On this site, I often mention how important it is to find a good vet. I strongly urge my readers to find a practitioner with a holistic mindset.
Recently, I had to take my own advice.
We’re able to manage most of my dog’s medical needs at home. He’s relatively healthy, even at the ripe old age of 16. We feed him well (a lot of organic people food) and try to keep him away from environmental toxins. This means no chemical flea solutions. Instead, we control these little beasts with essential oils.
However, last week, we had no choice but to visit the vet.
That’s because a spot on my dog’s ear started growing rapidly. Plus, my home remedies weren’t working. The ugly black area was also starting to smell. Fearing the worst (cancer), we paid a visit to the vet.
We’re very lucky to live in the next town over from a holistic-minded veterinary practice. We’ve been going to these vets for years. We’ve always thought they were the best in the area. However, recently, they’ve more or less morphed into offering holistic vet care.
Holistic Veterinary Care
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Our dog needed help. The vet looked at his ear. She confirmed my fears. Yes, it could be cancer. But the only way to know would be to do a biopsy. This would mean putting our then 14-year-old dog under anesthesia. Plus, as our vet pointed out, “What would you do with the information?”
(Update: Our dog is now 16, and we’re pretty sure he has cancer, and that this might have been cancer. It appears to have spread to his eyelid. It’s a little unsightly. But he’s eating, sleeping, pooping and moving about. His quality of life isn’t bad. So I think we made the right decision.)
We certainly wouldn’t be putting our dog through anything like chemo or radiation. I firmly believe, rightly or wrongly, these treatments would shorten his life, rather than extend it. In think the vet quickly realized we would only want to support his body, and try to keep him as healthy as possible, whatever the diagnosis.
But, right now we have no diagnosis. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. What we do have is a Chinese herbal supplement, which you can see in the picture above. “Dogs who have growths do very well with this,” our vet assured me.
So I’m giving my dog an herbal remedy that I’m hoping will balance his metabolism, and make him stronger and healthier. He’s already made it to a ripe old age. I’m hoping we can keep him around as long as possible. He’s eating well and he’s lively and active. He’s taking something designed to improve his vitality. At this point, that’s all I can ask for.
If he needs additional care, the vet recommended taking him back to see a veterinary herbalist and acupuncturist, who is part of their practice.
This is why I urge my readers to seek out a holistic vet. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have had a viable treatment option. Now we do.
If you don’t have access to a holistic vet, here is a great resource to learn about holistic dog care. One of the co-authors is a veterinarian. Another co-author is a well-known homeopath.
For Additional Reading
If you’ve been reading this blog, you might already know about our experience last winter, when it appeared as if our now 16-year-old dog was going to die. However, we decided not to put him to sleep. I know some owners of older dogs struggle with this issue. Here is my article about When Should You Put Your Dog to Sleep?
With our own dog, I’m so glad we didn’t put him down, just because it looked as if he wasn’t going to get better. But he surprised us.