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Holistic veterinary medicine

Additional recommended knowledge



Holistic veterinary medicine is a term that can mean different things to different people. A holistic veterinarian is likely to convey at least two meanings. First, is that the practitioner will look at the whole of the animal and work to come to a treatment plan that will benefit the entire patient and not just address one presenting complaint.

Second, a holistic veterinarian will use the whole of medicine to come up with the best treatment plan possible. Holistic veterinarians examine and diagnose by considering all aspects of the animal's life and using all of the veterinarian’s senses, using a combination of conventional and holistic modalities of treatment. A holistic veterinarian strives to find out everything possible on their patients. Full patient history is looked into from the pets family history and lineage to its daily dietary routine. Holistic veterinarians take every aspect of their patient’s lives into consideration, from the animal’s home environment including emotional stresses, as well as their day to day behavior.

Many veterinarians use different terms to convey this same or similar sentiment. Alternative veterinary medicine, complementary veterinary medicine, integrative veterinary medicine are some of the terms used when referring to holistic veterinary medicine.


The ultimate goal of holistic veterinary medicine is to improve the quality of life of the patient. The modalities chosen to achieve this end can depend on the presenting condition of concern, the patients overall condition and energy, owners' constraints, and animal temperament. Some animals have conditions that would likely benefit greatly from acupuncture or manipulation, but the animal is not one who will do well with repeated visits to the veterinary office. Others will not take supplements/medications from their owners at home which limits choices of treatments to complement the hands-on therapies.


Acupuncture is a technique for relieving pain, strengthening the body’s immune system and for improving the function of organ systems by stimulating acupuncture points.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicines include traditional Chinese herbs and other herbs from all over the world. Many herbs have healing powers that are capable of balancing the emotional, mental and physical dynamics of an animal.


Homeopathy works on the principle of Similia Similibus Curentur (like cures like). It is believed that substances that produce symptoms similar to a given disease should be used to treat that disease. If a large dose of a toxic substance is swallowed, it can produce death, but when a homeopathic, diluted, minute dose of the substance is given, it can save the poisoned animal. Introducing homeopathic substances allows the animals body adapt and gives it the ability to fight off potential health problems.

Chiropractic & Spinal Maniuplation

Chiropractic care offers a natural, drug-free adjunct to patient with a spine, bones, joints and muscle issues. Chiropractors identify subluxations of the spine during clinical examinations and then proceed to correct these lesions by specifically adjusting the involved segments.


Dr. Tracy Lord DVM (2007-06-15). Holistic Veterinary Medicine. Open Publishing. Retrieved on 2007-11-04.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Holistic_veterinary_medicine". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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