What is an holistic veterinarian?
As a holistic practitioner, I consider the whole patient including the mind, body and environment. If there is dis-ease, I will look for the root cause of the imbalance with the goal of regaining equilibrium and allowing the body to heal on its own.
Traditional western, or modern, medicine focuses on symptoms, diagnosis and disease, separating these from the whole. The goal is to suppress the symptom, kill the “invader” or cut out the “bad” tissue. This works very well for acute trauma and life-threatening illnesses. But when these issues become chronic, suppressing the symptoms can make things worse because we ignore the body’s warning signs.
Since the root cause is not addressed, the imbalance generally persists and new symptoms will often arise. In holistic practice, multiple, apparently unrelated symptoms, will be viewed as clues the underlying issues, whereas in traditional western medicine, these will be seen as separate issues, requiring many specialists.
Dis-ease may be caused by many factors including unbalanced nutrition, toxins in the environment, stress, excess or deficiencies in exercise or sleep. It turns out that genetics plays a very small role because we can change gene expression through diet, environmental and lifestyle.
As a holistic practitioner, my role is to teach you, the pet owner, how to positively affect your pet’s environment and lifestyle to help him to reach his optimal health. Often the largest impact comes from nutrition.
It has been estimated that 90% of the chronic diseases that plague people and our pets start in the gut. Think about some of the common ones; obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis and type-2 diabetes. But if we look further, we find that excess body fat produces inflammatory chemicals that contribute to inflammation, contributing to arthritis, back pain, kidney disease and heart disease. The latest research even shows direct connection between autoimmune disease and leaky gut. Autoimmune diseases include allergy, hypothyroidism, lupus, Type 1 diabetes, autoimmune hemolytic anemia and bleeding disorders.
By focusing on healing the gut and providing all the necessary nutrients for health and healing, we can have the greatest impact on your pet’s well-being.
Your first holistic consultation generally takes 60-90 minutes. A thorough history and exam will start the process of finding the root cause or causes of dis-ease. Diagnostic testing will likely be recommended. Then a plan will be developed to address the root causes. Treatment might include a diet change, nutritional supplements, herbs, VOM (a chiropractic modality) and lifestyle suggestions. When needed, I will also use the best that western medicine has to offer, including diagnostic testing, surgery and/or pharmaceuticals.
Dr Evelyn Kass Williamson is a member of the Animal Essentials Veterinary Advisory Board, living in Phoenix, Arizona.