Some dogs and cats live happy, healthy lives and can tolerate well the use of conventional vaccinations, processed pet food and drugs for prevention and treatment of disease.
However, one survey estimated that about 10% of pet animals suffer detectable lowered immune system function from annual multiple vaccination programs.
Side effects from drugs are the reason for about 30% of admissions of humans into hospitals in Australia, so although the figure for animals is lower, the message is that we still need to minimise drug use where it is possible, for ourselves and our animals.
One way to minimise use of drugs and vaccinations is to visit your holistic practitioner, and they can advise you on a program tailor made for your particular pet.
It is almost always possible to reduce the preventative drugs and vaccines for that individual, while still being mindful of their owner’s wish to keep their beloved pet free of preventable disease.
This is mainly due to the fact that recent veterinary research has revealed a reduced need to repeat vaccinations for animals. Vaccines can sometimes be reduced even more with the use of homoeopathic nosodes or ‘vaccinations’ to cover for the non-life threatening diseases such as kennel cough. Also, homoeopathic nosodes can be used for some diseases which are not present where you live, but may require a ‘background’ cover is to keep the disease at bay in the population, without sacrificing the health of your own pet by overvaccinating, eg distemper in dogs in some areas.
A very important factor in keeping all of us optimally healthy is diet. A holistic practitioner can work out a diet for your own dog or cat, which takes into account your pet’s likes and dislikes, your time and routine, your budget and of course the pet’s health needs.
This diet is likely to contain raw meat and bones, fresh vegetables and fruit.
A practitioner who uses kinesiology, chinese pulse and tongue diagnosis, or iridology, as part of the routine ‘conventional’ physical check-up (teeth, lymph nodes, eyes, ears, coat condition, etc) can use all of this information to be very specific about components of diet which suit your animal the best. They can also sort out which preventative drugs are OK for your particular pet, and which are not so good for them, on an individual basis.
The already sick animal can often be helped by natural therapies for many chronic or ongoing conditions such as persistent itching or allergies, recurring infections, liver, kidney and pancreatic disease and some cancers. The therapies most likely to help here would be diet, herbs and homoeopathy.
Pain, lameness or stiffness frequently responds well to acupuncture, trigger point therapy, chiropractic or Bowen therapy.
Phobias, fears or other unusual behaviour problems can respond well to homoeopathics, flower essences, reiki or psychic communication.
For the more acute or sudden conditions such as car accidents, poisonings and severe sudden allergies, it is best to seek local urgent veterinary care.
The ideal situation is for you to have a local conventional vet, who is close to where you live, for urgent or routine help, and a holistic practitioner you can seek the advice of for preventative or any ongoing problems that do not respond to conventional treatments, or where ongoing drug treatment seems to be required.
A new puppy/kitten holistic visit is highly recommended to establish a diet and vaccination and total “well pet” program.
Using natural therapies preventatively for the young animal is likely to save you a lot of money. Your pet simply is unlikely to get sick as often during its life.
You will be likely to spend a lot less on regular flea, worm and vaccination products over the years.
However, the initial consultation fees are likely to be higher for a holistic visit compared to a conventional vet, simply because it takes much longer to talk about all the different possibilities of vaccination/preventative drug use and diet, and to select options which are suitable to you and your pet in the long term.
You may, however, notice that the cost of drugs, food, herbs and homoeopathics at that first holistic visit is already much less than you may have expected to pay.
They will encourage you to help your pet as much as you can yourself, either by diet, or by learning such therapies as reiki, kinesiology, first aid homoeopathy or basic animal communication techniques.
So although the holistic consultation fee may initially sound higher than expected, it is highly likely to save you a significant amount of money in the long run, both due to lower ongoing food and preventative care costs, and because you will have a pet who gets sick much less often.
However, possibly the most exciting benefit from holistic pet care is that so many clients see this system work so well for their pet, that they improve their own diet and general health care!
I have often had clients who see their dog’s back problem respond to acupuncture, so they then get acupuncture treatment for their own longstanding back condition.
And it is amazing how often the client does have a similar problem to their pet, and in identifying the pet’s emotional, exercise or dietary pattern, the owner notices a similar pattern in themselves and gets ideas for their own
© Clare Middle 2015