What is Integrative Veterinary Medicine?
Integrative veterinary medicine takes clinical data from a full spectrum of medical modalities, and utilizes all the available tools within these practices in order to investigate health and disease from many perspectives. This wealth of knowledge allows for the ability to integrate these medicines in a cohesive way that provides the best possible care for your pet, and ultimately the best outcomes. Rather than choosing a single approach, integrative veterinary medicine believes that synergistically integrating approaches is greater than the sum of each of its parts.
In integrative veterinary medicine, an emphasis is placed on wellness and perpetuating health, not just treating disease when it happens. We strive to help keep animals healthy by integrating and interweaving the following into our daily lives and the lives of our patients:
It is clear from all viewpoints that nutrition is the basis of health and thus the foundation upon which we place our pets' lives for sustaining wellness. Understanding and respecting the particular nutritional requirements of dogs and cats is critical to making the best choice for your pet's diet. Important, yet simple principles guide us in the big picture (the fact that dogs and cats are carnivores), yet there is room for individual specifics (for example, the needs of a patient with kidney disease). Thus, counseling in nutrition is part of almost every visit to Mountain Shadow Veterinary Hospital.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) includes:
- Chinese herbs
- Food therapy
This approach to medicine has been practiced for about 3000 years and is formed by a simple, yet insightful view of the body as it is part of and influenced by natural phenomena.
Dr. Layne is trained and certified in veterinary acupuncture. Acupuncture may be used to successfully treat musculoskeletal pain due to injury or arthritic change, neurologic dysfunction (including paralysis due to IVDD), internal disease (such as kidney failure), digestive problems (such as inflammatory bowel disease), dermatologic problems (such as allergic dermatitis) and urinary dysfunction (such as urinary incontinence).
Chinese herbal medicine is used to complement and extend the reach of what is accomplished with acupuncture. It utilizes the same framework of interpretation as acupuncture, yet provides daily care and influence. Many plants and herbs have been the inspiration for synthetic pharmaceuticals. They have true medicinal value, yet the natural influence of herbs is often milder and safer, with a minimum of side effects.
Food therapy has a particular influence in TCM as it furthers the ability to influence the body with natural nourishment. As such, it is clear that modern concepts of pet nutrition (especially grain-free diets) are affirmed by classical thinking from thousands of years ago.
The focus of Traditional Chinese Medicine is in identifying and addressing imbalances in the body that creates a state of disease. This is most notable in chronic disease where too often traditional drugs merely treat symptoms without resolving the imbalance. TCM often surpasses the ability of traditional medicine by safely treating the symptoms as well as the root imbalance. In this way, the disease state is eliminated by re-creating balance in the body.