Need a Holistic Veterinarian?

I hear a common complaint on my Facebook page, website, and phone consultations - people are unable to find a holistic veterinarian to work with to treat their pets. I have been invited to move my practice to almost every state in the country and a few places overseas. While I am tempted to pack up and move, I'm pretty sure I can't be everywhere at once! But I do have a few recommendations:

Go to the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association website and look at the directory to see where holistic veterinarians are practicing in your state. Each holistic veterinarian will list modalities they practice, which may include acupuncture, chiropractic, herbals, food therapy, flower essences, essential oils, homeopathy, and others. If you are lucky enough to find a practitioner in your area, check out their website to see what they offer. Keep in mind that holistic veterinarians on the list may also practice traditional medicine. If their website is covered with kibble prescription diets made by large pet food companies and recommendations for annual vaccines, you haven't found a truly holistic veterinarian. Anyone can join the association and some veterinarians who have very traditional beliefs may practice acupuncture or some other holistic modality, but basically practice traditional medicine. If you can't find the answers you need on the website, call the office. Ask about vaccine recommendations, preferred foods, and thoughts on raw feeding. Make sure their philosophies are aligned with yours.

Educate yourself so you know what to ask for and what to avoid when you take your pet to see the doctor. If you want titers instead of vaccinations, insist on them. If you do not want your pet vaccinated, refuse to allow it to be done. No one can force you (although your township can fine you if your pet is not up to date on Rabies vaccines). Your relationship with your veterinarian is a two way street. Do not be bullied; find a doctor that understands and listens to what you want. Current guidelines by the American Animal Hospital Association clearly state that adult dogs and cats should receive the distemper/parvo vaccines no more often than every 3 years. Do not be bullied into annual vaccines. If you are told titers are too expensive, ask how much they cost. A reasonable price would be under $100, in my opinion, and could be much less if in-house test kits are used.

Read books on holistic medicine so you are well informed of the options available. Be your pet's advocate. Say no to harsh flea and tick chemicals.

I have many clients who drive 3 to 4 hours to bring their pets to my office because they do not have a holistic veterinarian in their area. I recommend they bring their pets to see me once or twice a year. They keep a positive relationship with their local veterinarian for the occasional bouts of illness, but that annual holistic examination, lab work, titers, and discussion can make a big difference in keeping pets naturally healthy. Plus, once I have met and examined the pet and know their history, it is much easier to answer questions by phone or email.

I wish you the best of luck in your search. If you want to discuss diet, natural parasite prevention, vaccines, titers, and overall best recommendations for your individual pet, I'm just a phone call away.

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