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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Many people don't really know what the difference is between a conventionally trained Veterinarian and a Holistic Veterinarian. Unfortunately the mention of a Holistic Vet to some people can conjure up images of the traveling medicine shows of the Old West with their “miracle” cures and false claims. Strangely enough people are more apt to chose a form of alternative therapy(albeit not referred to by that name) for themselves than for their pets. Honey for a sore throat, ginger ale to soothe a queasy stomach, pinch the “V” between your thumb and index finger to relieve a headache. These are all forms of alternative medicine.



Exactly what is a Holistic Vet?


Well, a holistic vet is just like any other Vet. They go through all the same college courses and receive their Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (which gives them those cool DVM letters after their name) but with one exception. They further their education after getting their DVM to include Alternative Therapies.


Wait what are Alternative Therapies?


Alternative therapies can include herbal therapy (ginger ale for the stomach), nutritional supplementation (honey for a sore throat), acupressure (the above headache remedy), chiropractic therapy, homeopathy, and massage therapy(who doesn't feel better after a massage!).


OK so what is the benefits of taking my pet to a Holistic Vet?


Conventionally trained Vets tend to focus on treating an illness after it has happened. Holistic Vets view the body as a whole. All areas of the body are interconnected. If one area is out of balance it effects the others. They also focus more on preventative medicine and finding the root cause of a problem. Remember the old adage “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”?

So do Holistic Vets only use alternative therapies?

In one simple word NO. Holistic Vets try to treat the root cause of the disease by taking the safer, more natural approach first if possible. If an illness or disease can first be reversed or managed by a natural approach that is the path most traveled. As was said before Holistic Vets are trained first as conventional Vets. They can prescribe medications, conduct tests, do surgeries etc. They can and will do so should they deem is necessary. It's not unusual for patients to benefit from an all inclusive approach of both conventional and alternative therapies when being treated by a Holistic Vet. So you get the best of both worlds!


Are Holistic Vets more expensive?


On average yes. In most cases as much as three times more than a conventional Vet. I would like to add although the average office visit is more expensive the average time spent with a patient and caregiver is also far longer, as much as 4-5 times longer.
Sounds like it could be a lot of work for me!
Yes it could be. Changes in diet, herbal therapies, changes in lifestyle are all examples of possible recommendations a Holistic Vet could make. Herbal therapies are often given 2-4 times a day and more often then not include more than one herb. Diet change could be part of the whole body approach and many times includes a high quality food which could be more expensive. Quality time spent on exercising, mental stimulation and massage could cut into your “me” time. But think of the health benefits for you as well!


For various reasons a Holistic Vet might not be the best choice for you or your pet. But if you choose to give it a shot you will and your pet will benefit from the best of both worlds.

Posts marked "Blog Post" in the title are posts I wrote for another website.
 

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Very nice, Sue. Thanks so much for sharing these with us!
 

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I wish there was a 'like' button; well said Sue!!! As you know I take my boys to a Holistic Vet and I just love her. I do find she is not nearly as expensive as my conventional vet but I do have to wait a long time when we are there for our appt's as she gives each and every patient her total time, focus and attention - plus - it is an open room concept and you get to talk with the others and listen as she talks to the patient she is working with and learn new things. Yes there are herbal remedies that I give my boys and sometimes it is 2 - 3x a day but I do gladly as I know this isn't going to harm their livers etc. Oh yes about treating the 'whole' dog - that is one of the first things she tells her new patients. There was a really sick dog last time I was there and she did tell them to take her to a conventional vet for further testing as she dosn't have the equipment and manpower to help the poor thing.
 

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I am considering a holistic vet for Mongo if he develops more dermal hemangiomas as there is no conventional treatment for them besides surgery.
So I did contact a holistic vet to ask how much a consult would be and they told me between $300-$500

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thats crazy expensive huh Lynne? I know most people including myself most likely couldnt afford that much. I am lucky my pet insurance does cover holistic therapies. As far as the consult I wouldnt know for sure. Since I dont have the money for something like that I would just have to do what I did with Gouda and research my behind off, make some decisions on my own and go for it! I'm not sure what else to do
 

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My Holistic Vet initial consult is $85.00 and then appts are $55.00 plus herbal remedies
that is crazy the 300-500
 

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My Holistic Vet initial consult is $85.00 and then appts are $55.00 plus herbal remedies
that is crazy the 300-500
Yes- I think that's a lot too.
I can always call another and ask their price.
I only contacted one

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I wanted to bump this thread up because I have been getting a few questions about holistic vets vs conventional
 

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good idea Sue!
 
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