Welcome To Alternative Vet – Natural, Holistic, & Chiropractic Care for your Pets

We are pleased to welcome you to the web site of the Alternative Vet, a source for animal care information including holistic natural medicine techniques and holistic care, for the treatment of all kinds of animals. We hope that our efforts in this web site to provide information and opinion will be of value and/or enjoyment to you. One-stop site with information for veterinary homeopathy, veterinary acupuncture, veterinary herbs, veterinary chiropractic, LASER therapy and other natural therapies.

Here at Alternative Vet we provide information about vet homeopathy, vet herbal medicine, vet acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, LASER, natural feeding and other natural and holistic therapies, integrated into a holistic therapeutic program and applied according to holistic principles, offering an alternative approach to the conventional norm.

The pages on this site are designed to give you information and enjoyment and to aid intelligent inquiry and research, especially from a holistic and 'natural' point of view. We sincerely hope that you enjoy your visit.

Animal Care

Holistic, Alternative, Natural or Complementary?

Here at Alternative Vet, we try not to be 'bogged down' by terminology, ideology or dogma. Much argument accompanies discussions on nomenclature.

We do not mind whether we are called holistic, complementary, alternative or natural. Likewise, it does not matter whether we are described as a holistic, natural, herbal, homeopathic, chiropractic, acupuncture or integrated veterinary practice. The information we provide is the best we can offer, for each visitor and it matters not whether it is perceived as 'holistic medicine', 'alternative medicine', 'natural medicine', 'complementary medicine', 'complementary and alternative medicine' (CAM - CAVM) or 'integrated medicine'. The emphasis is on animal care and welfare. We do not shun conventional therapy, per se, considering its worth in each case. No truly holistic vet can ignore the existence of conventional drugs which, while quite unable to cure chronic disease, on rare occasions may be the only way to control distressing or painful symptoms. It is noteworthy how much the body can achieve without drugs, however. Our holistic and integrated information is offered in support of animal patients, 'owners' and carers and the veterinary profession. We are always willing to assist vets in the US and worldwide in providing information on integrated care, providing the natural therapy component of a treatment program.

Acupuncture Vet - Homeopathic Vet - Herbal Vet - Chiropractic Vet - Natural Vet - Holistic Vet - Complementary Vet - Herb vet

We are supportive of herb vets / herbal vets, using traditional Western Herbs (veterinary phytotherapy), which naturally form the indigenous plant medicine. As homeopathic vet, we offer information for many different homeopathic methodologies, not being confined by any single doctrine in the delivery of veterinary homeopathy. As a supporter of acupuncture vets, we provide information for using needling, LASER stimulation, moxibustion, electro-acupuncture and acupressure in our pursuit of veterinary acupuncture. As a supporter of chiropractic vets, offer information for the correct skeletal alignment and manipulation for those that require it (veterinary chiropractic). As a supporter of holistic vets, we offer information on these therapies, as needed and advised natural, species-suitable feeding. As a supporter of natural vets, we work closely with Nature and have a deep respect for Nature.

These approaches, applied as part of an integrated therapeutic approach, represent a philosophy that is alternative to the current conventional norm but the use of alternative therapies does not do away with the need for a thorough examination and assessment. Nor does it preclude the use of modern diagnostic techniques where necessary. A truly holistic vet will take into account all these things, in addition to closely scrutinizing lifestyle, diet, environment, riding, tack, shoeing, grazing, stabling, management etc., depending upon the species. We avoid box rest for horses, wherever possible, because of its ill effects on the horse.

Animal Diseases

Frequently Asked Questions

Answered by a holistic vet

While working with natural medicine and holistic principles may be second nature to some, to others it can be a new, daunting and obscure area. This is not helped by the misinformation put out from some quarters, in an attempt to suppress natural medicine alternatives to mainstream medicine. It is further obfuscated by the fog of commercial propaganda, designed to rob us of our self-confidence and lead us to buy skillfully marketed product.

In order to try to allay some of the difficulties of perception and to provide readily-available information and opinion, from the point of view of a holistic vet, we cite here some frequently asked questions with answers. There are also a few helpful links to other pages in this site or to other sites.

