Holistic Veterinary Care What to Expect on Your First Visit

When it is time to find veterinary care for your pet, you may have more options than you realize. In addition to conventional veterinary care, you can consider holistic care for your pet. A holistic veterinarian may offer acupuncture, laser therapy, traditional Chinese veterinary medicine, wellness plans and much more.

When planning a Holistic Pet Consult, it’s best to be prepared so you can make the most of your visit. Here are 7 tips to get you started:

1. Medical Record Review. A visit often starts with a complete medical record review, so in order to be most effective, bring along all the previous medical records available. These records may be extensive since some pet owners seeking a holistic approach to pet care have exhausted western therapies seeking help with chronic, long-term or multiple problems. Providing laboratory tests, X-rays, and doctor’s notes a week prior to the appointment allows the holistic veterinarian ample time to review everything.

2. A Nutritional Review. Be sure to include all pet food labels, treats, and supplements with your records. An emailed photo of the label works well.

3. A Product and Medication Review. Also provide photographed labels for shampoos, supplements, and medications that were prescribed, bought online or over the counter.

4. Complete Comprehensive Exam. Holistic veterinarians perform a complete comprehensive physical exam from nose to tail. This will typically include both a western exam and a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medical exam (TCVM). Integrating western and eastern medicine helps the doctor see what will best suit the patient.

5. Metabolic Status. A serum chemistry profile can be performed to check the metabolic status of the pet and how the organs are functioning. Look for a veterinarian that can perform this test during the appointment and discuss results.

6. TCVM Care Plan. A veterinarian with TCVM training will provide a TCVM diagnosis and plan of care, including nutritional recommendations, to help owners reach their goal in getting their pets back into balance. The plan may include acupuncture, Chinese herbs, stem cell therapy, joint injections, as well as, western diagnostics and therapies. If considering acupuncture, be sure and seek a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. They complete rigorous training and testing in order to achieve certification.

7. Do Your Part. Be sure to ask how payment is expected. Holistic veterinarians invest significant time reviewing records and formulating plans prior to the appointment so may require pre-payment for the visit. Also confirm deadlines for providing records to ensure a smooth and productive visit for your pet.

Gary Zinderman, DVM, CVA is the owner of Indian Street Animal Clinic located at 1233 SE Indian Street, 101 in Stuart. For more information on holistic care for your pet, call 772-781-9990 or visit IndianStreetVet.com

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