Conventional (Traditional) western veterinary medicine is exactly what you have known all your life. You take your pet to the vet when they are sick or for an animal check- up much like you would do for yourself. If your pet is ill, the vet may prescribe antibiotics, pills, salves etc. Your vet will use diagnostic tests like x-rays, MRIs, ultra sounds and even exploratory surgery could be an option to obtain information to enable your veterinary professional to make a diagnosis. If your pet is healthy, they will perform several techniques to verify you pet’s health, for instance, listening to their heart or looking in their mouth and ears. They will probably run their hands over your pet looking for “issues”. You may be required to bring in a stool or urine sample for analysis. You can obtain maintenance prescriptions like heartworm or flea and tick medicines from your neighborhood vet.
While there is nothing wrong with using traditional western medicine to help your pet, there are; however, options for expanding the care you provide to your beloved animal companion. When you use alternative medicine to help your pet feel better or remain healthy you employ many different tactics for wellness.
Complementary medicine refers to healing practices and products that work in conjunction with traditional medicine. For example, a cancer patient receiving chemotherapy may also undergo acupuncture to help manage chemo side effects.
Alternative medicine is not used as a complement to, but rather as a substitute for traditional therapy. An example would be a pet with cancer whose owner forgoes recommended chemotherapy or surgery and instead chooses to treat the disease with specific dietary changes.
Complementary and alternative medicines are categories of medicine that includes a variety of treatment approaches that fall outside the realm of conventional medicine. Employing holistic therapies and medicine is about viewing and treating the body as a whole. This is very different from the conventional medical approach.
Integrative medicine draws from both complementary medicine and alternative medicine and combines these with traditional Western therapies.
Many pet owners find that the common sense principles integrative medicine relies on really resonate with them. Often, common sense principles for creating wellness are overlooked in the search for hard-core science but not without consequences.
Lots of different therapies fall under the umbrella of alternative medicine (also called holistic medicine). Many of these therapies have this philosophy in common: consider and treat all aspects of the pet’s life, not just the symptoms. Check in with my blog next week to learn more about alternative and complementary medicine.