If you have any burning questions not answered here or if you can suggest a new category of FAQ, please let us know (contact details). Since we wish this site to be as helpful and informative as possible, to as many people as possible, we shall try to add material as required.

Some of the conditions that are commonly treated: abscess, AIHA, allergy, allergies, arthritis, aspergillosis, Aspergillus, asthma, atopy, autoimmune, auto immune, back, back problems, backs, campylobacter, cancer, cardiomyopathy, CDRM, CHF, Chlamydia, colitis, COPD, CRF, corneal ulcer, cruciate ligament, Cushings syndrome, cystitis, diarrhoea, disc, DJD, dry eye, ear problems, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, epulis, ERU, FUS, grass sickness, headshaking, head shaking, hip dysplasia, histiocytoma, hot spots, IBD, IBS, incontinence, injury, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, kidney disease, lameness, laminitis, lymphoma, mast cell tumour, mastitis, moonblindness, navicular, new forest eye, OCD, ophthalmia, paralysis, pyoderma, RAO, recurrent uveitis, renal failure, ringworm, Salmonella, Salmonellosis, sarcoids, skin, skin disease, spavin, spine, spinal problems, spondylitis, spondylosis, suspensory injury, tendon injury, tendon, ligament, ulcers, urological syndrome, urticaria, uveitis, vaccination problems, vaccine, vaccination, vaccinosis, warts, Westie lung disease, wobbler syndrome, wobbler and wounds not healing.

We are also well used to dealing with farm problems, whether from infectious or other diseases.

