ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE TREATMENTS FOR ANIMALS: A SHORT GUIDE FOR CARING FOR YOUR PET NATURALLY

He wasn’t eating, he slept only on his side and he never even tried to get up. Prescription medications had no effect.

His owners were on a mission to find a solution, and that’s when they found Dr. Valérie Trudel’sacupuncture and osteopathy clinic. When Kenzo arrived at the clinic, he seemed to be in pain.

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Dr. Trudel’s first instinct was to prepare his owners for the possibility of euthanasia. Obviously, that’s not a reality any pet owner wants to face, so they made up their mind to try everything they could. They knew the journey ahead would be long.

Dr. Trudel performed acupuncture on Kenzo and his owners decided to wait a full 24-hours before making a snap judgement about the results.

Kenzo arrived lying on his side. After the first treatment, he left lying on his stomach. Dr. Trudel saw him again two weeks later; he was walking.

Alternative medicine specialists can recount many stories like this one.

“I want people to know that euthanasia is not the only solution,” explains Dr. Trudel. “When medicine or surgery are not an option, or there is advice against them, it is really worth the effort to try an alternative medicine. There are of course, many animals that are not euthanized because we have otherwise treated them.”

Are you looking for a solution for helping your pet?

Would you like to try the most natural treatments possible but are confused by all the options? This short guide is for you.

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Like you, many pet owners have found that traditional medicine is either not enough or too harsh on their pets. Like you, these owners consider their pet like a member of the family, and they will do everything in their power to give them the best care and, in the worst-case scenario, avoid euthanasia.

Animals quickly become part of the family. They fill an essential emotional need; we establish a real relationship with them. They remind us of our connection to nature and bring us back to what is essential.

What can touch your heart more than genuine concern from our dog when you’re feeling sad? What is more heart-warming than a cat nuzzling up to you after you’ve had a long day?

Animals force us to stop and enjoy the moment.

Recent surveys* show that the United States has over 310 million pets of all sorts, most of these being dogs, cats and fish. More than 44% of households own a dog and more than 35% own a cat.

Traditional veterinary medicine has made spectacular advances in the past few years and remains essential to the well-being of our companions. However, this is also the case for the different alternative medicines.

THE ADVANTAGES AND LIMITS OF ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

Dr. Hélène Haltrecht, a holistic veterinarian and professor in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Montréal, practices at the Centre DMV in Montréal. She defines herself as a veterinarian specialized in COMPLEMENTARY medicines. All so-called alternative medicines can indeed be truly compatible and helpful, even if your pet is also treated with traditional medicine.

The main advantage of alternative medicines is that they can treat a number of ailments in a natural way without chemicals that could have adverse side effects.

Before you start any kind of treatment, be aware that the web is full of all kinds of information. It is important to consult with professionals who can direct you towards the right treatments.

Also keep in mind that, in more serious situations, your pet may need additional tests (blood tests, CT scans, ultrasound, etc.) or surgical procedures, which remain the specialty of veterinary medicine.

Alternative medicines are very effective for treating certain chronic illnesses, but in the case of an emergency, you should always consult a professional veterinarian. Furthermore, certain illnesses (like a serious heart condition) require medication.

In all cases, alternative and western medicines be completely beneficial when used together! A natural treatment can often be administered in addition to a medication (always under the advice and supervision of a professional). Natural approaches can also often improve the efficacy of a drug therapy.

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO NATURAL WELLNESS

Alternative (or complementary) medicine is characterized by two things, whatever the specialty:

  • Its holistic approach
  • Its natural approach

This holistic approach is what we call holistic therapy, i.e. taking into account the whole (or totality) of the individual in order to treat them. The idea behind this approach is to understand the weaknesses in order to prevent issues instead of curing them.

Non-conventional, alternative, natural and holistic medicines (the terms are not lacking) are not only concerned with the physical aspects of your pet, but also its emotions and experiences, which can have a major impact on its physical health.

Cécile Jean, doctor of veterinary medicine, practices osteopathy, acupuncture and phytotherapy in France.

“Practicing holistic medicine consists of understanding the patient as a whole. Care through alternative medicines such as osteopathy, phytotherapy and acupuncture enable this approach, which is ultimately very complementary to the allopathic medicine traditionally practiced,” she explains. “Like most holistic medicines, the objective so little used in the western world, is not to care for an illness, but to avoid the individual falling ill… it would be even more logical that a doctor or a veterinarian be paid to keep their patient in good health.”

This is confirmed by Hélène Haltrecht, already mentioned above.

“I aim for a comprehensive approach. According to the case, I look at what medicinal treatment or what combination would be the most appropriate for treating the animal. For example, acupuncture combines well with herbal remedies, especially for chronic problems (like neurological problems, herniated discs, paralysis, etc.) which are often difficult to treat with traditional medicines. Some animals do not respond well, or well enough, to medications. At this point, surgery is often required, but this is sometimes too costly for the client or perhaps they want to try to avoid surgery altogether.”

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