Canine Rehabilitation Therapist, Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine,Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy, Food Therapy, In-Home Euthanasia and Cremation Services
By Dr. Melloney Erwin of Indian River Mobile Veterinary Services
The technological advances in veterinary medicine have brought continuous new drugs, diagnostic and surgical procedures that have resulted in a significant increase in the average lifespan of our pets. Despite this fact, after 10 years of being a small animal veterinarian I was frustrated with its limitations. Seeing the same animal over and over for the same problem and all I could do was prescribe the same medication. Running hundreds of dollars in diagnostics tests and still not having an answer as to how to treat the patient. To resolve this dilemma I turned to the ancient art of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
TCM has been practiced in humans for over 5000 years and 3000 years in animals. It includes acupuncture, herbal medicine and food therapy. The goal of treatment is to restore balance and remove energy blocks. This aids in pain relief, regulation of gastrointestinal motility, has an anti-inflammatory effect, immuno-regulation, and microcirculation promotion. This strengthens the body and helps it heal.
The needles used in acupuncture are very small and most animals become very relaxed during their treatment. Unfortunately not all animals will tolerate acupuncture needles. In these animals a Chinese herbal formulation can be used in lieu of acupuncture to give similar physiological effects. Chinese Herbal Medications can be used in combination with many western treatments or as an alternative to drugs with undesired side effects. Many foods have similar however less intense medicinal actions as herbs. By adding or eliminating certain foods from the pets diet health benefits can be achieved long term.
There are many conditions that respond well to TCM. It is beneficial in chronic illness especially when not responding satisfactory to conventional western therapies. It can used to treat urinary incontinence, arthritis, disc disease, seizures, IBD, cardiac disease, skin problems, renal failure, liver disease, chronic cough, and many other ailments.
I have also recently become certified in veterinary spinal manipulation therapy. Alone or in conjunction with acupuncture it is a very effective treatment for animals with pain or mobility problems.
Although TCM and spinal manipulation therapy are medical modalities that can be used as the sole method of treatment I have chosen to integrate them along with other natural remedies with my western veterinary medicine training. In general western methods work quickly and predictably, however they do not address the underlying problem. Using other modalities I can attempt to address what led to the malady in the first place. Each animal is unique and requires an individual assessment to determine the best combination of therapies. As many of my patients have mobility problems I started going to their homes to treat them. I found that the patients I treated in their familiar environment were more relaxed and seemed to respond better to the therapies, particularly acupuncture. Having a mobile practice has allowed me to better treat animals that don’t travel well, also benefiting clients with limitations or multiple pets. I plan to continue my quest for more knowledge of various approaches to treat my animal patients.