Any medical intervention or treatment that induces, enhances or suppresses immune responses is called immunotherapy. Many modern cancer treatments, chemotherapy, vaccination, allergy desensitising treatments and immunosuppressive drugs for autoimmune disorders are forms of immunotherapy. Whether some herbal treatments and even homeopathy may be classed as immunotherapy is food for thought but they do not directly target immune responses, in the way that modern drug medicine, designed to be immunotherapy, aspires to do.
Holistic Medicine is applicable to each and every animal. All that is necessary is that the veterinary surgeon (holistic veterinarian) should know all the factors that can impinge on the health of each particular species. A holistic vet may need to confine himself or herself to species with which he or she is familiar.
Integrated Medicine should be a matter of putting the patient first, ahead of medical doctrine or prejudice. It is usually associated with natural medicines as a stimulus to healing (e.g. acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs – herbalism – herbal medicine) but may also, where necessary for welfare, include conventional medicine or conventional interventions. Integrated veterinary medicine applies to animals. It is also applicable to integrated diagnostic efforts, using the insights and approaches of more than one therapeutic discipline to throw light on a patient’s situation.
Laser is actually an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” Laser beams are different from other light sources in that they provide focused energy that produces small points of intense power. The light from a laser can cauterize (burn), cut and destroy tissue in a very precise manner. Used at lower power, called low-level laser therapy, lasers have the ability to alter the function of cells without heat and without destroying those cells. This is known as biostimulation, and it can be used to treat a variety of conditions affecting the joints, nerves and soft tissue in animals. Animals generally accept veterinary LASER treatment very well indeed (also known as LEPT or Low Energy Photon Therapy). Relaxation is the usual response. In the rare cases when the patient does not readily accept the LASER, it is usually because the wrong ‘frequency’ has been chosen for the treatment. The treatment is entirely pain-free.
Processed food is not in keeping with any animal’s evolved needs. At the AVMC, we study the natural diet of the nearest wild species to see how the body’s nutritional needs are best to be suited. Our advice is based on the premise that what a species has evolved to handle will be the optimum diet for that species. Manufactured food is denatured, may contain artificial vitamins, is prepared from as cheap a source as possible and sold as expensively as possible, after cunning marketing hype. Our advice is not based upon potential sales but upon what we believe to be best for your animal.
Natural medicine is generally taken as being synonymous with ‘alternative’ or ‘complimentary’ medicine, using therapies or treatments such as Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine or Homeopathy. However, the meaning of the term is not self-evident, depending upon whether we stick to literal meaning or common usage.
Pasture management ensures that pasture, either native or improved, is available for sheep, cattle or other grazing animals year-round, and that the soil remains healthy. Good grazing management organises livestock to make the best use of the pasture and helps conserve biodiversity - a key element of every healthy environment.
For travel abroad and return to the UK, a pet passport is a legal requirement. However, because there are potential dangers associated with the vaccination and chemical regimens imposed under the Scheme and because there is no legitimate way around the law, we are unable to recommend that a pet should be travelled in this way. In our opinion, the health risks are too great.
The expression ‘horses for courses’ is applicable to this question. We do not favour any single brand over another. We do not favour any particular design nor speak against any design unless it is to the detriment of the horse. Whatever brand of saddle is chosen, it must be built properly, must fit the horse properly, must not cause the horse pain or discomfort and must suit the rider and type of work. The challenge is that many horses that we see have badly built and badly fitted saddles.
It is not natural for a horse to wear shoes. However, some horses in some circumstances appear unable to cope without shoes. The risk of damage is possibly academic if the horse is shod with the correct size/shape of shoe, with correct foot balance, with sympathetic and enlightened foot shaping when trimming and if he can spend some time in the year without shoes. Yes, the horse can be seriously damaged in a relatively short time, if these provisions are ignored.
No one wants too many and unwanted pups to be born. However, spaying represents a serious mutilation and should be carried out only after much thought. It is rarely impossible to manage an entire female dog, given detailed planning, a healthy diet and knowledge of the hazards involved. These should be discussed with your veterinary surgeon. Spaying can become necessary for some medical reasons and may be necessary under certain domestic circumstances. Of course, when seeking veterinary advice, one trusts that the vet concerned will not be affected by the potential for financial gain in performing the spaying surgery.
This system of medical therapy was the brainchild of one Wilhelm Schuessler, in the 19th Century. It was an offshoot of Homeopathy. Schuessler believed that health of the body depended upon a healthy balance within each cell of the body. He believed that disease stemmed from cellular imbalances and he developed a number of mineral ’tissue salts’ (prepared to a 6th decimal dilution/potency) to achieve cell balance. These are described in more at https://www.alternativevet.org/tissue_salts.htm.
Vaccination is the technique of stimulating specific immunity to certain infectious diseases by the introduction of antigenic material from those diseases. The term stems from Jenner’s use of Cow Pox infection to stimulate immunity to Small Pox in humans, a closely-related virus (Latin: vacca – a cow).
Holistic medicine is a system of health care which fosters a cooperative relationship among all those involved, leading towards optimal attainment of the physical, mental emotional, social and spiritual aspects of health. It emphasizes the need to look at the whole person, including analysis of physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional, social, spiritual and lifestyle values. It encompasses all stated modalities of diagnosis and treatment including drugs and surgery if no safe alternative exists. Holistic medicine focuses on education and responsibility for personal efforts to achieve balance and well being.
Acupuncture is used all around the world, either along or in conjunction with Western medicine, to treat a wide variety of conditions in every species of animal. Clinical research has been conducted showing positive results in the treatment of both animals and humans, and the use of acupuncture is increasing. Acupuncture will not cure every condition, but it can work very well when it is indicated.
Treatments other than conventional western medicine are usually considered "alternative therapies." They usually are not backed by scientific data but by years of use. Some alternative therapies date back thousands of years. As more people use alternative therapies for themselves, they are also seeking them for their pets. The alternative therapy treatments include, but are not limited to, massage, acupuncture, herbology, homeopathy, and chiropractic. The American Veterinary Medical Association has established guidelines for veterinary acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathic, and holistic medicine.
Animal aromatherapy is a therapy where essential oils are extracted from the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, stems, seeds, or fruit of a plant. The oils are then either inhaled, used with a diffuser or diluted in a carrier oil and rubbed into the skin.

How does aromatherapy for pets work?


