Pet medications are like human medications – they’re all accompanied by a list of risks and benefits. Your animal care center’s job is to make sure that your pet only takes medication when absolutely necessary, and that the dosage is customized/adjusted as needed over time.
Schedule a Medication Review with a Holistic Animal Care Center
If you’re worried your pet takes medication unnecessarily, or you’re interested in exploring other options, we recommend scheduling a visit with a holistic animal care center for a “medication review.”
Contrary to cultural assumptions, most holistic veterinarians are not opposed to pharmaceutical medications. In fact, we prescribe standard medications almost every day when we feel they are the pet’s best option. What we don’t do is prescribe a medication just because that’s the simplest, “quick fix.”
Holistic, or integrative, veterinarians take great care to treat pets without medications or invasive treatments, and to do all we can to minimize the amount of medication a pet takes – or the duration of a prescription – whenever possible.
Here are the ways an integrative veterinary clinic prefers to look at medication as a treatment to pets:
What are the overall risks and benefits?
There are some situations where medications are the only answer. Diabetes is a perfect example. First and foremost, we’re going to look at diet and lifestyle changes. For example, we may determine that the pet’s commercial dog food has too many carbs, or that weight-management is the top priority in their diabetes care.
However, we’re also going to recommend insulin injections whenever needed as we work together to see if lifestyle changes reverse diabetes or reduce its impact. Ultimately, your pet may require far less insulin with each injection, yielding exponential benefits for the duration of their lifetime. This same tenet applies to virtually any pet disease/ailment we encounter.
Whenever possible, we’ll recommend diet/nutritional and/or lifestyle changes, supplementation, acupuncture or laser acupuncture, and other non-chemical treatments first – and use the bare-minimum of medication required to keep pets healthy.
Would a compounding pharmacy be best?
If your pet takes medication, and that’s the best treatment route for him/her, the next question to ask is, “would a compounding pharmacy be a better solution?” Your pet may require a very specific dose that is difficult to achieve via “standard pet pharmacy dosage.” In most cases, this results in overmedicating pets.
Or, your pet may require a pill that tastes terrible, which makes it torturous for you – and your pet – when it’s time to administer the med. It’s one thing if you pet is taking a med once a month, or once a week – but this can be a disaster if it is given twice a day for the rest of the pet’s life.
In each of these cases, a compounding pharmacy is a potential solution because the medication can be made up in exactly the dose you need. Plus, the pharmacist can mix it with healthy, tasty additions so the “pill” becomes a “treat” without your pet having a clue.
Also, compounding pharmacies are more conscientious and try to create the “healthiest” version of a medication as possible, minimizing harmful synthetic ingredients, dyes, fillers, etc.
Are there alternatives that can be equally or almost as effective?
Many of our new canine patients suffering from arthritis, hip dysplasia or other joint issues are on prescription medications for pain and to reduce inflammation. In some cases, this may be the only way to keep a pet comfortable. However, you’d be amazed at how well pets respond when an animal care center introduces integrate alternative healing modalities, such as:
- Weight management
- Tutorials in acupressure points to massage at home
- Dietary changes that eliminae inflammation triggers (your pet food could be the source of your dog/cat’s pain!)
- Allergy management
When your pet has been given the “holistic once-over,” and a few weeks to adjust to the new diet, exercise routine, treatments, physical therapy, supplements, etc., you may feel like s/he turned back the clock a few years.
Scheduling a “medication review” with a local, integrative (or holistic) animal care center is a good way to get a full-spectrum review of your pet’s treatment options. We’ll make sure that the only medication s/he’s taking is absolutely essential for the animal’s comfort and wellbeing, and we’ll help you explore other treatment or relief options if we feel they would benefit you.
Contact us here at Wise & Wonterful Integrative Veterinary Center to schedule your consultation. We’re a certified FEAR-Free clinic, and we look forward to making you and your pet feel welcome, seen, heard and attended to with the greatest of care. We’ll check in with your pet, listen to your stories, and take a look at the current prescription roster before making an informed suggestion or recommendation. Our ultimate goal is your pet’s wellbeing.