Holistic care is the treatment of the whole pet, considering nutrition, environment, genetics, behaviour and medical history. Holistic thinking is centered on love, empathy, respect and looking at an animal as an individual.
A holistic vet will determine the best combination of conventional and complementary therapies for a given individual, this is also known as an integrative approach. The word “(w)holistic” means considering the whole picture of the patient including the environment, the disease process, the diet, and developing a treatment protocol using a wide range of therapies to heal the patient.
Many patients present in a state of “dis-ease.” We need to ask “why?” rather than just treating the symptoms. One symptom may have several layers of causation. When one area of the body is ill, it can manifest in many ways. Successful and sustainable recovery relies upon finding the true cause of an illness and treating it. The most effective and least harmful path to healing is selected.
Examples of treatments used in an integrated approach are herbal vet medicine, acupuncture, low level laser therapy, nutrition (including microbiome testing), physiotherapy and use of a chiropractor.The benefits of using these treatments include fewer side-effects than conventional treatments, increased patient safety, stimulation of the body to self-heal and individualised treatment plans.
Herbs are plants that contain ingredients with active therapeutic properties, these active ingredients may be present in the whole plant or only in a specific part. An herb may be used in various forms, including teas, granular extracts (Chinese medicine), fresh herbs, dried herbs, oils or tinctures. Herbal therapy is the use of herbs, either as single products or in combination with other herbs, for medicinal purposes. Almost one quarter of modern pharmaceutical drugs are derived from plants.
Herbal approaches have been developed for the management of almost all conditions including epilepsy, kidney failure, liver failure, chronic lameness, hormonal disease, behavioural disorders, allergic skin disease, inflammatory bowel disease and cancer. Other herbs can support the normal function of healthy organs by acting as "tonics". Using whole plants or their extracts is believed to produce improved outcomes and fewer side effects than many conventional medicines. Plants can support normal function of the liver, kidneys, heart, and immune system; reduce inflammation and improve blood flow through damaged tissues. They have also been shown to eliminate pain. Herbal medicine may reduce or even eliminate the need for chronic medications.
Herbal vet medicine can be combined with other forms of treatment however, some herbs are very potent, so caution must be used when combining them with other treatments such as drugs. Trained veterinary herbalists have the knowledge and skill to understand the interactions between different forms of treatment and to interpret a patient's response to therapy.
Acupuncture is defined as the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to produce a healing response. Each acupuncture point has specific actions when stimulated. Acupuncture is used all around the world, often alongside conventional medicine, to treat a wide variety of conditions in many species of animal. Clinical research has been conducted showing positive results in the treatment of both animals and humans.Acupuncture is indicated for problems such as paralysis, inflammation and pain.
For small animals some conditions treated with acupuncture are:
Musculoskeletal problems for example arthritis, spinal disease, traumatic nerve injury, soft tissue and joint injuries
Skin problems such as lick granulomas and allergic skin disease
Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhoea and IBD
For small animals, the insertion of acupuncture needles is virtually painless. Most animals become very relaxed and even sleepy. Nevertheless, acupuncture may cause some sensation, presumed to be like tingles, cramps, or numbness which can occur in humans and which may be uncomfortable. We take everything at your pet’s own pace, we won’t do anything they are not comfortable with.Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment for animals when it is administered by a trained vet. Side effects of acupuncture are rare but do exist. A pet’s condition may seem worse for up to 48 hours after a treatment, other animals become sleepy for 24 hours. These effects are an indication that some physiological changes are developing, they are most often followed by an improvement in the pet’s condition.
Initially we will see your pet weekly for acupuncture for at least four weeks, we can then increase the interval between treatments depending on how your pet is responding. Acupuncture can also be combined with low level laser therapy in the same appointment. To find out more please get it touch!
When a calculated dose of light energy reaches target tissue it results in decreased inflammation, decreased pain, and accelerated healing. Laser therapy can be used to effectively treat a wide variety of conditions including pre-surgical, post-surgical, acute, and chronic disease states. There is a lot of evidence in human medicine that laser therapy can reduce chronic pain, as well as reduce joint inflammation and promote healing, there are few studies confirming this same effect in dogs.
