My Path to Integrative Veterinary Care
by Dr. Ann
My interest in veterinary care started early on. I grew up on a dairy farm and don’t recall a time when I wasn’t surrounded by animals. When I was old enough, I would shadow the vet who treated our farm animals, learning everything I could. I remember always trying to save any injured wildlife I would encounter around the farm.
Pursuing a veterinary degree was a natural progression of that.
It wasn’t until I had been practicing veterinary for about 4 years that I started to wonder if there was a better way to help pets get well and have a better quality of life. I was regularly seeing patients with diabetes, thyroid disease, and more, and wishing there was more I could do for them.
I started to wonder if those kinds of diseases could be cured or managed differently other than by conventional medicine alone.
My introduction to homeopathy
I attended a conference in the late 1990’s, and a large animal vet who was practicing in Amish Country led a discussion about good successes he had observed with homeopathic remedies. I was surprised this was being highlighted at a conference focused primarily on conventional medicine, and it peaked my interest.
I took my first course in homeopathy in 1998 and began using some of the remedies in the practice where I was working. I remember one case of a dog who had suffered horrible road rash on his feet and needed skin grafts. His owners couldn’t afford that treatment, so I used a calendula salve made from marigold flowers on him. Just using that salve, the dog was able to grow back new hair and skin! This case paved the way for my path with holistic medicine. I began using homeopathy for acute injuries and illnesses with increasing success. I have used this gentle healing modality to help my patients and my human family for many years now. Homeopathics work energetically and help the body’s own immune system.
Adding acupuncture to my integrative tools
When I was ready to open Riversong and go out on my own, I knew I needed more options in my toolbox to really offer integrative care. I took a comprehensive acupuncture course through the Chi Institute in Florida and later became certified in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. As I began adding acupuncture to my practice and using it with patients, it seemed to be the exception when people would say the acupuncture didn’t help.
One of the most impressive results I’ve seen with acupuncture was a beagle puppy who came in with its hind end almost completely paralyzed. The pup could barely walk but there was no physical reason for it. I did a course of acupuncture and the pup recovered mobility almost overnight.
Some of the conditions I typically treat with acupuncture, homeopathic medicines or herbal medicines include
- Mobility issues
- Itchy skin
- Digestive issues
- Respiratory issues
- Bruising or physical trauma
When pet parents are open to integrative care, it can offer additional treatment options that can make a noticeable difference in overall wellness and quality of life.
Want to know how integrative care might help your pet? Schedule a holistic consult today!