Integrative Vet Care: Keep Your Pet’s Body Balanced Pet Care Tips 3 min read
In today’s blog, I really wanted to take a moment to empower pet parents, who are using conventional medications to treat diseases in their pets. I wanted to share my knowledge on how to utilize supplements and alternative therapies to help reduce the potential side effects of pharmaceuticals, so your pet can achieve optimal health.
As a holistic veterinarian, I believe in taking an integrative approach to healing. What do I mean by an integrative approach? Integrative or complimentary medicine is a medicine that takes into account the whole pet by combining herbal supplements, and other alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage, nutritional therapies and more. Combining the use of pharmaceuticals, or conventional medications with alternative therapies, such as herbal supplements, facilitates the body’s innate healing response.
In my day-to-day veterinary practice, I commonly prescribe medications to treat skin, eyes, and heart problems as well as for arthritis, infections, metabolic problems, endocrine problems, cancer, and any other diseases and illnesses where I feel it would be beneficial. However, in order to combat any side effect of the medication, I also recommend a complimentary supplement or treatment. This approach serves to keep the pet’s body in balance.
Here are a few specific examples for how I combine supplements and alternative therapies with the use pharmaceuticals to help a pet’s body stay in balance.
- When prescribing an antibiotic, I recommend a probiotic, as well as adding immune boosters to fight the infection (such as NHV Stimmune, or NHV Multi Essentials).
- When using a steroid, I always combine it with NHV Milk Thistle. Milk thistle protects the liver from the side effects of the steroid. As prolonged steroid use can develop into iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome, I recommend supporting the adrenal glands with NHV Supraglan.
- Chemo therapy patients are always prescribed NHV Es Clear, Pet Omega 3, Milk Thistle, NHV Yucca, and NHV Turmeric to help with the side effects of the chemotherapy medications. If my client does not pursue chemotherapy for their pet or their pet cannot handle chemotherapy medications, I will use them alone or with nutritional therapies.
- All of my patients benefit from milk thistle supplement when taking a pharmaceutical as it helps with side effects of the pharmaceutical and has qualities as a liver protectant. Arthritis treatment is always coupled with NHV Old timer, PetOmega 3, and NHV Turmeric.
Conventional medicine is important in many instances such as for trauma, severe infections, cancer, other diseases, and medical or surgical problems. Using herbals to combat side effects and enhance healing is extremely powerful. I recommend supporting your pet’s whole body during a conventional treatment. Supplements can also be used as a supportive measure in healthy animals who are not on pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Hillary Cook is a graduate of Virginia Maryland Regional Veterinary Medical school. She has been practicing holistic and integrative veterinary medicine for fifteen years. She certified in Veterinary acupuncture and is fully qualified in Western and Chinese herbalism. She is the owner of Animal Wellness Center, an integrative veterinary clinic in Crozet, VA. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of pets including dogs, cats and chickens. When time allows, you can find her in the garden or on the tennis court!
Published: March 11, 2016