Just like with people, the essential oil or hydrosol is inhaled by the animal or rubbed into their skin. Their nose senses the oil and their brain processes the molecules. The animal’s body releases chemicals that can have a calming, rejuvenating or pain relief effect. After the molecules are processed, they go into the bloodstream and throughout the animal’s body.
The Bach flower Remedies is a system of 38 Remedies discovered by Dr. Bach to help us and our animals feel better emotionally The most commonly used remedy for pets is called Rescue Remedy has been used successfully on animals who have experienced trauma, have fear of thunder and firework, dislike visits to the Vet and Groomer. Dog owners have experienced success when using Rescue Remedy on their dogs with seizures. In addition the Rescue Remedy there are a total of 38 Bach Flower Remedies that in combination can help all emotional imbalances ranging from fears, hyperactivity, jealousy, over-protective, possessive, overly-needy, lack self-confidence, inability to learn and anything in between.
Due to the damage that horseshoes cause to the equine hoof, even with timely resets, many thousands of horse owners since 2000 have removed the shoes from their horses and learned to trim the hooves in a way that keeps the horse sound. The barefoot trim is frequently and successfully used to rehabilitate foundered and "navicular" horses, as well as to get hooves in top condition for endurance racing and other demanding equine sports.
Male dog neutering, otherwise known as sterilisation, "fixing", desexing, castration (castrating) or by its correct veterinary name: orchiectomy (also termed gonadectomy), is the surgical removal of a male dog's testicles for the purposes of canine population control, medical health benefit, genetic-disease control and behavioral modification. Considered to be a basic component of responsible pet ownership, the neutering of male dogs is a common surgical procedure that is performed by most veterinary clinics all over the world.
Animal chiropractic is a field of animal health care that focuses on the preservation and health of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. Why? Nerves control everything that happens in your animals. Anything adversely affecting the nervous system will have detrimental effects that will resonate throughout the entire body. The command centers of the nervous system are the brain and spinal cord which are protected by the spine. The spine is a complex framework of bones (vertebra), ligaments, muscles and nerves. If the movement and bio mechanics of the vertebra become dysfunctional, they can interfere with the performance of the nerves that are branching off of the spinal cord and going to the all of the muscles and organs. As this occurs, your animal can lose normal mobility; resulting in stiffness, tension, pain and even organ dysfunction. Additionally, when normal movement is affected, and left unattended, it will ultimately impact your animal’s entire well being and quality of life.

Chiropractic Adjustments for Pets

A chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a specific impulse directed at a joint to reduce fixation and re-establish normal movement. Adjustments clear the way for the body to return to a state of balance without the interference of a subluxation, which is a vertebral lesion. Adjustments are done to the joints of the spine and also the extremities. According to one of the top Chiropractor Jacksonville, FL has to offer, chiropractic can treat animals with back, neck, leg and tail pain; muscle spasms; nerve problems; traumatic injuries; difficulty chewing, TMJ or jaw problems; and stiffness from arthritis. It can also alleviate some bowel, bladder and other internal medicine conditions. And for healthy animals, it can maintain the integrity of the joints and spine.
Complimentary Medicine is a general and imprecise term currently accepted to include therapies that work outside the currently conventional and mainstream medical system (e.g. acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs – herbal medicine – herbalism) and usually assuming a ‘supportive’ role to conventional medicine. This sort of assumption ignores the fact that many therapies can stand alone, in the proper hands, without the need for conventional therapy.
Animal euthanasia also means "good death" is allowing it to die by withholding extreme medical measures or the act of putting an animal to death. Reasons for euthanasia include incurable (and painful) diseases or conditions, lack of resources to continue supporting the animal, or laboratory test procedures. Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal distress and pain. Euthanasia is distinct from animal slaughter although in some cases the procedure is the same.
Herbal medicine, also known as herbalism or botanical medicine, is a medical system based on the use of plants or plant extracts that may be eaten or applied to the skin. Since ancient times, herbal medicine has been used by many different cultures throughout the world to treat illness and to assist bodily functions. While herbal medicine is not a licensed profession in the United States, herbal remedies in the form of extracts, tinctures, capsules and tablets as well as teas may be recommended by healthcare practitioners of many different disciplines as a practical way to address a wide variety of medical conditions.
Homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, is a medical philosophy and practice based on the idea that the body has the ability to heal itself. It was devised by Samuel Hahnemann in the early 18th Century. Homeopathic medicine views symptoms of illness as normal responses of the body as it attempts to regain health. Homeopathy is based on the idea that "like cures like." That is, if a substance causes a symptom in a healthy person, giving the person a very small amount of the same substance may cure the illness. In theory, a homeopathic dose enhances the body's normal healing and self-regulatory processes.

