Like people, dogs can suffer from a wide range of painful conditions, and no pet parent wants to see their beloved companion hurting. As veterinarians, we commonly recommend integrative medicine for dogs suffering from arthritis and other chronic conditions. Of course, you are bound to have questions. That is why we’ve created this resource featuring answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about integrative medicine for dogs.
If you happen to be located near Sarasota, FL, we would love to help you find the best path to good health and long life for your canine companion! Feel free to give us a call at (941) 922-5007 with any questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Richard Funk.
What is integrative medicine, and how can it be helpful to my dog?
Holistic veterinarians combine multiple treatment modalities to achieve the best possible results for a patient. This is commonly referred to as “integrative medicine”. We do this because numerous treatments often provide more effective results than using any one therapy alone.
What are the different types of holistic pet care that are involved in integrative medicine?
There are several different types of holistic pet care that we may recommend when treating your pet.
A few common types of integrative medicine include:
- Herbal medicine
- Food therapy, which uses different foods to achieve a specific result
- Laser therapy
- Homeopathic treatments
- Joint Supplement
How does integrative medicine impact the health and well-being of my dog?
Integrative medicine benefits your dog in several ways. It helps control illness, injury, or pain and may reduce the amount of pain medication your pet needs. It also lets us take a different approach if your dog is not responding to or reacts poorly to traditional medicines and treatments.
How old does my dog need to be to start integrative medicine?
There are no age restrictions, so we can begin integrative medicine with your dog any time a situation warrants the use of multiple treatment modalities.
What are some medical conditions that would benefit the addition of integrative medicine?
We add integrative medicine when treating several medical conditions in dogs.
Common conditions that benefit from the addition of integrative medicine include:
- Back pain
- Hip pain
- Partial or complete hind limb paralysis caused by a slipped disc
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Ongoing chronic illnesses, including cancer
What is the benefit of a joint supplement for my dog?
Joint supplements are good for dogs because they can slow down the progression of arthritis. High-quality supplements are especially beneficial for athletic dogs because they help keep their cartilage lubricated and nourished. In some cases, joint supplements may even decrease the amount of pain medication your dog needs.
When would a veterinarian recommend NSAIDs for my dog?
NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, have long been a mainstay for pain control. If we determine that your dog is in pain, we will likely recommend putting them on an NSAID. However, these medications are not suitable for all dogs. If your dog has kidney or liver problems, we may need to take a different approach. This is where integrative medicine is helpful because it provides us with more tools to manage your pet’s pain.
Why is it important to avoid treating my dog with medications and supplements before consulting my veterinarian?
As a pet parent, it’s natural to want to do what’s best for your dog. Unfortunately, many animal owners make serious mistakes despite having the best of intentions. When it comes to biology, dogs are very different from humans.
Not all human medications and supplements are safe for dogs, and the correct dosage is drastically different for those that are safe. In trying to help your dog, you could easily give them too much and cause serious complications that could be difficult for us to treat. For this reason, you should never give your canine companion any medication or supplement without consulting a veterinarian.
If you still have questions about integrative medicine for dogs or are wondering whether it’s right for your pet, we’d love to help. Call (941) 922-5007 for the answers you need.