Alternative Medicine for Pets

Alternative medicine for pets is growing in popularity thanks to increased availability and more widely reported success. Chiropractic, massage, acupuncture and nutritional supplementation are becoming mainstream. Many traditional clinics are exploring and offering alternative veterinary medicine techniques for their patients as a supplement to their primary services.

Chiropractic Therapy for Pets

Between the skin and the tail, there are more than one hundred joints in a dog's spine. If any one of these joints is unable to move through a full range of motion, flexibility and mobility are compromised. As all forms of alternative medicine for dogs increases in popularity, canine chiropractic specialists are getting easier to find. An animal chiropractor will examine your pet and assess her gait and overall symmetry. Corrections and adjustments will be made to restore movement and comfort.

Chiropractic Benefits:

  • Can increase flexibility;
  • Reduce pain;
  • Improve overall health;

Provide alternative treatments for conditions traditionally treated with drugs and surgery.

Massage Therapy for Pets

Massage, whether performed at home or by a licensed professional, offers pets several proven benefits. A trained animal massage therapist will offer a variety of techniques for several different conditions including effleurage to increase circulation and passive joint movement to loosen and stretch muscles.

Pet owners, untrained but sensitive to their pet's likes and dislikes, can gently rub and massage their pets to good effect as well.

Massage Benefits:

  • Calms and relaxes;
  • Reduces pain;
  • Decreases recovery time;
  • Increases circulation of blood and lymphatic systems;
  • Removes toxins from the body.

Acupuncture for Pets

Acupuncture is most commonly associated with pain relief, but the procedure, whereby small-gauge needles are applied to various points on the body, has shown promise in other areas as well. Acupuncture has shown favorable results when used to treat cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurological disorders. As acupuncture becomes more widely accepted, its use will no doubt increase among veterinary practitioners. It is safe, non-invasive and a worthwhile adjunct to traditional veterinary care.

Supplements for Pets

Any discussion of alternative medicine for cats and dogs would not be complete without a discussion of supplements. Many supplements are endorsed by traditional veterinarians.

Some popular and well-tested supplements include:

  • Probiotics: Beneficial bacteria that supports healthy gastrointestinal tract functioning. Probiotics enhance digestion and make food more bioavailable. They can improve chronic diarrhea, bad breath, gas and other digestive problems.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin: These substances are found in healthy cartilage and can help to prevent or repair arthritic conditions.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Obtained most often from fish oil, Omega-3 fatty acids promote healthy skin and coat and support the immune system.

Alternative medicine for pets is opening new treatment avenues for the health and well being of your pet. A combination approach offers the safest and widest variety of options.