Have you ever asked yourself, what is the difference between Traditional and Holistic veterinary care? As a responsible pet parent, I think it is essential to know the difference and to understand all of the options that are available to keep your "furry kids" healthy and happy.
The primary difference between the two is in approach. As in human medicine, traditional veterinary medicine looks at the animal from a disease model. In other words, they find out the symptoms, come up with a diagnosis, and then prescribe a treatment to fix the problem. In a typical check -up in performing a comprehensive exam they look for potential problems or illnesses, do diagnostic tests to rule out problems or confirm them and then provide a solution in the way of surgery, drugs, perhaps dietary recommendations. The holistic approach is one of prevention. The animal is seen as a living organism and disease is a result of the organism being out of balance. The belief is that the body is capable of self-healing given the right alternatives. Those alternatives include diet and nutritional counseling, homeopathy, flower essences, herbs, acupressure and acupuncture, chiropractics, massage therapy, and Reiki, to name a few. These are all natural and can take time to produce optimal results. In a typical holistic wellness check up the veterinarian will not only do a comprehensive physical exam but will ask about diet, behaviors, environment, possible stressors, the relationship between the pet and its owner as well as any other pets in the home.
There is definitely a time and a place for both approaches. In an acute or emergency situation that requires surgery, hospitalization and pain management, the traditional approach is definitely your best bet. When the pet is stabilized and back at home, may be the ideal time to bring in the holistic approach to help the pet fully recover and maintain good health.
This has been just a brief look at these different philosophies. I hope you take the time to do your due diligence and learn as much as you can. Your pet is counting on you.