Scheduling a Holistic Veterinary Exam for your Pet
These are 60-90 minutes because it’s difficult to cover everything with less than 15 minutes of face time—just as you’ve noticed with your own medical doctor and most veterinarians.
We want to spend as much time as we can understanding your pet’s history and past problems and current problems and lifestyle. In order to better treat him and help him restore balance to his system so that he can keep himself healthier!
In this day and age it can be difficult for many of us to find 60-90 minutes of relaxed "free" time for a thorough veterinary exam, but your pet's health depends on it! To help you with this we offer evening appointments.
First and foremost we have to believe in what we are doing; we have to believe in the power of alternative medicine; we have to believe that we can help your four-legged friend get better; we have to believe in the power of positivity!
I’ll admit that early in my veterinary career I did not believe that attitude and ‘positive energy’ and ‘good vibes’ made any difference, in fact I didn't give any credit to alternative medicine, at all! But, I have seen the difference it can make, I have seen things that I can not explain, I have been amazed by the results of my healing treatments on animals!
The point is if you or I try to treat your pet while thinking "this isn’t going to help", then it will not help—period. However, if you and I are truly optimistic and hopeful and positive about our treatment plan, then we have a much greater chance of making a positive difference!
A Lot of Strange Questions
If we are going to help make your dog or pet better, or at-least less-unhealthy, we need to get to the root of his health problems and Constitutional imbalances.
The first step is to review all of his prior medical records. We will need an electronic copy of all of his prior medical records (or, as much as we can get from your regular veterinarian). Not just the invoices that you have at home, but also the doctor's medical notes on file at the clinic (you can ask your veterinarian to email these to you).
We will send you a questionnaire that helps us better understand your pet’s prior history and Constitution and current problems. We ask that you complete the questionnaire and send it back to us before your appointment so that we can maximize our appointment time by digging deeper into questions and spend more time treating your pet instead of interviewing you!
You can expect us to be positive and optimistic. Hopefully we have already reviewed your pet's prior medical records and the long questionnaire you have answered so that we can maximize our time helping your pet. You can expect this initial exam and treatment to take about an hour, maybe 90 minutes for more complex cases.
We’ll spend some time just getting comfortable and getting to know you and your animal. We’ll try our best to let your dog warm-up to us and make them feel like we are simply having a visit. The majority of animals like us because we’re calm and there isn’t the threat and uncertainty of the typical vet clinic.
We will talk about food and treats, exercise, behavioral issues and anxieties, and prior medical records, as well as the questionnaire you filled out.
We will also discuss realistic expectations while remaining positive. For many conditions we expect significant improvements with Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and/or Chiropractic alone. But, depending on the severity of the condition we may perform additional specific lab diagnostics to screen for environmental toxins or Heavy Metals or specific cellular nutrient deficiencies or microbiome imbalances. We may also recommend that you continue to seek Conventional medical treatments (blood and urine laboratory analysis, IV fluids, antibiotics, surgery, X-rays) from your regular veterinarian, while we use Acupuncture and Chiropractic Adjustments and Functional Medicine to help further diagnose and treat those conditions.
Some conditions (mainly certain cancers/tumors) are not reversible, but Chinese Medicine can greatly slow or even stop the growth of some of these tumors, as can Spinal Manipulation and Functional Medicine- so we will discuss the expectation that successful treatment may mean stopping the cancer from growing, but not necessarily making it go away.
In treating your dog & cat with Acupuncture, this usually involves skinny little needles that do not puncture, but actually slide between skin cells and usually don’t hurt unless there are very sore muscles involved (in this case a Therapy laser may be used to relax the muscles prior to needles). For some fearful animals this may mean Laser-Acupuncture, small injections into Acupuncture Points instead of needles; and it may involve electrical stimulation of the needles.
We will also usually perform a Chiropractic Adjustment on your pet with some massage techniques. This is similar to but not quite the same as human Chiropractic Adjustments. The "adjustments" are performed using very little total force—basically a quick little push to try to move whatever is "stuck". Actually, the Chiropractic adjustments are done during the hands-on examination; we try to 'adjust' whatever we safely can as we encounter it on exam- in fact you may not even notice that it is happening! We do very little or no adjustment at all for potential neck disc issues and old chronic potentially fused joints.
Taking a Holistic Vet approach we will review and recommend food therapy and diet changes, and we will usually prescribe herbs or glandular supplements to help your pet. Herbs are basically concentrated plants or foods- they help treat a problem quicker than food changes and are much safer than pharmaceutical drugs.
Payment made at end of appointment.
We will schedule a follow-up visit at this time. And email you a medical record soon after the appointment. As well as consult with your regular veterinarian if they are interested.
We may also recommend that you return to your regular veterinarian for necessary Western Medicine including lab work, radiographs, IV fluids, judicious use of vaccinations, tick tests, parasite preventatives, and other diagnostics and treatments that are not part of our Holistic practice.
With some painful arthritic and muscle conditions you may see improvement immediately or overnight. But, for more chronic conditions that have been months or years in the making, it can take several weekly visits and a few weeks of using the herbs and foods to start to correct those long-term imbalances, and sometimes 3-6 months to significantly repair years of damage and chronic imbalances.
DISCLAIMER: Although we are naturally gentle and careful, many individuals with chronic imbalances or 'weak' animals can only tolerate a small amount of acupuncture or spinal manipulation before 'overloading' the cellular metabolism. It is natural for the doctor and pet-parent to both want to 'do as much as possible' for the pet during the visit, but we must be cognizant of what the pet's Constitution and cellular metabolic state can handle; meaning that some of the weakest or most-chronic patients will have more-delicate treatments so that we don't "wipe them out for a few days".
Follow-up and Maintenance
Follow-up appointments are generally 30-45 minutes. We schedule these weekly or even twice weekly for the first 3-6 sessions to maximize results. Each appointment includes a shorter exam focusing on the problem, an Acupuncture and/or Chiropractic treatment and/or Laser treatment, and recommendations for any necessary food or herbal medication changes.
Once your pet has improved and is doing well, and for long-term maintenance, we recommend follow-up appointments every 2 - 6 months as needed.