Nowadays people are taking a more holistic approach to their own health and well-being using diet and exercise, preventative and complementary therapy in order to keep themselves in good shape. Increasingly this trend is becoming more popular amongst pet owners who are looking for a more natural way of treating a wide range of illnesses and conditions in their animals.
Indeed animal insurance companies now recognise this demand and include a section to cover complementary therapies as recommended by the vet.
Some of the most popular complementary therapies for animals are:
- Veterinary acupuncture
- Veterinary Homoeopathy
- Herbs for animals
- Veterinary Physiotherapy
- Chiropractic for animals
- Animal Massage
Some of the lesser known pet therapies include:
- Bowen Technique
- Energy healing etc
However, if your animal is sick or showing signs of pain, has had an accident, or is injured, your first port of call should always be your Vet. Naturally, as a pet owner, if something is dramatically wrong with your animal you want the best and fastest results possible!
On the other hand, there are times when animals have problems that just don’t seem to respond to traditional veterinary treatment, and in these situations, complementary therapies can be very effective when used together with veterinary medicine.
Whilst some complementary therapies can be effective against a wide range of conditions, others are more specific to a particular problem. In addition, some treatment methods can give quite dramatic, instant results whilst others need more time to work, their effects being more subtle.
However all complementary therapies aim to restore the natural balance and harmony to the body allowing natural healing to take place.
Restoring balance to the strength and flexibility of muscles; if one muscle has been injured it will not be as strong as its opposing partner which could cause further problems.
Restoring balance to joints in the body, for instance, if restricted mobility occurs in a joint in one back leg, then it won’t be as flexible and efficient as the same joint in the other back leg. This could cause movement difficulties.
Restoring the balance of nutrients in the body to provide the animal with all the key ingredients it needs, in the correct amounts to maintain good health.
There is an enormous amount of anecdotal evidence and testimonials from pet owners supporting the fact that complementary therapies for pets DO indeed work. If a particular therapy fails to improve a condition then it could well be that the wrong therapy was selected. The secret is to select the correct therapy for the particular problem in the first place.
This starts with getting a correct veterinary diagnosis of the problem in the first instance. Then, all possible treatments (conventional and complementary) should be discussed with your Vet, to address, not only the symptoms, but also the root cause of the problem.
Once the problem has been diagnosed, and the possible treatment options have been discussed and agreed upon, the vet, owner and therapist can work together to select a treatment programme which will return the animal to full health.
When treatment is underway and improvements are seen, any rehabilitation of the animal and future preventative measures should be addressed if the problem is likely to re-occur. This could include changes to diet and exercise, or changes to the pet’s lifestyle.