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What is a Holistic Vet?

March 7, 2020 6:45 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

What is a Holistic Vet?

Before we discuss holistic vets, let’s understand who a vet is. A vet is short for ‘veterinarian,’ and he is a doctor who looks after sick animals (and at times, humans as well). Veterinarians not only diagnose animal diseases; they even care for injured or ill animals. In addition, they also provide tips and advice to pet owners.

‘Holistic’, in medical terms, refers to the viewing and treatment of the body ‘as a whole’. The objective of a holistic doctor is to address the underlying cause of the condition, rather than simply aim to eliminate symptoms. 

For example, if you complain of dizziness and headaches, a holistic doctor will instruct you to reduce your screen time and get sufficient sleep. In contrast, an allopathic doctor will merely prescribe drugs to help alleviate the symptoms.

So, a holistic vet is a doctor who tries to heal your pet by pinpointing the reason for the problem, and then attacking the problem, rather than the indications or symptoms of the problem.

A holistic vet uses a combination of treatments, such as Western medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, and naturopathy. 

What Does a Holistic Vet Do?

A trip to a holistic vet is pretty much the same as a visit to any regular vet. Initially, they’ll examine your pet, and discuss its issues with you. They might even ask for stool or urine samples in order to make an accurate diagnosis. Besides, there will be a detailed assessment of body parts to check for any gas, bloating, or unique, strange lumps. They will thoroughly examine the eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. Occasionally, a blood sample might also be needed.

border collie wondering what holistic ver does

However, there are some differences:

  • A holistic vet will use a ‘pet bed’ to examine your pet, instead of examining it on the floor or table.
  • Alongside the physical, they might also discuss the emotional and mental health of your pet.
  • Since there are a lot more areas to discuss with a holistic vet, the conversation can end up being longer than expected. Make sure you have time to spare when you go in. 
  • As mentioned previously, a holistic doctor does not only rely on drugs. They will probably tell you to implement other measures, like exercise, or adding certain herbs to the pet’s diet.

What to Expect from a Holistic Vet?

Even though people still have reservations about holistic doctors, on the whole, the results such doctors produce are remarkable. On so many occasions, holistic doctors had solutions to problems that Western medicine failed to solve.

One problem is that pet owners turn to holistic methods when allopathic ones have failed. This causes treatments to be less effective. The main focus of holistic doctors is to provide and recommend preventative measures so that your pet does not get a disease in the first place. They try and make sure that animals live a healthy life, not obstructed by ailments. 

Therefore, you should ensure regular visits to the vet, even if your pet is healthy and doing well. By taking a real interest in your pet’s overall health, you reduce the chances of severe sickness or problems to a minimum.

Examples of Holistic Veterinary Treatments

The chief complaint regarding traditional veterinarians is that they are too ready to use invasive approaches like surgeries and operations. Even if successful, such methods can cause problems and complications in the long run.holistic vet giving tincture to dog


On the other hand, holistic vets take a more integrative approach, which generally involves surgery as a last resort. An integrative treatment consists of a number of treatments, such as:

  • Various skin problems can be successfully tackled through the use of homotoxicology. This involves removing skin allergens and toxins through homeopathic medicines.
  • While a pet is going through traditional cancer treatment methods (chemotherapy and radiation), holistic treatments can keep him comfortable and pain-free.
  • Incontinent bladder issues are addressed through Chinese herbs.
  • Acupuncture can often be utilized as an alternative to surgery for several organs. Homeopathy, herbs, and acupuncture have yielded fruitful results, even for wholly or partially paralyzed animals. When used in combination with steroids muscle relaxants, they can be instrumental.
  • Aromatherapy helps improve the mental and emotional state of the pet. Essential oils are also used in this regard.
  • Flower essences are also used to alleviate mental issues like stress or anxiety.
  • Nutrition is used as either a treatment or as a preventative measure. Holistic vets work with pet owners to come up with a customized plan and approach for the pet.
  • Stem cell treatment, although relatively new to the holistic area, has been successfully used to treat several serious diseases, such as muscle wastage, fracture, and autoimmune diseases.
  • Cannabidiol (CBD) for pets has shown promise in reducing pain and anxiety levels. 

Advantages of Having a Holistic Vet

Unlike other types of doctors, holistic ones are open to a range of treatment approaches. They are prepared to consider unconventional methods in order to help your pet in the best possible way.. Moreover, mental problems, such as depression and anxiety, often manifest in the form of physical problems. A holistic vet will consider the psychological and physical condition of your pet. This is more helpful than simply focusing on physical symptoms.

Precautions to Take

We know your pet’s health is one of your top priorities. Therefore, carefully research before choosing a veterinarian. Getting a personal suggestion from someone you know and trust is always more helpful than, say, scouring the web or checking out advertisements.

Also, it would be ideal if you kept in mind that you can ‘try out’ different vets in your neighborhood.. If on the first trip, you do feel uneasy, you need not go for a second one. It is always a good approach to consult a number of vets until you can find the ideal one.

Lastly, there are always a few quacks masquerading as holistic vets. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly research before choosing a holistic veterinarian for your pet. 

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