So what exactly is the difference between a holistic veterinarian and a conventional vet?
Quite a lot, actually. In today's world, more and more people are open to non- traditional types of medicine, and this includes health care for their pets as well.
With a traditional veterinarian, like a traditional doctor, the aim is to use Western medical practices focused on determining the symptoms and what is causing them, then trying to solve the problem using modern conventional drugs and surgical techniques.
Holistic veterinarians, on the other hand, use a somewhat different methodology. They tend to be a bit more liberal and wide-open in their thinking. They keep an open mind to a variety of treatments not included in the standard Western medical establishment, and they also look at the pet or animal as a whole, without just treating the symptoms and what's immediately causing them.
Western veterinary medicine, on the other hand is usually based in pharmacological medicine. The conventional vet will examine the animal, take into account its symptoms, then look to prescribe a medication that is aimed at silencing those symptoms, even if it doesn't resolve the underlying problem that's causing the problem.
In holistic veterinary medicine, standard treatments like drugs are used at times. But alternative treatments are also considered, such as making changes to the animals diet, or taking into account its emotional and psychological state. There's also the consideration of the emotional bond between the animal and its owner, which can positively or negatively affect it's health as well.
As for possible treatments, there could be a range of options including massage, acupuncture, homeeopathy, or a combination
of these. It all depends on the individual needs of the animal in question. And usually the holistic veterinarian will put
the animal on a new nutrition and diet plan, and may recommend exercise or even some additional petting and pampering as
There's also a cost consideration when deciding whether holistic veterinary medicine is the right choice for you. Conventional Western veterinary medicine has become quite advanced in recent years, with almost as many options available to treat pets as there are for human patients.
Chemotherapy, MRIs, ultrasound, complex surgery, physical therapy, CAT scans, the list goes on and on. And of course so does the potential cost of treating your beloved pet. With most animals not covered by health insurance, this puts a terrible financial burden on many pet owners, and all too often treatment has to be denied because of the potential medical bills.
Holistic veterinarians, on the other hand, is centered more around treating the animal as a whole, and practicing
preventative medicine so that the animal doesn't become sick in the first place. And when a problem does appear, the
holistic vet is more likely to recommend a healhtier diet, herbal supplements, or therapies like massage or acupuncture which are much less costly than conventional medical treatments.
Also, diseases in animals are see as a natural part of the aging process, part of the natural course of life, and not necessarily something that can be solved or made to go away. Many times extending life through advanced medicine only leads to prolonged suffering, as other illnesses crop up or the original disease reappears or spreads to other parts of the body. Nature designed animals -- and humans -- with a specific lifespan that can sometimes be extended a few years, but ultimately the cost and quality of life have to be considered as well.
There are also some conventional veterinarians who have integrated holistic methods into their overall practice. This way they're able to offer their patients -- and the pet's owner -- more treatment options according to their wishes and their budget. This type of veterinarian can have an open mind and look at a variety of options that might not be available in a traditional clinic or practice.
Animal Career Tips & Articles to guide you on your way to a rewarding new business or career in the growing animal services industry. Or visit or blog for up-to-date industry news and information.