Alternative Medicine for Dogs


Alternative medicine is becoming popular with both people and animals in North America.

Most people are unfamiliar with alternative treatments and usually seek when western surgical techniques or cancer treatments may run into the thousands of dollars and be out of the financial reach of some people. Or, there may not be any treatment available, with the exception of pain control, in cases of terminal cancer or arthritis in an elderly pet. Or, the traditional western techniques, such as surgery in a very old dog, may be too invasive in the owneršs opinion.

Acupuncture is becoming more mainstream in its acceptance by the medical community. Many veterinary colleges have anesthesiologists using these techniques on animal patients and some colleges in North America are offering courses to their students. Both the Canadian and American Equine Olympic teams routinely use acupuncture for their horses. Even figure skating champion, Elvis Stoyko, regularly travels with his acupuncturist.


Veterinary chiropractic treatment of animals is available, as are veterinarians with extensive knowledge of herbal remedies and naturopathic products. Many veterinarians who do not incorporate alternative therapies in their practices now offer glucosamine and chondroiten products to treat arthritis. These products have also become available through large pharmaceutical companies. Many products look the same but people who have used them can tell you that not all are as effective. Look for quality sources of herbs and naturopathic products.

Whatever reasons the client has to pursue an alternative treatment for their pet, it is important they examine the qualifications of the practitioner they choose. Extensive courses with stringent rules prior to certification are available to veterinarians who wish to offer alternative treatments to clients. The veterinary background of those people certified in these treatments allows them to make a diagnosis and determine if the treatment is not only appropriate but also safe for the pet. Some human health care providers, such as physiotherapists, also treat animals but are required to work with a licensed veterinarian to protect the client and their pet. Many North American veterinary associations have passed a set of guidelines to protect the client using alternative therapies.


Consider alternative therapy for your pet if you think it will be beneficial. Many of us with elderly pets will go to tremendous lengths to improve the quality of their lives. Alternative therapies may provide relief from their aches and pains with few side effects. Remember though, like western treatments, not all animals will respond the same way to treatment and other avenues may need

Article submitted by: © Terri Perrin (Biography & Additional Information)