Common Animal Treatments (see Therapies):

  • Homeopathic treatment - Veterinary Homeopathy
  • Acupuncture treatment - Veterinary Acupuncture
  • Herbal treatment - Veterinary Phytotherapy
  • Aromatherapy treatment - Veterinary Aromatherapy
  • Chiropractic treatment - Veterinary Chiropractic

  • Nutritional advice - Feeding advice
  • LASER treatment - LASER Therapy
  • Ultrasound treatment - Ultrasound Therapy
  • Back manipulation - Back treatment
  • Bach Flowers

  • Holistic medicine - Holistic veterinary medicine
  • Flower Essences
  • Tissue Salts
  • Holistic therapy - Holistic treatment - Holistic care
  • Holistic advice

  • Integrated Medicine (Integrative medicine)
  • Anthroposophical medicines - Anthroposophy
  • Natural medicine - Alternative medicine - Complementary medicine
  • CAM - CAVM
  • Natural Feeding - Natural Diet

At the Alternative Vet, we advise on natural feeding for every patient, whatever the species, as part of our holistic veterinary service. We do this whatever therapy or integrated program we may be using for a particular patient (i.e. homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine (herbs - phytotherapy), chiropractic manipulation or other therapy).

This advice is based on taking the nearest wild species as a prototype and modelling a diet on the natural diet of that species in its wild habitat. We do this as the most logical course, since man's selection of breeds of domestic animal has only occurred over a very short band of time, when compared with the time that the various species have evolved on Earth and established their niches. However, it stands to reason that we cannot recreate totally natural conditions in our homes, so compromises are made to suit modern lifestyles and situations.

We believe a wholesome diet to be the firm platform on which to build good health and longevity. We also believe that many health problems in all our domestic species stem from unhealthy or unsuitable feeding.

We advise to feed fresh food and to source it from organic suppliers whenever possible, since we believe that to be the healthiest way. Every part of the body and every system of the body functions better on a natural diet.

We advise against the feeding of manufactured foods and freeze-dried foods, which variably suffer from heavy processing, adulteration, denaturing, inclusion of undesirable (and sometimes harmful) additives and vigorous commercial marketing. Such foods do not serve health and well being so much as commercial interest and profit. Furthermore, manufactured and processed feeds have only been marketed over a few decades, which is but a blink in time, so the various species cannot possibly have had time enough to evolve to handle such artificial material. Processing cannot improve food and the addition of various artificial ingredients can only give the animal's immune system and metabolism an unwanted job, to rid the body of foreign and possibly noxious material.

We apply exactly the same principles to the feeding of supplements and treats.

Make no mistake, horse foods and pet foods are BIG BUSINESS - advertising hype is driven by the promise of huge profits.

Beware the word 'natural', as it may falsely be used in advertising. For instance, how can a freeze-dried food be 'natural'?

We also advise a healthy water supply, which would not always be local tap water. We advise against supplying animals with softened water for drinking. We would also like to give a thanks to T&E movers who helped a friend move on a recent trip to Jacksonville. If you are in need of the best Movers Jacksonville, FL has to offer give them a call.

Healthy animals need a healthy diet to maintain health.

Sick, injured or ill animals need a healthy diet to optimize healing capability.

Performance animals need a healthy diet for optimum performance and stamina.

Young animals need a healthy diet for optimum growth and development.

Older animals need a healthy diet to preserve their faculties and energy levels.


"Information is power"

Hippocrates states: "The Physician treats, Nature heals, recognizing that it is not the medicine that heals the body but the body itself.

We have a deep respect for Nature and work with Nature

Alternative Vet - Putting Animal Care First

When the pursuit of technology and the pursuit of money join forces, common sense, morals, ethics, decency and humanity may be forgotten.