For many pet parents, the option to choose alternative medicine for their animal family members is a huge benefit. These techniques combine ancient methodology with modern technology for natural healing and enhanced wellness.
At Southlake Animal Hospital, we’re proud to offer a number of these integrative treatment options to help you better care for your four-legged friend. These services are available as independent treatment options or can be used in conjunction with other methods for optimum results. Don’t have time to come in to the clinic? We are now offering convenient virtual appointments!
While vaccinations play an important role in preventing many common illnesses and diseases in companion animals, it’s equally important not to over-vaccinate. One innovative way to avoid this is through the use of titer testing. A titer test is a simple blood test that measures the antibody levels for a particular CORE vaccine virus. A positive titer indicates that the animal is protected against the disease and vaccination is not required. Titers can be checked annually, but every 3 years is typically sufficient.
Ancient Chinese medicine is based on the Daoist theory that the cosmic forces governing the universe also govern the inner workings of the body. It also operates on the theory that life-energy (or Qi) is a fundamental force, driving the body’s every action. Another Daoist philosophy featured prominently in Chinese medicine is that of Yin and Yang – a belief that opposing forces of the universe (light/dark, hot/cold, etc.) play a pivotal role in the characterization of disease and physiological function.
Chinese medicine, as it relates to the treatment of animals, is comprised of four modalities or “branches” that include: Acupuncture, Food Therapy, Herbal Medicine and Tui-na.
The ancient practice of acupuncture functions under the theory that when the body’s natural energy source becomes disrupted, sickness and pain can result. To address these ailments without medication, acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points along the body. Once inserted, the needles trigger a cellular response in the targeted area. This restores the body’s energy, thereby promoting healing and reducing pain. Veterinary acupuncture can be used to treat anything from arthritis to respiratory problems and just about everything in between. It can also be utilized to boost the immune system and create better balance.
For thousands of years, the Chinese culture has held the belief that certain herbs, when strategically combined together, can provide a natural way to manage health. This is can be true for both people as well as animals. Chinese herbal medicine is particularly effective in treating chronic medical conditions and is often used to alleviate pain, improve and restore proper organ function, and strengthen the immune system. The ultimate goal of herbal therapy is to gradually return the body to a state of balance and wellness without the risk of side effects that can occur with traditional pharmaceuticals.
In the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine food therapy is the art and science of combining strategically selected food ingredients to optimally feed each individual. It is based upon a number of unique factors, including age, species, physiological state or disease process. Different kinds of food can be used to treat various symptoms and ailments. Each specific food ingredient has flavors and energies that are selected according to the pet’s unique physiological needs.
Tui-na, which means “push/pull-lift”, is a Chinese manual therapy used in the prevention and treatment of disease. Tui-na uses various manipulations applied to acupuncture points and meridians and/or special limb-stretching movements to bring the body into balance and prevent or treat diseases. Tui-na can be used to soothe sore joints, promote circulation, balance the organs and strengthen the body’s resistance. These techniques of manual therapy have been successfully used to treat musculoskeletal conditions, arthritis, disk disease, nerve paralysis, generalized weakness and even internal medical problems.
Your animal companion’s diet is the foundation of his or her wellness. A healthy, balanced diet is paramount to preventing disease and sustaining long-term wellbeing. Simply put, food is medicine. The team at Southlake Animal Hospital is highly skilled in pet nutrition and can advise on how to avoid the many ailments related to poor diet. We can assist in choosing the best commercial food products for your pet. Or, if you prefer, we can provide guidance on certain homemade diet options that might better serve your loved one’s unique nutritional needs.
Supplementing a pet’s diet can help in many instances, either as a therapeutic treatment option or a preventative measure. Some supplements that are routinely incorporated into a companion animal’s wellness program may include things like probiotics, anti-oxidants and supportive supplements designed specifically for the liver, thyroid, joints or immune system. We would be happy to discuss this option with you and determine whether nutritional supplements might be beneficial for your pet’s wellness.
If you have any questions about these or any other alternative treatment options and whether they’d benefit your pet, feel free to reach out. We’re happy to help!