The Holistic Dog
When setting about treating a dog holistically, the holistic vet has to apply different skills and techniques, to those used in horses, cats or farm animals. Each species has its own peculiarities and places its own demands, although exactly the same holistic principles apply to each.
A dog may also have a human purpose to affect his life and his existence. We therefore need to look at the demands and requirements for work that his ‘owner’ – carer places upon him and how these might impinge upon his health and welfare.
Management, lifestyle, feeding, supplements, conditions and chemicals in house and garden, exercise and bedding may each have a part to play and, without a deeper understanding of these topics, much can be overlooked that may unwittingly prevent a cure. Furthermore, because his back is central to a dog’s ability to move or to perform, chiropractic intervention should be offered. All this is before we consider medicine!
The holistic vet can then select a therapy or design an integrated therapeutic strategy for the patient, depending upon his particular needs. This will be designed to stimulate the body’s own healing capability. After that, the holistic vet will require a monitoring program, so that progress can be assessed and any changes in the patient can elicit a response from the prescriber, in a timely fashion.
It is precisely because of this attention to detail, and because most of our medicines stimulate endogenous healing capability, that many serious and seemingly intractable conditions can respond to holistic treatment.
The holistic vet must study and understand all the special factors that impinge on each of our species and types of animals, in order to follow the true causes of disease and to be able to minimise or eliminate them.
An interesting quote attributed to Hippocrates states: “The Physician treats, Nature heals“. This recognises that it is not the medicine that heals the body but the body itself.
Holistic care and treatment of dogs