The Natural Vet
Chris D is a natural vet with over 40 years of experience working in Natural Medicine for animals – our premises is also run on natural lines, with organic gardening, ecological cleaning and no chemicals
We operate in a relaxed rural farmhouse setting, putting patients at their ease
The work of a NATURAL VET explained – Information page
The use of the term ‘NATURAL VET‘ implies that a practice is offering only natural medicine for animal patients.
The Natural Vet uses natural medicine (natural veterinary medicine)?
Why isn’t the word ‘natural’ in our name?
When we opened the Alternative Veterinary Medicine Centre, we thought long and hard about choosing a suitable name for it. This was a useful exercise, clarifying our thoughts and ensuring that we better understood what we were really doing in our daily work. We could have taken the name ‘natural vet’ but foresaw snags. Here’s some of the reasoning.
Natural vet is a comfortable title but it is worth looking a little deeper, so that we understand what is behind the name. It probably indicates to the modern reader that the vet uses one or more forms of ‘natural medicine’ or ‘alternative medicine’ e.g. Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Aromatherapy or Homeopathy. It is a tricky term, however, as it can be pedantically argued that many of those so-called ‘alternatives’ are NOT exactly ‘natural’. Of course, there are many that are (e.g., herbs, but only when not extracted or purified).
Acupuncture can hardly be called ‘natural’, in that it involves needling. However, it does elicit and exploit a natural response in the body. It is a therapy commonly used by a ‘natural vet’.
Aromatherapy pushes the boundaries, in that it uses volatile distillates of plants, a method of preparation not found in nature. However, the medicines are derived from Nature and one would not be surprised if a ‘natural vet’ were to use its benefits.
Homeopathy uses extreme dilution and potentisation which, it may be argued, are methods of preparation not found in nature. However, homeopathy certainly uses many wholly natural substances as source material for these dilutions but it also uses some remedies that are not ‘natural’ in their origins, rather being derived from man-made substances (e.g. a homeopathic potency of a drug or chemical). Homeopathy certainly elicits and exploits a natural response phenomenon, without risk of toxicity or side effect. One would expect a natural vet to use some homeopathy.
Herbal Medicine, when it uses unadulterated plant material, is a truly ‘natural’ therapy. However, there is a modern trend towards extracting supposed ‘active ingredients’, purifying and refining them and even modifying them. This process takes herbal medicine out of the ‘natural’ category and involves some potential dangers. For some reason, modern mankind has to tinker with everything. At the AVMC, we prefer herbs in their natural state. A ‘natural vet’ is likely to shun such altered herbal medicines but readily accept natural herbal medicines, in their unadulterated and holistic state.
LASER Therapy is far from ‘natural’ but it elicits and exploits an entirely natural response in the animal patient, for its therapeutic benefits. It is even thought to be able to stimulate the activity of stem cells, thus promoting advanced and exceptional natural healing responses. A ‘natural vet’ might therefore use LASER therapy.
Chiropractic Manipulation is arguably ‘natural’, in that it uses no artificial process, although the technique has been devised by mankind. The animal’s response to the stimulus is ‘natural’. Likewise Osteopathy. These techniques sit well with the work of a ‘natural vet’.
Crystal Therapy is ‘natural’, using naturally-occurring crystal structures and formations, although some may subsequently have been shaped or polished by mankind. Some ‘natural vets’ use crystal therapy.
Physiotherapy is ‘natural’ if it sticks to exercise regimens, massage and manipulation and could well be employed by a natural vet to aid recovery and rehabilitation. When it exploits the benefits of machinery, however, it ceases to be natural, although possibly beneficial in the right hands. Physiotherapy can act as an adjunct in support of veterinary medicine (whether conventional or natural) but it is not a stand-alone therapy. A ‘natural vet’ may use the services of a physiotherapist in certain cases.
Tissue Salts are natural, except there is argument that the potentising process is artificial (see Homeopathy above). A natural response is elicited and exploited in this branch of medicine. Some ‘natural vets’ use Tissue Salts.
The chemicals and reagents that are used for cleaning a veterinary premises, disinfecting, cleaning work surfaces and controlling weeds also impinge on whether a veterinary premises or practice can justifiably claim to be a ‘natural vet’. At the AVMC, we use no artificial chemical herbicides, pesticides, fertilisers, fly sprays, plant foods, deodorisers or air fresheners and our reagents used in the house and veterinary premises (cleaners and disinfectants) are natural and ecologically-friendly. Visiting animals appear to recognise and appreciate this immediately (but then they’re no fools).
Vaccination is a controversial aspect of modern veterinary practice that is far from ‘natural’. It is hard to think of a vet who uses conventional vaccination as a ‘natural vet’. At the AVMC, we use no conventional vaccines for ourselves, for our own animals or for our clients’ animals.
At the AVMC we could have used the term natural in our name. We deeply respect Nature and work with Nature. While obviously also deeply respecting (and depending on and using) the therapies mentioned above and using a lot of genuinely natural methods and medicines, we prefer not to use the term ‘natural vet’ in our practice name, to describe our work, as it is so open to argument what constitutes ‘natural’. Anyway, sad to say, commerce has hi-jacked and abused the term ‘natural’ until it has almost lost its meaning, bending its sense beyond breaking point for commercial advantage. The words ‘nature’ and ‘natural’ are used as a selling gimmick, with greater or lesser respect for the truth. There is a serious issue behind this unwelcome trend, in that it cynically exploits the desire for many in our wayward modern world to edge closer to NATURE. Be on the lookout for this insidious trend in product advertising and labelling.
Beware ‘The King’s New Clothes’!
The words ‘green’, ‘nature’, ‘holistic’ and ‘natural’ are used in such a way as to prevent the listener or reader questioning the material. Do you remember the boy who hadn’t been told about the King’s New Clothes? Whenever these words are used to support an assertion or a commercial interest, take a really objective look and you might see the real ‘King’ behind the illusion, revealing naked commercialism.
It may be useful to think in terms of practising ‘integrated medicine’ or ‘integrative medicine’ but that involves more terminology and labelling.
Natural vet at work: We see animals at the AVMC premises and we regularly visit an area stretching from Wales to London, from Devon to Kent, from South to North Midlands and from Bristol and West Midlands to the Wash and East Anglia. Visits are mainly to see horses but we can also arrange house calls (home visits) for domestic pets. We see many patients from London and visit London homes. We use acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy, aromatherapy (essential oils), tissue salts, bach flowers, chiropractic manipulation, LASER therapy and natural feeding, in our attempts to salvage the health of our patients.