Complementary medicine, a term often used interchangeably with holistic medicine, provides”nonconventional” treatments for a variety of ailments, and is not just for humans anymore. Pets can now enjoy better health, too, as many veterinarians and pet owners increasingly embrace new techniques and treatments. According to the American Animal Hospital Association’s 2003 National Pet Owner Survey, 21 percent of pet owners have used some form of complementary medicine on their pets. Compare this to the 1996 survey, in which only six percent of pet owners said they’ve used alternative therapies on their pets.
Holistic medicine combines conventional veterinary medicine with one or more complementary therapies. Holistic practitioners consider your pet’s entire well-being, not just individual symptoms or conditions, and mix and match treatments to best serve Spot’s or Fluffy’s needs. A holistic approach to your pet’s problem will likely prove beneficial in nearly all cases. Research into a variety of veterinary medical therapies is ongoing, and the quality of care our pets receive is continually improving. Below, we describe some of the more common complementary medical therapies available.
Seeing Eye Dogs and Drug Sniffing Dogs
Dogs are certainly amazing and versatile animals. When you are in the process of training a dog and are getting a bit discouraged, you might take a moment to consider those two highly specialized trained dogs, the drug sniffing dog and the seeing eye dog.
The first school for Seeing Eye dogs was established in Potsdam, Germany shortly after World War I. The idea was to train German shepherds to assist men blinded in the war. An American lady living in Switzerland learned of the school and wrote an article about it that was published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1927.
This led to the establishment of the first American Seeing Eye dog school in 1929. Over the years, the school has practiced a selective breeding program to improve the quality of dogs that are trained to act as companions and eyes for blind people all over the World. It is the tremendous loyalty of the dog to its owner that is the key ingredient in this type of advanced training.