A veterinarian is a physician who is licensed to diagnose and treat a variety of medical conditions in animals. Typically, they have been primarily trained in conventional treatment options. However, there are some vet clinics, such as Balanced Pets in Traveler’s Rest that offer integrative pet care and alternative treatments designed to complement conventional treatments.
In this article, we will explain the differences between traditional and integrative/alternative treatments, and how they work together to offer a whole-body approach to keeping your pet healthy.
Traditional Veterinary Care
Traditional vet care involves medication and surgical options. These may also be referred to as Western, conventional, mainstream, allopathic, orthodox, or biomedicine.
When your pet has an illness, traditional care involves a diagnostic workup, which typically includes:
- Imaging/radiological tests
- Blood tests
After that, based on your pet’s diagnosis, treatments including antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and other medications may be used to treat the symptoms. In some cases, surgery may be recommended.
However, while this approach is effective, it really only focuses on the symptoms instead of looking at the root of the issue.
Traditional preventive care stresses the importance of regular examinations, vaccinations, and diagnostic testing to keep your pet healthy. Vaccines have been proven effective at preventing a variety of health concerns and some- such as Rabies- are a legal requirement.
However, while traditional veterinary care has a lot of benefits, there are also some limitations to diagnosis and treatment options.
Integrative Veterinary Care
Integrative veterinary care considers the big picture- the environment, disease pattern/symptoms, and the relationship between the pet and it’s owner. This information is then used to create a personalized treatment protocol to heal the patient, not just treat or mask the symptoms.
The principal difference between traditional veterinary care and integrative veterinary care is that an integrative vet will not just look at the illness and it’s cause- but will also consider the overall health and well-being of your pet. Integrative treatments consider your pet’s preferences and personality, as well as any additional ailments and health history. In some cases, the recommended treatment may not seem related to the issue at hand.
Integrative care is a more natural approach and typically involves lifestyle changes as well as treatments including Chinese herbal therapy, chiropractic care, food therapy, homeopathic treatments, acupuncture, or other treatments.
Integrative Veterinary Care
Integrative veterinary care incorporates integrative treatments with traditional ones. This type of care combines food and herbal therapy, acupuncture, and many others with traditional techniques including critical care, advanced dental/surgical methods, and diagnostic tools.
In the case of vaccinations, integrative practitioners understand the importance but are more likely to create a personal vaccination schedule based on your pet’s exposure. In some cases, blood tests may be recommended to evaluate the antibody level response to certain vaccinations.
Balanced Pets Offers an Integrative Approach to Your Pet’s Health
The team at Balanced Pets in Traveler’s Rest is committed to providing an integrative approach to your pet’s health. We believe that by combining traditional with integrative options, we can keep your pet healthy on all levels: physical, emotional, and mental. In cases where a traditional approach is unable to diagnose or treat your pet’s illness, alternative options may help. Schedule your pet’s appointment with us today!