FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. What is holistic care?
When I speak or write about holistic care, I'm referring to the "whole" pet. In other words, what is best for the whole pet? Too many doctors focus on just the specific problem at hand, trying to treat a specific problem rather than treat the whole pet or prevent disease.
Holistic care looks at the whole pet, including diet, nutritional supplements, preventive care, parasite control, grooming, and exercise. We don't overlook the whole pet and just focus in on one disease. Likewise, we don't neglect conventional therapies when they are indicated. If a pet needs surgery or a medication to get better, we can use these treatments. If the pet is better served with a complementary therapy, or a combination of conventional and complementary therapies, we take this approach. Holistic means being open-minded to what is in the best interest of the pet.
By combining both conventional therapies and complementary therapies such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation, and homeopathy, we can help the pet heal itself and stay healthy.
2. Which complementary therapy works best?
There is no one correct complementary therapy. Sometimes acupuncture is best, other times herbal therapy may work better. All pets can benefit from healthy diets and proper nutritional supplementation. By considering the specific needs of the pet, we can fashion a treatment plan from all of the different therapies to help heal the pet.
3. Are there any medications my pet should avoid?
That depends upon a number of factors, including your pet's age, nutritional status, and overall health. A better question would be to ask, "Which medications might not be necessary for my pet?" For many pets, complementary therapies may replace potentially harmful medications like antibiotics, corticosteroids ("steroids") and non-steroidal drugs like Rimadyl® . That's not to say these drugs can't be safely used when indicated. I only mean to imply that they are among the medications most frequently over-prescribed, overused, and overabused. In many instances complementary therapies can be more safely used as we attempt to wean the pet off of these more potent medications.
4. How often should my pet be vaccinated?
Despite many "experts" now offering their opinions, the best answer is that your pet should be immunized AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE! By running a simple blood test called a vaccine titer, we can determine how often each individual pet needs immunizations. These simple and inexpensive blood tests are easily run by any veterinarian and give you a picture of the status of your pet's immune system. Using this information, your doctor can come up with an immunization plan that's right for your pet. In most cases, a pet only needs to be vaccinated a few times in his life!
5. How effective is nutritional supplementation?
Very effective! All pets can benefit from improved nutrition, which helps reduce disease and improve overall health. Many of my patients show improvement just by improving the nutritional status through the use of natural supplements.
6. What is the best diet for my pet?
This depends upon a number of factors. As a rule, the more natural, chemical-free the diet, the better. Diets full of chemicals and preservatives often lead to increased health problems in our pets. Diets full of inexpensive fillers such as plant and animal by-products are also less desirable than healthier, more natural diets. Learn to read pet food labels so you can tell if your pet's diet is really as healthy as you think!
7. What annual care do you recommend for dogs and cats?
At minimum, a full physical examination every 12 months and an annual blood profile are needed for pets under 5 years of age. Pets 5 years of age and older should be checked at least every 6 months. These visits are designed to allow early detection of disease. Detecting diseases early, BEFORE YOUR PET BECOMES ILL, allows us to help your pet and decrease the cost of pet care. Vaccinations are RARELY NEEDED and are administered based on titer results (see #4. above.)
8. How can I learn more about natural, holistic therapies for my pet?
In response to the great need for information on holistic therapies, I created the Pet Care Naturally web site. We serve as your #1 source for holistic pet care. Read any of my recommended books to learn more about natural care for yourself and your pet including my award-winning book, The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats.
Also, listen to my award-winning radio show each week and sign up for my Yahoo! Group to receive my FREE weekly newsletter, discuss health related issues with others and keep up with what's happening in the world of natural pet care!
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