Whole Dog Journal's Blog August 30, 2011

A Weekend at the Holistic Veterinary Conference

Posted at 10:46AM - Comments: (5)

Over the weekend, I attended the annual meeting of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA); I hadn’t been to that particular conference for a few years.

One thing hadn’t changed: The number of veterinarians at the meeting whose biography follows this basic pattern: I always loved animals, I went to college and then vet school, I went into practice as a conventional medical practitioner, and after X years of practice, I grew frustrated at the number of cases I couldn’t fix with conventional medicine; I grew interested in complementary or alternative medicine, had some amazing successes with (fill in the blank: acupuncture, chiropractic, Traditional Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, herbs, or other), and now I can’t imagine not using these tools as part of my practice.

I have to hand it to these medical professionals; even after an enormous amount of post-graduate education and years (if not decades) in practice, their thirst for knowledge about compassionate, effective, gentle ways to heal their animal clients is unquenchable. They linger after the sessions to ask detailed questions of the presenters, they share stories about their toughest cases with each other over meals -- and many of them return calls to their clients back home in between sessions.  It was a pleasure and an honor to be among them for a couple of days, -- and I hope to bring some of their stories and voices to WDJ soon.

Comments (4)

When our chocolate lab was getting older and having problems getting up and getting around I talked to our vet about acupuncture and chiropractic adjustment. Lucky for us our vet was open and eager for us to try anything that would help our girl We tried acupuncture first which really helped her with a problem she had with a muscle in her shoulder. Then we found a great human chiropractor who had gone the extra mile and did all of the schooling to adjust small and large animals. What he did for our Jamoca was unbelievable. She would go in walking like an older dog and after her adjustment and a day of rest she was acting a few years younger. We also gave her natural supplements that we and our vet know helped her through her final years. She passed away at 14.5 years and though we miss her terribly we know we did everything to make her life happy and healthy. I would not hesitate to take my pets to an alternative health care provider.

Posted by: Jeri B | August 30, 2011 9:02 PM    Report this comment

I have so much respect for those who seek to learn alternative medicine. Heaven knows they have already spent so many years becoming educated. My hat is off to those who see what doesn't heal their patients in practice, and learn yet another modality rather than those veterinarians who keep their blinders on and keep prescribing things that do long term damage to their patients.

Posted by: Andrea P. | August 30, 2011 3:54 PM    Report this comment

I was able to get my aging Boston Terrier, with multiple health issues, in to a holistic vet a few months before she died. I doubt that the chiropractic adjustments and diet changes did anything to prolong her life but they certainly made what remained of her days more comfortable. That meant a lot to me.

Posted by: PJKutscher | August 30, 2011 3:53 PM    Report this comment

Our vet began by practicing only Western veterinary medicine and has gradually studied other areas and added them to her arsenal. I truly appreciate having her present different treatment options for various conditions and offering whichever she feels will be most effective, or combining both Western and Eastern procedures for the best possible outcome.

Posted by: Maggi P | August 30, 2011 3:31 PM    Report this comment

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