do suffer from similar ailments and chinese medicine is all about balance. The art of chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years and was mainly used on farm animals in the past. The veterinary use of this ancient medicine for our domestic pets is a bit more recent but the principles are the same. Stones and arrows have been replaced with sterile needles. Our pets don't plow the fields but they sure can twist an ankle chasing a ball or vomit quite easily when you change their dry food.
What is the difference between a Chinese herb and other herbs?
All herbs originate from a natural source: roots, stems, leaves, plants and the earth itself. Some come from animals as well, but all are found in nature. The Chinese discovered early on that consuming certain plants or derivatives of them cured certain ailments. For example, they noted that horses in the field who instinctively sought out and ate certain leaves would not experience gas pain and bloat. This observation led to the refinement of herbal remedies we use today to treat stomach indigestion or colic in pets! Chinese herbs have a such a long history that time itself has proven to help relieve symptoms. The herbal remedies I use are supplied mainly by Jing Tang Herbal in Reddick, Florida. Jing Tang herbal is operated by Dr. Xuisheng Xie, a master herbologist in the field of veterinary medicine. His strict standards for purity, safety and effectiveness are what makes him a leader in veterinary chinese herbs.
All foods have some sort of energy such as hot chiles or bitter greens. Believe it or not certain foods can help or hinder a disease process. By determining your pet's imbalance we can help choose food ingredients as a form of therapy.