Our Approach to Integrative Medicine
At Lifetime Pet Wellness Center, we employ several different integrative methods to reach our health goals for your pet. Below we will go over the main things that we utilize, what to expect, side effects and possible contraindications of each.
Pets will heal better when fed the least amount of processed food. Natural foods provide unadulterated nutrients, enzymes, and vitamins that processed foods do not. This has been proven by many veterinary studies. We will usually recommend different ways to add natural food into the pet’s diet where possible. This could include raw food, homemade diets, or adding raw foods or supplements to the processed foods being fed. We understand that raw food or homemade diets may not be for every pet or household, whether it be due to cost, fear of pathogens, or previous experiences with them. If you are interested in raw food, we are here to try to assist you in that endeavor.
Although it may sound odd, we as doctors, and you as your pet’s caretaker, do not get your pet healthier. Ultimately, we simply provide the right nutrients, medications, and treatments to allow your pet’s internal systems to heal itself. Improving your pet’s health is a TEAM effort. Without your dedication to getting your pet the recommended treatments, he or she may not get better. Therefore, it is imperative that you communicate any challenges or concerns that you discover during the treatment journey so we might make adjustments or changes to the plan.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture is done by stimulating points on the body with solid acupuncture needles, injections of solutions like vitamin B12, or laser. Electroacupuncture can be done in certain cases where a small electrical current is passed through some of the acupuncture needles. Most pets do well with acupuncture. It is not painless, but discomfort is usually minimal and temporary. Laser stimulation is used for pets that cannot accept the insertion of needles. Acupuncture can be used for musculoskeletal issues as well as internal organ dysfunctions. Occasionally, there could be bleeding from a point and this is normal. Some pets may be sore after the needles are removed, but this is temporary. There are very few contraindications to acupuncture.
Chinese Herbs. These are complex formulas that are given to bring an animal back to a normal and balanced state. This requires examination of the pet’s Chinese medical pattern. They are very specific to their use and best prescribed by an experienced doctor. The herbs also should be purchased from respected locations, as they must have high-quality control to avoid dangerous heavy metals or chemicals. Using these formulas in the wrong way, over time, could cause a worsening of the condition or new conditions. Used correctly, they can be VERY effective and safe. They can often be used with conventional medications as well.
Veterinary Spinal Manipulation (VSMT). VSMT is a chiropractic treatment for pets. Getting the joints to move correctly not only affects the appearance of the conformation and musculoskeletal structure, but also allows proper flow of information in the nervous system. This allows better function of locomotion as well as that of the internal organs. Some pets may be too painful for this modality, so pain is controlled prior to adjusting in some cases. There are also some contraindications as to when, how, or where to adjust and this is discernable to the certified practitioner. Some pets may have temporary soreness after adjusting, usually from the discomfort of muscles that were previously not being used appropriately. Homeopathic products. Homeopathic products have gotten much more respect in the recent past as more research and more anecdotal reports of success accumulate. The practice has been around since the 1800s. Homeopathic products rarely have contraindications, are non-toxic and very safe, and often very effective. We utilize mostly combination homeopathic products, but some single-ingredient homeopathic (called classical homeopathy) are used here as well.
Laser. Low-Level Laser Light, also called Cold Laser, is a painless way to decrease swelling, decrease pain, and increase healing. It is usually used for arthritis, intervertebral disc disease, and helping to heal chronic wounds, but actually has many uses. It can also be used to stimulate acupuncture points. Along with PEMF below, it belongs to the new classification of NPAIDS (nonpharmaceutical anti-inflammatory devices). Pets and those in the room during treatment need to wear protective eyewear since the laser can damage the retina. If a pet has cancer, it is contraindicated as lasing over a cancerous lesion could have the potential to make it grow or spread.
Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy (PEMF). PEMF uses healthy magnetic energy to treat pain and swelling and can also increase healing. It has similar effects of laser on the patient, but does it by different pathways in the body. It is NOT contraindicated in patients with cancer and may actually be beneficial. There are very few contraindications. We have devices to treat in our hospital and the Assisi loop that you can use at your home.
Nutrition Response Testing. This technology utilizes something called muscle testing. A person, called an indirect tester, is a conduit to the patient’s nervous system. The doctor uses the indirect tester’s muscle strength to find issues in the pet’s body, and discover ways to correct them. It determines which nutritional products, homeopathic products and herbs that might get the body to heal itself. At times, it can actually detect when organs in the patient’s body are not working optimally before any changes in laboratory values have occurred! It gives us options to help pets when other things might not. The testing is noninvasive and painless as long as your pet doesn’t mind being touched. There are no contraindications. It is a long-term system, testing pets over several months to years to monitor the healing and when the body no longer wants certain products in the treatment plan.
Ozone. Ozone is three oxygen molecules bound together temporarily. It has been used medically since the 1800s and is currently used in many countries as part of standard medical care. It is usually used with other modalities and has many effects in the body like deterring cancer growth or helping heal chronic infections, improving body oxygenation, normalizing the immune system in autoimmune as well as immune-deficiency conditions, and more. It has very few contraindications and is very safe when used in proper medical techniques. We often use ozone in the patient by infusing the gas into the rectum (rectal infusion) or by autohemotransfusion. Autohemotransfusion is performed taking out some of the patient’s blood, treating it with ozone along with ultraviolet light and reintroducing it back into the body. The doctor usually determines when and how to use ozone on your pet. The above introductory explanation is intended to merely give you, the client, an idea of how we can help your pet. During your initial consultation, we can go over our suggestions in more detail. We look forward to being part of your pet’s improving health!