As more people seek natural care, they also search for alternatives for their pets. Natural, holistic, alternative, integrative, and complementary medicine are relatively interchangeable terms that can be confusing to people first learning about holistic care’s benefits. To help clear up any confusion, let’s learn more about the holistic options offered for pets that promote total-body care and overall wellness.

What is integrative or holistic veterinary medicine?

Holistic medicine, in people or pets, is humane care at its core, using all medical modalities and techniques to treat illness and maintain wellness in the most gentle and minimally invasive ways, that incorporate patient well-being and stress reduction. Every aspect of holistic medicine is centered on love, respect, and empathy, and when necessary, our conventionally trained and experienced veterinarians provide surgery, internal medical and dental care needed to achieve the best health outcomes.

In veterinary medicine, holistic veterinarians look at their patients as a whole, including their environment, disease pattern, and relationship with the owner, to help form a treatment plan that often pairs conventional and alternative therapies. To help treat your pet, we consider not only her medical history, but also her genetics, nutrition, stress level, environment, family relationships, and other factors that contribute to her health and wellness.

While conventional medicine, when used as the only treatment option, focuses on treating only illness or disease signs, holistic medicine strives to determine the underlying cause, and to redirect those disease patterns for lasting physical, emotional, and mental health. After the illness signs have been treated and the disease resolved, your pet will reach an improved health level through complete wellness care.

To help keep your furry pal in optimal health, here is a list of the top ways holistic therapies maintain your pet’s physical, mental, and emotional health through total-body care.

#1: Joint and spinal health

For continued joint and spinal health, animal chiropractic is a non-invasive technique based on the nervous system’s direct relationship to the spinal cord. When we perform a chiropractic adjustment, we realign subluxations, which are caused by improper alignment between two bones. Once the body is in alignment, the nervous system can function at an optimal level. Ideally, all pets should have regular chiropractic exams to monitor for joint-motion and lubrication changes, and to prevent arthritis advancement. Puppies and kittens can benefit from chiropractic care as early as their first visit, as can typical house pets. Proper alignment means better nervous system function, slower degeneration, better gait, more appropriate joint development, and improved overall health.

Sporting or working animals, especially competing dogs and horses, are considerably more comfortable and can perform better when their bodies are properly aligned. But, any pet will benefit from regular chiropractic exams to monitor and detect minor joint changes, which start long before you will notice her discomfort.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, prolotherapy and ozone therapy are treatments which provide non-surgical options for joint injuries, and in our veterinarians’ hands, have prevented 95% of patients with ACL tears from needing surgical repair.

#2: Good nutrition

Proper nutrition is the foundation for general well-being, and we use nutritional therapy, which includes a high quality, balanced diet, to prevent or treat your pet’s illness. Each pet we see has varying nutritional needs based on species, breed, age, lifestyle, and constitutional differences, so no one food fits all our patients. We recommend clinical nutrition health panels to help identify nutritional deficiencies, and aid your pet on the road to health and well-being. Once we’ve determined where your pet’s nutrition is lacking, we can form a diet plan that considers your budget and personal philosophy, whether you choose to feed a raw, dehydrated, home-cooked, freeze-dried, canned, or kibble diet. The proper diet can help you make the difference between a chronically ill or healthy pet.

#3: Plan for the future with stem cell therapy

Stem cell therapy uses stem cells derived from fat to treat traumatic and degenerative diseases. This alternative therapy has been demonstrated to effectively treat numerous diseases, such as osteoarthritis, tendon repair, fractures, muscular dystrophy, and autoimmune problems. As your pet ages, she likely will develop osteoarthritis or another joint condition that could benefit from regenerative therapy, so you should harvest her stem cells when she is young to ensure stem cell therapy is available as she grows older.

Our veterinarians use a stem cell therapy technique which is highly effective and does not require the use of foreign tissue or bone marrow, assuring the least traumatic experience for your pet. Stem cells can be harvested from young pets during an anesthetic procedure, such as neutering or dental care. The cells are then stored for later usage, should your pet need them. Older pets can donate tissue for their own stem cell treatments, as well. If you’re interested in how stem cell therapy can grant your pet comfort later in life, contact us for a more in-depth discussion.

#4: Customized care for your pet

Some pets still receive the same cookie-cutter medicine as every other patient at a veterinary hospital. Here at Cranberry Holistic Pet Care, Dr. Maro strongly believes each pet’s health care should be customized according to species, breed, age, lifestyle, and health status. Depending on your pet, we may recommend twice-yearly wellness exams, certain parasite prevention products, routine diagnostic testing to screen for health issues, and a vaccination protocol geared toward your furry pal’s exposure and risk. We often recommend vaccination titers, forgoing vaccinations if your pet’s antibody levels are high enough to protect her from life-threatening diseases. Vaccinations and parasite prevention are two small pieces of your pet’s overall wellness plan for total-body care, and during each visit, we will discuss how alternative therapies can complement her health care.

#5: Collaborate with a holistic veterinarian for total-body care

Dr. Maro and her team have post graduate training and certification in many alternative modalities, and work with pets and their owners to blend the conventional and innovative alternative treatments that will improve quality of life. To help provide total-body care and wellness treatment for your beloved companion, we offer a variety of complementary therapies, including:

  • Acupuncture/Electroacupuncture
  • Animal chiropractic
  • Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)
  • Prolotherapy
  • Ozone therapy
  • Clinical nutrition
  • Therapeutic laser
  • Acupressure
  • Aquapuncture
  • Pulsed electromagnetic therapy
  • Sanawave
  • Integrative oncology
  • NanoVitalights
  • Chinese herbology
  • Homeopathy
  • Gold bead implants
  • Massage therapy
  • Herbal treatments
  • Nambudripad’s allergy elimination technique (NAET)

If your pet suffers from a chronic or acute health problem, alternative therapies provide an excellent complement to conventional medicine. We want to keep pets healthy from their first visit through their golden years with total-body care, so contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more.