If you’re like many pet owners, you probably grew up with the idea that there is only one kind of doctor for pets – a veterinarian. However, like human doctors, vets have been specializing in many different approaches and how they practice as a whole for years. The conventional approach to veterinary medicine is what most people recognize. These vets focus on treating a disease or problem that your pet presents with at a time—using a variety of modern techniques to diagnose and medication or surgery to correct what is happening. Holistic, or nonconventional vets, place an emphasis on wellness and treating the whole animal, rather than dealing with problems as they arise. These vets focus on finding the root cause of a problem and treating it from there, not treating the symptom.
Confused? Well, here’s an example from a Fur Kids board member, Mary.
Mary’s English mastiff, Sampson was limping from time to time after they had walked around the park. After watching him limp off and on for a couple of weeks, Mary scheduled an appointment for Sampson at a conventional vet’s office. At this vet’s office, x-rays were done to look for or a torn ACL, hip dysplasia, or arthritis, which showed that nothing was wrong with Sampson. A few days later, Sampson wasn’t just limping, “he couldn't walk straight, couldn’t lift his head and he cried when he’d take a step forward,” said Mary. After consulting with the vet, it was suggested he could have meningitis, but he wasn’t showing other signs of the disease. With nothing she could do for Sampson, they waited for him to feel better.
A month later, the pain and crying returned. Mary opted to take Sampson to a different conventional vet for a second opinion. There, Sampson was tested for Lyme Disease and other muscle injuries—both came back negative. Wobblers Syndrome and Addison’s Disease were also considered; however, Sampson didn’t show all the signs. And, the best way to test for Wobblers was to get an MRI, which would cost upwards of $1,500. The decision was made to watch Sampson for a few more months before they would get the MRI.
Two months later, the pain and crying returned. This time, Mary had been told about Dr. Sarah Daane-Froehlich of Ten Mile Holistic Veterinary Care in Casper by another Fur Kids board member. Dr. Sarah Daane-Froehlich takes a holistic approach to veterinary medicine and practices acupuncture, chiropractic, and craniosacral work as well as natural remedy herbs, homotoxicology, and homeopathy, and equine dentistry.
While walking with Sampson outside for their appointment, Dr. Sarah said she could tell Sampson was having pain in his right shoulder, and right back leg, as well as his jaw. Dr. Sarah ended up doing some Craniosacral work on Sampson to help alleviate the pain. Craniosacral therapy (CST) uses manipulation of joints and tissues to achieve a return to balanced health of the nervous system and the entire body, not just muscles and joints.
According to Dr. Sarah’s website:
The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounds the brain and spinal cord within a tough membrane. There is a rhythmic flow of the CSF from the brain down the spinal cord and back up. This is reflected in minute movements of the bones of the skull and the sacrum in the pelvic area. If this movement is disturbed then various health problems can occur including headaches, poor body movement, jaw problems, headshakers in horses and other behavior issues.
“I was amazed and relieved that after an hour of Dr. Sarah working on Sampson, he was better,” said Mary. “Dr. Sarah showed me that there was an option to make him better without having to medicate him with pain pills for the rest of his life. And, I like the natural approach she takes, that a mixture of herbs can fix an ailment.”
Dr. Sarah has been a practicing veterinarian for more than 25 years, and 15 of those years has been concentrated on using holistic medicine. “My focus is to help owners help their pets and horses return to optimal health and vitality through natural holistic healing methods,” said Dr. Sarah. “Such methods are usually more gentle and often less invasive than non-holistic approaches. If an owner is frustrated with health or lameness problems that are not responding to treatment, holistic healing can help.”
The services Dr. Sarah practices allow her to help pets and their owners deal with a wide variety of issues. According to Dr. Sarah:
So, how is Sampson doing now? According to Mary he is thriving and “back to the Sampson that we adopted. He’s annoying his sister Daisy, with wanting to play all of the time, jumping over the steps to get outside because he is so excited to get to his Jolly Ball. It's great to have our Handsome Sampson back!”
Mary plans to use Dr. Sarah to keep her fur kids healthy; though, she hopes it doesn’t happen too quickly.
So, do you think you would give a holistic vet a try? Do you have any questions for Dr. Sarah?
Created in November 2011, the Fur Kids Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides education and aid to promote the well-being of animals in Campbell County.
Your donation saves lives. It goes to work helping animals in Campbell County receive adequate veterinary care during a time when their family may not be able to afford it. Please contact the Foundation to learn more or donate now using PayPal.
The Fur Kids Foundation blog is written by board member and Founder Felicia. If you have ideas that you would like to see published in the blog such as concerns about pet-focused topics in the community or a funny story, please contact the Foundation. Enjoy!