In recent years, alternative medicine therapies have gained popularity as viable treatments for pets. Many pet owners seek natural and holistic approaches to help maintain their pets’ health and well-being. From acupuncture to herbal remedies, such as those offered at MountainView Veterinary Hospital, alternative medicine can complement traditional veterinary care. Our team describes alternative medicine treatment modalities that can benefit pets and how these therapies can enhance your pet’s quality of life.

Alternative medicine therapies that benefit pets

While traditional Western veterinary care is essential to your pet’s good health, many complementary therapies are also available to treat and prevent disease. Alternative medicine relies on the body’s innate power to heal itself. Integrative or alternative medicine effectively restores the body and promotes energy balance. Alternative modalities used to complement traditional veterinary care include: 

  • Acupuncture Originating from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into the muscles, tendons, fascia, and nerve fibers to promote healing and balance energy flow. Veterinary acupuncture is intended to assist your pet heal itself by resetting the balance of energy throughout the body, known as “chi”.  This technique stimulates endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and increases serotonin levels, which promote relaxation and happiness while alleviating anxiety.

In pets, acupuncture is often used to manage pain, reduce inflammation, and improve overall wellness. Veterinary acupuncture is also helpful in treating the following conditions:

    • Arthritis
    • Asthma
    • Chronic constipation
    • Kidney disease
    • Hip dysplasia
    • Immune system weakness
    • Neurological conditions
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Metabolic diseases
    • Degenerative joint disease
    • Cancer
  • Herbal medicine Many plants have healing properties, and certain plants are widely used as models or derivatives of human medication. Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to treat various ailments in humans and animals. Herbal medicine for pets typically involves using plant extracts or the entire plant to address digestive problems, anxiety, allergies, and skin conditions. Plants commonly used to treat pets include:
    • Calendula flowers — Topical anti-inflammatory
    • Catnip — In dogs can help alleviate anxiety
    • Chamomile — Sedative, anti-inflammatory, and muscle relaxant 
    • Sage — Antiseptic, astringent, and antispasmodic
    • Slippery elm — Digestive aid and intestinal lubricant
    • Parsley — Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic
    • Oregano — Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory
    • Dandelion — Digestive aid and immune stimulant and helps detoxify the liver and gallbladder
    • Turmeric — Anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties

Remember that some plants can be toxic. Before administering any plant-based product to your pet, call our office. 

  • Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEFT) — PEFT is a noninvasive supplemental therapy that increases cellular activity and circulation. Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy uses electromagnetic energy to deliver a series of treatments to the affected area. When used at the right intensity, frequency, and application duration, PEFT can positively influence cell signaling, especially if the cells aren’t communicating well because of age, injury, illness, or stress. Beneficial effects include cell proliferation, collagen formation, inflammation reduction, increased circulation, increased tissue oxygenation, and pain reduction. Each session lasts up to an hour. PEFT is often used to treat conditions such as:
    • Dysplasia
    • Bone fractures
    • Degenerative joint disease
    • Wounds
    • Intervertebral disc disease
    • Pain
    • Spinal cord injuries
  • Laser therapy Cold laser therapy is an excellent adjunct treatment for post-surgical healing and management of chronic pain. Like PEFT, laser therapy stimulates cells and increases blood flow to the affected area using Class IV lasers. Laser therapy uses a device that emits light at particular wavelengths that are calibrated to penetrate the skin and soft tissue without causing any damage or discomfort to the pet. Laser therapy is used post-surgery to encourage faster healing and treat infections, inflammation, and pain. This therapy is also used to treat:
    • Arthritis 
    • Chronic pain
    • Wounds
    • Dermatological conditions
    • Acute injuries
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Spinal disc swelling
    • Ear infections

Consult with your veterinarian  

Alternative or integrative medicine for pets is increasing in popularity for its noninvasive, therapeutic value. Your pet’s health can be enhanced through herbal medicine, acupuncture, and other alternative modalities. Many pet owners seek natural and holistic approaches to help maintain their pets’ health and well-being. Before exploring alternative medicine for your pet, consult a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about these treatment modalities. 

Our MountainView Veterinary Hospital integrates the power of alternative therapies with conventional veterinary care, providing a holistic approach to pet health and wellness. Contact us for more information on alternative treatments and to schedule an appointment.