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Alternative Healing

Using Alternative Medicine to Treat Pets

Alternative medicine is not just for us two-legged humans anymore. The popularity of choosing alternative therapies for our four-legged friends continues to grow, including the use of acupuncture, herbs, chiropractic, massage therapy, aromatherapy, essential oils, laser therapy and physical therapy, Dr. Nancy Scanlan, executive director of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“People are finally questioning their own health care, so they are seeking alternatives for their own animals also,” Dr. Joyce Loeser, a holistic vet with a practice in Davie, Fla. told the newspaper. Loeser had 300 clients when she first started her practice nine years ago, and now has more than 4,800 clients and 6,900 patients.

For example, Loeser helped a 125-pound Weimaraner recover following a stroke by putting him in an underwater treadmill, which she said helped him regain his strength and balance. “We’ll do whatever it takes to get these guys functioning again,” she said in the report.

The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association started in 1992 with 30 members, and now has 900 members. Every year, approximately 150 vets become certified in acupuncture, Scanlan told the Sun Sentinel.

However, just like alternative medicine for people, a trip to a holistic vet will cost more money — anywhere from 1 1/2 to three times what a regular office call might cost, Scanlan said in the article.

For more information or to find a holistic veterinarian near you, visit http://www.ahvma.org/.

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