Holis­tic health for your pet

Los Angeles Times - - THE PETS ISSUE - By Carol Crotta home@latimes.com

If you don’t know the term “in­te­gra­tive vet­eri­nary medicine” and you have pets, you might want to be­come fa­mil­iar with it. Not only is it the Next Big Thing in mod­ern vet­eri­nary care, it is, to an in­creas­ing ex­tent, al­ready where pet care is to­day, par­tic­u­larly in Cal­i­for­nia.

In­te­gra­tive medicine is an ap­proach to pet treat­ment that com­bines tra­di­tional Western vet­eri­nary science with non­tra­di­tional, of­ten­times an­cient Chi­nese, ap­proaches. Most com­mon is the use of acupuncture, but treat­ments can in­clude herbal and home­o­pathic reme­dies, chi­ro­prac­tic work, mas­sages and diet man­age­ment.

What sets in­te­gra­tive medicine apart is the blend­ing of mul­ti­ple dis­ci­plines and the will­ing­ness of con­ven­tional and non­con­ven­tional prac­ti­tion­ers to work to­gether for the well-be­ing of the an­i­mal. Tra­di­tional vets, who pro­vide the sci­ence­based di­ag­nos­tic ser­vices, blood anal­y­sis and the like, work in tan­dem with non­tra­di­tional vets — acupuncture spe­cial­ists, for ex­am­ple — to come up with an ap­pro­pri­ate course of com­ple­men­tary treat­ment.

The qui­etly grow­ing ac­cep­tance of non-Western med­i­cal modal­i­ties, as treat­ments are called, by tra­di­tional vet­eri­nar­i­ans and their pow­er­ful Amer­i­can Vet­eri­nary Med­i­cal Assn. (AVMA) is a very big deal. Last year, for the first time, the AVMA ad­mit­ted to its House of Del­e­gates a mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Holis­tic Vet­eri­nary Med­i­cal Assn. (AHVMA) and one from the Amer­i­can Academy of Vet­eri­nary Acupuncture (AAVA).

Dr. Bar­bara Royal, pres­i­dent of the AHVMA, notes that a grow­ing num­ber of states are ac­cept­ing holis­tic and in­te­gra­tive cour­ses for con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion credit. Tra­di­tional vet­eri­nary schools, such as UC Davis and Louisiana State Univer­sity, are of­fer­ing pro­grams in in­te­gra­tive medicine, par­tic­u­larly acupuncture, as well as in­tern- and ex­tern­ships, and re­search pro­grams.

Acupuncture has shown to be ef­fec­tive not only for pain re­lief but also ir­ri­ta­ble bowel is­sues, di­ar­rhea and edema.

Un­der Cal­i­for­nia law, you must be a vet to ad­min­is­ter acupuncture or be un­der the di­rect su­per­vi­sion of a vet. Cour­ses rapidly fill up, and there are wait­ing lists as tra­di­tional vet­eri­nar­i­ans be­gin to in­cor­po­rate the acupuncture train­ing into their prac­tices.

Re­fer­rals from tra­di­tional vet­eri­nar­i­ans to non­tra­di­tional vets typ­i­cally in­volve an an­i­mal who has pretty much ex­hausted the tra­di­tional cour­ses of treat­ment. That was the case for a nearly par­a­lyzed Ger­man shep­herd who had been de­clared neu­ro­log­i­cally in­cur­able by a prom­i­nent vet­eri­nar­ian. Dr. Richard Palmquist watched a New York vet­eri­nary acupunc­tur­ist — a char­la­tan, he ini­tially thought — work on the dog. As the top small-an­i­mal vet in his class at Colorado State Univer­sity, Palmquist firmly be­lieved Western medicine “was the pin­na­cle” and had a ro­bustly an­tag­o­nis­tic view of medicine out­side that box. Af­ter spend­ing a week ob­serv­ing the holis­tic doc­tor’s prac­tice, how­ever, “I saw mir­a­cle af­ter mir­a­cle,” he re­calls.

When the shep­herd stood up af­ter treat­ment and walked over to his owner, Palmquist ex­pe­ri­enced an epiphany. To­day, as chief of in­te­gra­tive health ser­vices at Cen­tinela An­i­mal Hos­pi­tal in In­gle­wood, the wait for Palmquist’s ser­vices is long.

“In Los An­ge­les in par­tic­u­lar,” says Palmquist, “we have good in­te­gra­tion be­tween spe­cial­ist and al­ter­na­tive prac­ti­tioner. The whole goal is not to re­place con­ven­tional medicine. We just want bet­ter tools for ev­ery­body.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.