An animal receives acupuncture

The idea of alternative medicine for pets is becoming more popular as a less invasive way to treat various illnesses and injuries. There are numerous modalities under the umbrella of alternative or complementary medicine, and each has the potential to add something of value to the body as a whole. However, as with any approach to your pet’s health and wellness, each modality should be “vetted” by a trusted veterinarian

A Proper Blend

Alternative medicine for pets is designed to treat the body as a whole instead of focusing on a single pathology. Often, modalities can be a blend of traditional veterinary medicine with various complementary treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, herbs, and more.

Talk to Us

Before pet owners decide to move ahead with alternative medicine for pets (either at home, or at another practitioner’s office), we recommend that they speak with their qualified veterinarian first. Some “natural” remedies that work well for people can be dangerous for pets, and may not be safe for use on or around them.

Smells Good?

The application of aromatherapy via essential oils has its own set of safety precautions necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of animals at home. While many pet owners and alternative medicine practitioners support the value of certain essential oils, certain oils can be harmful if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed by the skin.

Cautionary Tales/Tails

Alternative medicine for pets can be incredibly effective, but there’s still a lot more research to be done to rule out whether certain modalities can interfere with conventional veterinary medicine.

That being said, there is supportive evidence that reinforces the positive impact from the following modalities:

  • Acupuncture – By stimulating certain points on the body, the fine needles used in acupuncture can reduce symptoms associated with chronic pain and stimulate and/or speed up the healing process after surgery. Diabetes, cancer, and osteoarthritis patients typically show progress after successive treatments. 
  • Hydrotherapy – Water is highly effective when used in conjunction with physical therapy. Warm temperatures can ease sore or injured muscles, promote circulation, and reduce stress (even in cats!). One of the most supportive alternative treatments, hydrotherapy can also build muscle, increase mobility, and help pets maintain or lose weight in a low-impact environment.
  • Laser Therapy – Also known as a cold laser or class IV laser, this modality uses light frequencies to reduce inflammation and pain, and speed up healing following an illness, injury, or surgery. Typically, laser therapy for pets is relaxing for animals; some even fall asleep during treatments.

Alternative Medicine for Pets

The bottom line is that alternative medicine for pets can be highly effective in treating all sorts of health problems. If you have any questions regarding alternative therapies, Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital is always here for you.