The number of holistic veterinarians is growing in this country every year. So, what is the difference between “holistic veterinarians” (also called “integrative veterinarians”) and other veterinarians?
Holistic veterinarians — like more holistic physicians for human patients — look at the entire presenting picture of the patient and treat the whole picture, not just the one thing that’s wrong right now. A perfect example of this difference is displayed when a dog or a cat presents with an ear infection. A conventional veterinarian will treat the symptoms and provide medication for the specific issue. A holistic veterinarian will determine not only what is causing the symptoms and provide temporary relief, but will look at the underlying issue, like a food allergy, and address that too. The latter treats not only the current infection, but helps prevent future ones as well.
Unfortunately, while the number of holistic veterinarians is increasing worldwide, there isn’t always one in your neighborhood. To help fill this gap, many of us — myself included — provide virtual consultation services, always working with your local vet for diagnostics and medical treatment, giving you more options and — of course — keeping your veterinarian in the loop.
But virtual consults aren’t the only option. I have many clients who drive a couple of hours or more to reach my clinic. At least for now, getting your pet to a holistic veterinarian may involve a little bit of driving. In some cases, we will drive to you. For example, I treat patients in Indianapolis (1.5 hours drive from my normal office location) once a month; and I have several colleagues routinely seeing patients at training/agility clubs in states in which they are licensed.
If holistic care is in your pet’s future and you are in need of a veterinarian, search at AHVMA.org. If you can’t find someone close, check out blogs from holistic veterinarians – if you find one you like, try a virtual consult.