As a holistic practitioner, I treat the whole pet. Animals often come to me because they have a specific problem. The Western medicine way of dealing with such difficulties is to only focus on the issue at hand. In veterinary school we really learn more about disease care than we do about health care. The holistic approach is to focus on the patient. If we make the patient well then by definition the disease has gone away.
To this point, every time a pet comes to me I consider diet. I have found that if an animal is not getting proper nutrition (balanced, raw diet) it is not likely to become truly healthy no matter what I do. Some pet caregivers are put off by my seeming lack of concern over the disease they came in for. Most come to understand my approach once I explain it.
Meet Lucy. She is a 4-year-old yorkie mix. She came to me for her first holistic exam on 12/2/15. Her problem was that she was lame on her right rear leg on and off for the past month. Her owner wanted to try a holistic approach.
When I examined Lucy I found that she was very sensitive to my manipulation of her right knee. I could also feel a subtle grinding when I flexed her knee. She seemed to have a strain or sprain of her right knee.
As always, I discussed vaccines and vaccine titers with Lucy’s caregiver. I talked about holistic health and diet. I also prescribed 8 weekly therapeutic laser treatments for Lucy’s right knee. (I never ignore the problem at hand).
I saw Lucy back on 2/16/16 and her lameness had completely resolved. After the exam, as her caregiver was leaving the room, she asked me about the food. She had taken my recommendation seriously and had switched Lucy from her “high quality” kibble to a balanced raw diet.
Lucy’s caregiver asked me about a strange side effect she noticed from the diet. Lucy was listening to her better than she ever had. Apparently, Lucy had a tendency toward ADHA that her caregiver thought was normal behavior. She didn’t realize there was a problem until the diet fixed it.
I commonly see positive side effects from getting pets off processed food and onto a balanced raw diet. I love my job!