How Holistic Health Care Can Help Your Pets

Have you made any healthy lifestyle changes lately? Perhaps you have changed your diet, started a new hobby like yoga or began to see a chiropractor and received acupuncture treatments.

Have you thought that these same practices may also be beneficial to your pet’s health as well?

Today, there are more veterinarians practicing holistic medicine than ever before. Holistic veterinarians use traditional and alternative therapies to check a pet’s overall health. They are determined to keep pets healthy through the use of lab tests, prescription drugs, acupuncture and herbal treatments. Holistic vets also support changes in a pet’s diet to ensure a lifestyle free of illnesses like; obesity, diabetes and cancer.

Below are some alternative treatments available for your dog or cat:

Laser Therapy

Laser Therapy Is Proving to Be a Miracle Treatment for Many Dogs with Arthritis

In more recent times, veterinary laser equipment has become safer and more effective thus, contributing to the popularity of using these types of treatments. Lasers work through a process known as photobiostimulation. The photonic energy delivered by the light of the laser changes cellular chemistry by:

  • Increasing production of cell fuel (ATP, or adenosine triphosphate)
  • Reduction of inflammation and pain
  • Increasing circulation at the injury site

Laser light in the red and near-infrared range, triggers a photochemical reaction in the body that increases blood flow to tissues. In turn, this promotes improved functions in the growth, replication and repair of cells, as well as producing important compounds like; enzymes, DNA/RNA, immunoglobulins and proteins.

Chinese Herbs

The use of Chinese herbal medicine is also a holistic approach to healing. In combination with acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine consists of a systemic treatment and a system of diagnosis that can be referred to as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

During TCM treatments, illnesses are seen as conflicts between an individual and their environment, seeking to restore that harmony for health. Traditionally, TCM provides an extension of nutrition by adding herbs to food in order to provide beneficial effects to the body.

Today, TCM treatments combine a formula of herbs with specific uses that complement each other to reduce possible side effects. These herbal combinations support the health and balance of the body. While acupuncture has been used for many hundreds of years in animal health, the use of Chinese herbs by veterinarians has only begun to be implemented in the last century or so, providing great benefits.

What types of pet illness can be treated by chinese herbal medicine?

Chinese medicinal herbs are primarily used for dogs and cats with range of conditions. These conditions may include, but are not limited to; kidney disease, gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, cystitis or bladder issues, vomiting and diarrhea, incontinence, liver problems, heart problems, anxiety, behavioral problems, asthma, bronchitis and other geriatric health complications. TCM herbs can also be used in support of cancer treatments, including chemotherapy.

Homeopathic Therapy

Homeopathy is a natural and holistic system that provides healing through eliminating the underlying imbalance in a pet’s body that may be causing any undesirable symptoms. In homeopathy, health is not just the absence of symptoms, but a feeling of well-being and liveliness. To clarify the terminology, “holistic” is an umbrella term that includes many alternative treatments such as; acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy, and flower essences, that regard the patients entire body rather than just the injured part. Homeopathy is a specific type of “holistic” treatment, but not all holistic treatments are “homeopathic.”

Homeopathic remedies are made from a variety of sources such as; plants, minerals, drugs, viruses, bacteria or animal substances, dissolved in water or alcohol, diluted, and vigorously shaken. These remedies do not simply mask or suppress symptoms; they work deep to treat the root of the illness.

Spinal Manipulation

Emphasizing focus on the entire skeletal system, nervous and muscular system as well as joints, Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy (VSMT) goes beyond spinal care. The resulting tenderness and pain due to improper function of motion units, can lead to chronic pain and inflammation. With the use of VSMT (think of chiropractic care in humans), these motion units are able to operate more freely which lessens/alleviates the pain, thereby improving quality of life. VSMT is able to improve internal organ functions as a whole thus, improving the body’s own healing capacity. This practice may also help with diagnosing underlying issues that are associated with skeletal pain. Veterinary Spinal Manipulation is extremely powerful and should only be performed by a professional with adequate training.

Nutritional Therapy

While modern medicine procedures may be helpful in managing certain disease processes, we assure that nutrition is the foundation of quality patient care.  Whole food nutrition not only serves to prevent diseases, but also to cure certain disease processes, help enhance the body’s responses to medications, reduce side effects of some medications, and speed the healing process after surgeries.

Understanding and appreciating the value of fresh, whole, cooked or raw foods that rely on natural sources to feed the body according to design, is critical to overall health. We recognize the immense chemical complexity ingrained in foods and the responses to food that body functions may have.


A certified acupuncturist relieves pain and pressure in your pet’s body by inserting thin needles in specific points. Pets with issues such as; back pain, arthritis, muscle spasms, a limp, or other problems may benefit from this treatment.

“Although acupuncture has been around for 5,000 years, only in the last 10 to 20 years has the scientific community been able to see why this works.

The benefits that veterinary acupuncture can provide for your dog or cat:

  1. Veterinary acupuncture encourages the release of the body’s own pain resulting in relief of anti-inflammatory substances.
  2. Relaxation of muscles at the site of needle insertion and more distant locations body is achieved with veterinary acupuncture treatment. This creates both a local and generalized pain relieving effect.
  3. Veterinary acupuncture improves tissue blood flow, oxygenation and removal of metabolic wastes and toxins.
  4. Unlike prescription and over the counter pain medications, veterinary acupuncture lowers the risk of harming your pet’s internal organs because there is a lack of side effects.
  5. Your pet’s medications or supplements will not adversely interact with veterinary acupuncture treatment; therefore, it can safely be used to treat a variety of illnesses.


Acupuncture is the use of tiny needles to restore healing and provide pain relief around areas of concerns. Similarly, electroacupuncture also sends electric currents to those wounded or ill areas but the acupuncturist will stimulate the nerve endings deep inside the tissue below acupressure points by connecting wires and metal, sending electric frequencies to the wound disease or site of illness. This is done to stimulate the nerve endings deep inside the tissue below acupressure points.

Rather than treating specific diseases as acupuncture does, electroacupuncture has been shown to work well for chronic pain relief. There are great improvements in dogs who suffer from chronic pain due to medical diagnosis’s like arthritis. The results can conclude that these dogs show an improved range of motion and relief of pain after they received electroacupuncture treatments.

Osteopathy Therapy

Osteopathy is an alternate medicine that uses manual techniques and, like other natural medicines, is based on the purpose that the body is an entity and focuses on the patient (the animal) itself, who is treated, instead of the disease.

Osteopathy is of great importance to the vascular system and the self-healing power an individual. It begins from the proposition that all bodily systems correlate with one another. In being able to treat all kinds of conditions, osteopathy often allows us to avoid taking medications. By focusing on the cause of the illness and not just the symptoms, osteopathy targets the problem at the source in order to avoid a repetition of effects. Knowing that certain health conditions require traditional medical interventions, osteopathy can be used in addition to other procedures as well.

If you have any questions, contact EL Cid Animal Clinic in West Palm Beach about treatment options with Holistic Health Medicine for your pets.