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.