Happy Dog Times

The case for alternative veterinary medicine

dog breed Welsh Corgi, Pembroke


Most veterinarians say that dogs are suffering more and more from an epidemic of poor health. Too many of them are becoming sick and even dying before their time. One of the reasons for this that standard or conventional medications have the potential to cause serious problems with the dog’s heart, liver, skin, kidneys, digestive tract and its immune system. For that matter, conventional treatment methods often just relieve symptoms temporarily but don’t help the dog or effectively raise its level of health.

Turning sick dogs around

Many veterinarians have learned that they can turn sick dogs around by applying alternative methods. They have found they can extend their lives, optimize their health and improve their quality of life – even severely ill animals. These vets use methods that utilize all the resources of the whole dog – it’s body, mind and spirit. This is to encourage natural healing mechanisms. Alternative methods for treating dogs are designed to nourish its whole body and its natural tendency for homeostasis and health. In comparison, the Western medical tradition tends to use invasive and powerful methods that can have serious side effects.

No one single approach

It is important to understand that no one single approach, whether conventional medicine with its powerful drugs and sophisticated surgery, or alternative treatments with less invasive and more natural “whole body solutions” has all the answers. There are times when alternative treatments can help the dog and times when it can’t. For example, there are no proven alternative treatments to help dogs with diabetes. And the same is true of cancer. However, alternative treatments for sicknesses such as ear problems, diarrhea and vomiting can often be successful. And sometimes what’s required is a combination of the two.

Know your dog

One of the things that alternative veterinary medicine encourages is for you to learn what makes your animal sick or healthier and then take appropriate action. It is critical to become involved in your dog’s health and many veterinarians are happy and anxious to educate you about your dog.

Dogs rely totally on us

We can become part of our own healing and health process and make either healthy or non-healthy choices. But dogs totally rely on us. We can feed them any cheap food and get them a prescription when they’re sick. But that’s not being an active partner in its care. To truly help a dog, we need to know it. There is just no substitute for watching for signs that could indicate changes in its health. You are the person closest to your dog and not your veterinarian. You should be able to see changes that wouldn’t be obvious to others or even detectable by medical tests.

Keep a journal

One way to be involved in your dog’s health is to keep a journal. If you make a change in its diet, a move to another location or there’s a dramatic event in the household, log it. These can cause problems of anxiety or stress. You should also watch your dog carefully after treatments or vaccinations as they have the potential to create new symptoms. The fact is, the more you know about your dog the better you can carry out your responsibility as a caregiver.

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