So What Is Holistic Veterinary Medicine Anyway?
By Eugene Aversa, DVM
The last 15 years have brought a revolution in health care. So many alternative healing methods are now available that one hardly thinks twice about it. Homeopathy, chiropractic, massage, Reiki, herbs, acupuncture, and others are all readily available as health options. But surprisingly many people are only starting to realize that these are also viable choices for their pets. And even fewer realize that many veterinarians now combine these arts into their practices. I am one such vet.
When asked to write an introduction to holistic veterinary medicine (HVM) for Petroglyphs, I realized firstly that it would be very difficult to write about all the ways in which HVM is applied by hundreds of holistic veterinarians nationwide. Secondly, I realized that HVM is much more than using effective alternatives for animal care. It constitutes an entire approach to veterinary medicine. So, I decided simply to outline what HVM means to me, and how I apply it in my practice. Here goes….
HVM means having a place where a client can take their loved-ones that is relaxing and open. It means taking the time to get to know the client and fully understand their concerns. It means taking the time to meet and honor the patient, and to appreciate who they are, and how their illness is affecting them.
HVM means taking a complete history to fully understand the situation at hand. It means doing a full physical on all new patients to best understand what the body is saying. It means acknowledging that every case is unique in some way.
HVM means doing a full case analysis to consider the problem at hand and the best ways to approach it. It means fully explaining the situation to the client, so they understand their loved-one’s problem and possible solution.
HVM means that disease prevention is always preferable to treatment. It means acknowledging that only the body heals, and the doctor simply allows it to do so then gets out of the way.
HVM means offering the client a range of possible treatment options and discussing them to arrive at the best course of action. It means referring the client for more tests or to other clinicians if necessary. It means taking the time to call specialists or consult references on the client’s behalf.
HVM means having a wide variety of treatment options available to me, and knowing when each is best utilized. It means constantly honing my skills and adding to my knowledge to better serve the animals. It means never forsaking the conventional foundation on which I work. It means never sticking dogmatically to one approach, holistic or conventional, if another is more appropriate.
HVM means remembering that “doctor” originally meant teacher. It means helping the client realize that they are the most important healer in their loved-one’s life.
HVM means acknowledging the importance of the work entrusted to me. It means keeping the animal’s life and well being my upper-most concern. It means being honest, understanding, and compassionate to the client.
And it means being loving and compassionate to the patient.
Oh yeah…it also means using age-old and proven healing methods (homeopathy, chiropractic, nutrition, massage, and conventional medicine) to help the animals. Any questions?
Dr. Eugene Aversa, DVM is a practicing holistic veterinarian at animalightTM 714B Calle Grillo, Santa Fe. He is currently accepting new patients. For inquiries please call 505-989-3445.
Where we find wrongs done to animals, it is no excuse to say that more important wrongs are done to human beings, and let us concentrate on those.
–Matthew Scully (“Dominion”)
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