August 7, 2017

Holistic Treatment Wellness & Prevention

3 Big Benefits of Integrative Veterinary Care

by Karen Strickfaden, DVM, CVA, CAC

Not all veterinarians have the same approach when it comes to treating your pet. There are some important differences that you should know about. Some doctors are offer traditional options, while others provide holistic treatments.  Integrative veterinarians offer a tailored blend of traditional AND holistic services.

What is the difference between holistic and traditional medicine?

Western or “traditional” medicine treats symptoms and diseases with medications and surgery. Holistic care focuses on finding the underlying causes and preventing disease. The word “holistic” comes from the word “whole,” and refers to the treatment of the whole being.

If you have a headache, a traditional doctor might prescribe an aspirin to ease the headache. A holistic doctor would seek to find the cause of the headache. If you understand the cause of the headache, you can prevent other headaches in the future. As a result, holistic medicine takes a more preventative approach.

Integrative medicine acupuncture

Acupuncture for Stella

The same approaches are used in veterinary medicine. For instance, traditional veterinarians use surgery and medication to treat animals. Holistic veterinarians use techniques such as acupuncture, animal chiropractic, and bicom therapy to prevent illness and treat disease. Furthermore, holistic doctors can use homeopathy, herbs, and nutrition to enhance a pet’s health.

What is integrative medicine?

Integrative medicine is a healing-oriented medicine that evaluates the entire pet.  An integrative practitioner takes into account a pet’s physical health, emotional issues, nutrition, and lifestyle. In addition, the integrative doctor will consider both traditional and holistic treatments to give you the best treatment options for your pet.

In years past, many people referred to holistic medicine as “alternative” medicine.  People saw this type of care as a last ‘alternative’ for patients who had exhausted traditional medical techniques.  Today, holistic therapies are used simultaneously with traditional care.  Therefore, the term “alternative medicine” has become obsolete.

3 big benefits of integrative veterinary care

The three biggest benefits of integrative medicine are that it offers you:

  1. The complete picture of health – The veterinarian will not only perform a physical exam to evaluate your pet’s physical health, but will also assess your pet’s lifestyle, diet and social habits.
  2. A variety of treatment options – An integrative doctor will evaluate each pet individually to determine the best treatment for each animal.  An integrative approach gives you wider range of options for your pet.
  3. A natural approach – Natural supplements and herbs can be safer options than traditional medications. Holistic therapies are less invasive than surgery and are generally painless. Many people seek holistic and natural treatments to avoid side effects from surgeries and traditional drugs.

Countrycare Animal Complex uses integrative veterinary medicine

integrative medicine laser therapy

Laser therapy for Tashi

At Countrycare Animal Complex, our philosophy is to provide the best possible medical care for your pet. For example, if your dog has a ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), he will need surgery.

Surgery is a treatment often used in traditional medicine. However, we can add holistic-based laser therapy and herbal supplements after the surgery help your pet heal comfortably and quickly.

Or, if  your senior cat has kidney disease,  we can use traditional IV fluid therapy to help flush the kidneys. Additionally, we can use holistic bicom therapy and Chinese herbs help to slow the progression of the disease.

Using an integrative approach, we can achieve the best possible results with the fewest side effects. These blended services can improve the quality of life for your pet.  As a result, with our traditional and holistic options, we are able to give your beloved animals the ultimate veterinary care!

Dr. Karen Strickfaden is a practitioner at and a co-owner of Countrycare Animal Complex. Dr. Strickfaden’s interest in holistic medicine has stemmed from her personal experiences and medical issues. She enjoys the challenge of helping an animal that no one else could.