Treatments are non-invasive, drug and surgery-free and can be administered in 1-10 minutes per treatment area. It is amazing to be involved in your pet’s treatment and see them quickly relax as their pain is soothed away. Examples of conditions we use laser for are osteoarthritis, healing wounds, lick granulomas, post-surgical wounds, inflammation, fractures, degenerative joint disease, sprains, and strains. Laser can be used on its own or in conjunction with other veterinary treatments. We usually start with a course of two sessions per week for 3 weeks then increase the treatment interval.
‘You are what you eat’
This phrase is just as true for our pets as it is for us. Our dogs and cats are living mammals that should be fed a fresh, moist, and nutritious diet to help them live a long and disease-free life. This diet may be in the form of a raw or home cooked diet. Our veterinary team will help you to make the best decisions regarding your pet’s diet, from feeding a puppy or kitten, feeding an adult maintenance diet, or feeding for a condition such as kidney disease.
We offer beginner raw feeding consultations to get you started on the right path, these include a feeding guide and a follow up consultation one week later. We are always available to give advice over the phone, email or via our Facebook page and groups.
Raw Food Consultation
Not only are we pro-raw and will support your choice to feed raw food, we also want to be there to give you any advice and support you need! Our raw feeding consultation is individually tailored to your dog. Our vets will perform a full clinical examination and assess your dog’s weight and body condition score, we will also look for any signs of illness or allergies. We will have a thorough discussion with you about your dog’s exercise levels, likes and dislikes. If you think your dog may have a food allergy or skin issue, we can perform an allergy test during the consultation to obtain a full food profile for your dog.
We will provide you with a raw feeding guide, calculate how many grams you need to feed per meal and will advise which types of protein you should feed and how often they should be rotated. We will also give advice on appropriately sized bones and how often to feed them and teach you how to assess your dog’s body condition score. We will also discuss any supplements that may further support your dog.
The raw food consultation is £59.99, this includes the initial consultation (30 mins) and a follow up consultation one week later (15 mins). To book please call 0141 370 0282.
Holistic life stage consultations
We believe prevention is better than cure, to prevent disease we need to make educated decisions about our pet’s health care from the moment we get them as a puppy or kitten through their adult life. We need to make choices regarding diet, immunisation, training, neutering, supplements and more. Many pet parents often don’t realise they have a choice for example vaccination vs titre test or a worming tablet vs faecal egg count. We are here to give you knowledge and choice. We have created three holistic life stage consultations for young, adult and senior pets!
HOLISTIC PUPPY/KITTEN CONSULTATION
Start off on the right paw with our holistic puppy and kitten consultation. This consultation is designed for pets aged 2 – 12 months, we advise having this consultation as early as you can so we can help you make the best choices at the start of your pet’s life. This consultation includes a full clinical exam and a discussion regarding primary vaccination, titre testing, worming, faecal egg counts, neutering and diet whether that be raw or home cooked.
The consult lasts around 30-45 minutes and costs £60!
HOLISITIC ADULT CONSULTATION
This consult is aimed at adult dogs aged 1-7 years old and adult cats aged 1-13 years old, it includes a full clinical exam and a discussion about vaccination, titre testing, worming protocols, diet and neutering. It is also an opportunity to identify any body systems that may need support or treatment such as the guts or joints. If your pet is neutered, we may look at starting glandular support. If we identify any areas of pain or disease our vet can offer a suitable treatment plan comprised of integrative therapies. The main aim of this consultation is to identify any issues that may become a problem later in life and start preventative support early to reduce or stop disease later in life.
The cost of this consultation is £90 and lasts for 45-60 minutes.
HOLISITIC SENIOR CONSULTATION
This consultation is for dogs over 7 years old and cats over 13 years old. At this age our pets may start to develop old age-related disease such as arthritis, kidney disease or hypethyroidism. This consultation includes a clinical exam, urinalysis and full blood panel including haematology, biochemistry and thyroid. The blood sample will be taken and the test performed during the consultation and we will have the results in around 15 minutes! Depending on the outcome of the exam and lab tests our vet will devise an integrative treatment plan.
The cost of this consultation is £175 and lasts 60 minutes.