holistic veterinary care

PRICE RISES

PRICE RISES

Sorry folks, but it’s that time of year when we have to review our costs and our prices, so you will see a few of our headline prices have risen. Inmost cases this is after several years of static prices for our clients while out costs have risen.

We hope you agree we are still pretty good value for money!

WHAT WE DO

WHAT WE DO AND WHY WE DO IT!

People can be confused by the term ‘holistic’, especially as it seems to be used to sell just about everything. So what does it mean at Four Seasons Holistic Veterinary Care?

HOLISTIC VETERINARY CARE

Holistic care is characterized by the treatment of the whole animal, taking into account mental and environmental factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.

Animals are usually referred for holistic assessment and treatment because they have complex, multiple, or chronic conditions.

We will ask questions about your pet’s diet, exercise, and mood state as well as the main symptoms. All too often a chronic illness means a pet can’t take part in the activities it used to enjoy and a low mood state or poor quality of life can make managing a disease more difficult. We often make changes to what,or how a pet is fed as well as using appropriate games, training and exercise to improve their mood as well as using acupuncture or herbal medicine.

Holistic also means that we use a wider variety of treatments than most primary care practices; we offer herbal medicine, acupuncture, and physical therapy as well as advising on diet, lifestyle, supplements, and behavioural modifications.

HOLISTIC VETERINARY CARE CASE STUDY: THE DEPRESSED PUG

A pug was referred to Four Seasons after diagnosis of a degenerative spinal condition. His pain was well controlled but he seemed to have lost all his spark and his owners were considering euthanasia. A detailed discussion revealed that as his mobility was poor the owners were taking this pug out on his own, then taking the other pugs for their usual walks. It seemed that the pug had a low mood state because he was missing out on walks with his friends. The solution was two-fold; herbs with a proven effect on improving mood and perhaps more importantly getting the pug back with his mates. His owners bought a ‘dog pushchair’ so he didn’t have to do the whole walk and let him out to sniff around with the others. In no time at all his cheerful personality was back and an integrated approach from his referring vet and our vet made a huge difference.

CAN HOLISTIC CARE HELP MY PET?

CAN HOLISTIC VETERINARY CARE HELP MY PET?

This is the most common subject of emails and telephone enquiries we receive. Unfortunately without examining a pet, and reviewing it’s history it is very difficult to give an easy answer. Below are some common problems and our thoughts on treatments.

DO YOU RECOMMEND NATURAL PRODUCTS FOR FLEA AND WORM CONTROL?

We are yet to be convinced of the safety and efficacy (usefulness) of most ‘natural’ flea and worm products. There are some preventative treatments we do recommend, but we usually steer clients towards a treatment plan with conventional products tailored to the pet’s lifestyle or monitoring with treatment when required.

MY PET HAS CANCER, CAN HOLISTIC TREATMENT HELP?

‘Cancer’ covers a huge range of diagnoses from benign growths up to invasive or metastatic (spreading) tumours. Herbal medicine can be used in several ways in cancer treatment; some herbs have been shown to slow cancer growth, others can help pets cope with the side effects of either the tumour, or any conventional medication being used. Herbs work best if used early in the course of disease, or after tumour removal to aid healing and reduce the risk of recurrence. Holistic care isn’t a magic wand that can save animals who are in the end stages of any disease, though it can be used to give palliation in the last days.

MY PET HAS ARTHRITIS, CAN HOLISTIC TREATMENT HELP?

This is an easier question to say ‘yes’ to! Musculoskeletal conditions including arthritis respond really well to a range of holistic therapies including herbal medicines, nutritional supplements, acupuncture, and home physio. We may also recommend other therapists such as massage, Bowen, or hydrotherapy. Holistic therapies work well alongside conventional medications too.

MY DOG HAS CDRM, WILL ACUPUNCTURE HELP?

Degenerative neuropathies shouldn’t respond well to acupuncture but our experience has been that many dogs diagnosed with CDRM also have concurrent arthritis and acupuncture does help them. Acupuncture has been very effective for some dogs which develop bladder and bowel control problems.

MY PET HAS EPILEPSY, CAN HOLISTIC TREATMENT HELP?

We have had good success with epilepsy cases, either using herbs as a treatment on their own for mild cases or as a complementary therapy with conventional drugs. Herbs can also be used where conventional medication is effective, but causing unwanted side-effects.

THE VET HAS DIAGNOSED LIVER/ KIDNEY/ HEART DISEASE!

There are herbs proven to provide support to all of the major organs. We may also suggest dietary changes in these cases, but early treatment has the best results.

So…can we help? Usually! An initial consultation starts from £40 (at Companion Care Eastbourne)

HAPPY 18TH/84TH BIRTHDAY JUDE

HOLISITIC CARE FOR AGEING PETS

Vet Vicky went to visit one of her oldest, and favourite cat patients this week. ‘Jude’ is now 18 and celebrated with a party (apparently he has always loved wearing hats!).

Jude has been living with renal insufficiency and arthritis for some years now but thanks to excellent care from both his primary care practice and acupuncture visits from Vicky he is still enjoying life.

A COMBINED APPROACH

Jude is on medication and special food to support his kidney function and attends regular health checks at his primary care vets. His renal insufficiency means conventional pain killers can’t be used to help him with his arthritis but a combination of a cat friendly joint supplement (which he eats like a treat) and acupuncture keep him mobile.

CARE FOR AGEING PETS

We start considering cats and dogs to be geriatric at about 8 years old (6 for giant dogs). This sounds awful but it’s a medical term so we don’t expect all our 8 year olds to be weak and doddery any more than all 50year old humans! However it is the age when we start to see wear and tear throughout the body and when organs may start to work less well.

Your primary care vet may offer special blood screening for odler pets and this is a great way to spot problems early. If problems are found your vet, perhaps in conjunction with Four Seasons Holistic Veterinary Care, can work to support him and ensure a long and happy life, just like Jude!

P.S. Why is Jude 84? Well, it’s now thought of as too simplistic to consider one dog/cat year to be 7 human years and the chart we have puts and 18year old cat at about 84 in human terms.