Dr. Michael Mal, DVM, Medical Director
Dr. Beth Ferris, DVM

Holistic Veterinary Medicine

The best of both worlds.

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These holistic veterinary services are offered in addition to normal veterinary services.

Although we practice all aspects of internal medicine, dermatology, and surgery, we integrate several alternative therapies into our daily practice as well. Alternative therapies, which are also referred to as “integrative,” “holistic,” or “complementary” therapies, include (but are not limited to) acupuncture, nutritional therapy, chiropractic, herbal and glandular supplements, homeopathy, laser therapy, and applied kinesiology. We provide these therapies in conjunction with traditional medicine and surgery to help improve outcomes and to give us additional options for treating our patients. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about whether these types of therapy could benefit your pet.

Learn more about our holistic veterinary services in Melbourne, FL!

Pet Acupuncture

We regularly integrate acupuncture into our daily practice. During physical exams, if we detect something that may be very responsive to acupuncture, we will be happy to discuss it as an option. We would be happy to consult with you and examine your pet if you would like to know if acupuncture may be an option for your pet. Some of the problems we have successfully treated with acupuncture, alone or in combination with other medications and treatments, include arthritis, back problems, paralysis, weakness, allergies, seizures, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, kidney disease and failure, heart disease, and aging.

Acupuncture is the process of using tiny needles to make major shifts in the body. These tiny needles communicate with nerve bundles or meridians on the outside of the body to impact the nerves, spinal cord, and organs inside the body. We use it most often for neck and back pain, and it is often effective for paralysis, weakness, arthritis, digestive disorders like ileus and constipation, liver and kidney disease. Surprisingly animals tolerate it very well, and the majority actually enjoy their treatments, probably because they feel better immediately afterward. Animals who do not enjoy their needles can have an alternate treatment done using a therapeutic laser in their acupuncture points for a more gentle but still effective treatment.

Pet Therapeutic Laser

We use laser treatments many times a day to reduce pain and inflammation in our pay patients. This laser creates a temperature gradient in the targeted tissue to reduce inflammation and promote healing by improving blood supply to the area. We most often use it for stifle (knee) and hip arthritis, although it is effective for most forms of arthritis and spinal pain in pets. The laser is used on all surgical patients for post-surgical pain relief and faster healing times. For this reason, we also use it for wounds that are slow to heal and chronic ear infections. Because it promotes healing and reorganizing of damaged tissue, it is effective for biceps tendon and iliopsoas muscle strains, things that otherwise would take months and months of rest to heal. Animals love the laser and typically leave the hospital feeling immediately better.

Pet Chiropractic and Spinal Manipulation

If your pet is suffering from conditions such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, lameness, gastrointestinal disease, chronic health issues, or back problems, he or she might benefit from our chiropractic services. Professional chiropractic manipulation can help ease pain, improve flexibility and mobility, and even enhance organ function. Chiropractic therapy can also promote healing and improve the range of motion in dogs injured during sporting events.

Chiropractic or spinal adjustments in animals are extremely effective for chronic pain In our animal patients. Small adjustments in the spine can be performed very gently in pets, realigning the vertebrae and spinal cord and releasing pressure from the attached muscles and ligaments. Chiropractic is most often used for neck and back pain, paralysis and weakness, chronic pain and arthritis, and seizures, although sometimes it is also effective for other spinal abnormalities like syringomyelia and also urinary and fecal incontinence.

We use veterinary chiropractic in conjunction with traditional therapies to give your pet the best possible outcome. To discuss whether your pet is a candidate for chiropractic therapy, please call our hospital and set up an appointment with one of our experienced veterinarians.

Pet Therapeutic Massage

These methods are sometimes used to accentuate our other body treatments like acupuncture and chiropractic. They target the tissue between the vertebrae and bones, which is sometimes what is holding an animal back from feeling their best. Occasionally after the other treatments, massage or osteopathy is needed to loosen the tightened soft tissue and allow for maximum flexibility, range of motion, and comfort.

Natural Herbal Medicine

Herbal medications are used regularly in our practice and are a part of nearly every treatment strategy. There are several reasons we use herbal medicine. 1. To get faster results. 2. To get longer-lasting results after pharmaceuticals have helped an animal feel better. 3. To replace a pharmaceutical medication that is high in risk and/or side effects. 4. To achieve a result that does not yet have a pharmaceutical option. Our extensive knowledge and experience in herbal medicine afford us access to the use of 350+ herbal remedies, each tailored specifically to your pet’s needs. One of our favorite things about herbs is that they carry very few if any side effects, making them safe and effective for pets, from newborn to geriatric stages of life.

Chinese Food Therapy

One of the first things you will notice in your visit with us is our use of food as medicine. We figure you work hard to provide nutritious food to your pets. It should be the most effective food possible. Also, the fact that you like to feed your pet 2 or more times a day means you have multiple opportunities every day to improve their health! Chinese medicine identifies imbalances in the body that lead to disease and seeks to create balance to reduce the severity and incidence of the disease process. Chinese food therapy is a method of choosing food ingredients, such as proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables, that either create or reduce moisture, heat, or energy in the body. You will be amazed at how effective, and affordable food therapy can be for your pet!

Homeopathic Medicine

Homeopathy is a form of herbal medicine utilizing a concept of “like treats like” and using natural remedies to direct changes in the body at the cellular level. Highly trained homeopaths can identify the exact remedies needed to shift your pet’s health in a positive direction.

Derived from the Greek words homoios, which means like or similar, and pathos, which means suffering (disease), homeopathy is based on the philosophy that “like cures like.” Homeopathy uses very dilute solutions (extremely small quantities) of medication that, in an undiluted form, can actually cause symptoms of the disease or condition.

This therapeutic method was developed more than 200 years ago when a German scientist ingested the bark of a cinchona tree, which contains quinine (used to treat malaria at the time). He began to experience the same symptoms as malaria. When he stopped taking the tree bark, his symptoms disappeared. The scientist theorized that if a substance could cause symptoms of a disease, minute amounts of that same substance could cure the disease by stimulating the body’s natural defenses.

Homeopathic remedies are prepared from pure, natural substances derived from plants, animals, and minerals. Their preparation may involve diluting the original substance from 10 times to millions of times with water or alcohol. Remedies include Arsenicum album, belladonna, and chamomilla. Because these remedies are highly diluted, they are generally considered safe and unlikely to cause severe adverse reactions.

Homeopathy is not typically used to replace conventional veterinary treatment. To keep your pet as safe as possible, it is a good idea to have him or her see the same veterinarian for both conventional and alternative treatment.

Ozone Therapy

Ozone is used to provide oxygen to diseased and damaged tissues. We use it topically for wounds and internally for organ damage and inflammation, such as pancreatitis, kidney and liver disease.

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