veterinary herbal medicine

PRICE RISES

We aim to provide an affordable complementary veterinary service, but the prices of stock as well as fuel and insurance rise year on year. We have held prices for sometime, but now we need to make some increases.

FROM 1ST OCTOBER 2020

Home Visit Acupuncture Initial Course £200

Acupuncture Subsequent Visits £50

Holistic Consultation £100

Repeat or Telephone Consultation £70

Herbal Tinctures from £9 for 50ml to £55 for 500ml

Behaviour Assessment and Treatment Plans £300

HERB OF THE DAY

Slide30

CHAMOMILE IS A WONDER HERB!

HERB OF THE DAY: CHAMOMILE (Matricaria recutita)
This is one of our favourite herbs! A European native, a common garden plant, and a common garden escapee. You might think it’s a pretty feeble sort of herb; something people have as a tea when they don’t want the caffeine…but we think it’s something of a wonder herb.

CHAMOMILE FOR ANXIETY, BELLY ACHE AND ITCHY SKIN

Taken internally chamomile can reduce anxiety, without excess sedation. It is great for calming inflamed guts and reducing flatulence and gut cramps and it may help reduce some skin allergies.

Externally chamomile can soothe irritated skin and be used as an eyewash in mild conjunctivitis.
Like all herbs it’s not totally benign; some people and animals can be allergic to chamomile and it’s relations.


Fun fact: chamomile oil is blue!

ON-LINE MIRACLE CURES

ON-LINE CURES FOR WORMS, FLEAS, CANCER…

The internet is an amazing place…so much information, and so easy to buy anything at the click of a button. But it has it’s dangers.

Imagine your dog is due for worming…you usually get some stuff from the vet but it’s quite expensive and you aren’t heading in to town so you look online. First you find your usual wormer available from an internet pharmacy. You check the pharmacy is properly registered in the UK, and that you don’t need a prescription, and you’re just about to pay when….

You notice an article saying how bad chemical wormers are for pets. You read it and it’s scary stuff! One dog died, another had fits. So now you start looking for a more natural approach…something herbal. There are lots to choose from and they are all quite cheap, come with glowing testimonials and there is no mention of side effects. Great! Let’s order some….

Or maybe your cat has been diagnosed with cancer and the vet says there is nothing that can be done other than supportive care…but a quick internet search reveals several herbal tonics with great reviews…

HERBAL REMEDY QUALITY, SAFETY, AND EFFECTIVENESS

Before you put in your credit card details have a really good look at the products. The manufacturer should be able to tell you what herbs are in the product, at what strength. They should be talking about amounts of active chemicals, not just how much dry or fresh herb was used as herbs can vary in strength from season to season. Can the producer tell you how they quality check the herbs and where the herbs come from? Many herbs are rare in the wild and must be farmers of collected under strict controls, other herbs look similar to plants which are toxic or have no medicinal actions. Has the product been tested to show it is safe and effective? Beware of simple testimonials; “I use ‘herbal worm prevent’ on my dog and he never has worm!” may be true…but as most worm infestations aren’t obvious without faecal testing can the owner really be sure? For a worming product we would expect to see a study where pets were tested for worm eggs before treatment and split into a control group (no treatment) and a treated group, then tested again. Similar tests can easily be done to show the effectiveness of flea products. Cancer treatments are more difficult for a small herbal company to test and though most will do no harm, they may also do little good. Cancers can be very variable in how they affect pets. Some grow slowly and some grow fast even if you do nothing at all. Many herbs have well known side effects, especially at higher doses- does the company mention these, or any interactions with conventional drugs (there are many!).

RELIABLE, SAFE, HONEST HERBAL MEDICINES

We don’t offer miracle cures. We prefer monitoring for parasites and using appropriate doses of licenced products when required. These products can have side effects, but they are uncommon and well known and we take them into account when weighing up which products to use.

We do offer bespoke herbal medicines to support pets with a huge range of medical conditions, but our training means we are well aware of potential side-effects, drug interactions etc. We only buy herbs from manufacturers who follow Good Manufacturing Practice, and source herbs in an ethical and sustainable way.

So….instead of buying a miracle potion….book a consultation with us!

KITCHEN CUPBOARD CURES

IS IT FOOD OR MEDICINE?

There is a fine line sometimes between culinary and medicinal herbs! In fact many of the ingredients of your favourite Friday night take-away were originally used as much as for their medicinal properties as for their flavour!

Ginger, cinnamon, fennel and cumin all help prevent indigestion by relaxing and warming the stomach and cardamom seeds are used as a cure for upset tummies in Indian herbal medicine. When you think how hard keeping meat fresh would have been in hot countries like India it’s not surprising so many digestive herbs found their way into meals!

WHAT DOES CURRY HAVE TO DO WITH MY PET?

Sometimes we suggest herbs which are easy to obtain from the supermarket and are more effective given in that form than as tinctures or tablets. Our favourite suggestion is adding lightly crushed fennel seeds to the dinners of dogs prone to flatulence! It really works! Give 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon twice a day depending of the size of your dog. If your dog won’t eat the seeds on his dry food steep them in hot water and add the resulting ‘tea’ to his dinner instead!

WHAT OTHER CURES ARE HIDING IN MY KITCHEN CUPBOARD?

Garlic can help with allergies, infections and parasites and is best fed raw and freshly grated. In excess garlic is toxic but 1/2 a clove on 5 days out of 7 is fine for a 20kg dog.

Ginger can enhance digestion and circulation and is especially good for travel and chemotherapy induced nausea. Again fresh grated ginger is best; 1/4 teaspoon twice daily for a 20kg dog.

Parsley is good for bad breath. You can feed as much as a table spoon per meal but be sure to rule out dental problems.

Turmeric is one of our favourites and it is added to many of our herbal prescriptions. Some owners choose to feed it raw and fresh though and it can be found in Asian supermarkets. 1/4 teaspoon twice daily for a 20kg dog but do be careful…it will stain anything it touches!

Although these are common culinary herbs if you are thinking of using them regularly for a health problem in your pet please discuss them with your vet first. Some may interact with conventional drugs or may not be suitable for animals with certain health conditions or due to have surgery.

ALTERNATIVE VETERINARY MEDICINE?

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ALTERNATIVE VETERINARY MEDICINE!

At Four Seasons Holistic Veterinary Care we don’t use the term ‘Alternative Medicine’ because what we do is first and foremost Veterinary Medicine. Unlike in the human health field where people are free to choose any form of diagnosis or treatment only a Vet can diagnose animal health problems and prescribe treatments. A small group of ‘paraprofessionals’ including Veterinary Nurses, Physiotherapists, Chiropractor and Hydrotherapists can provide treatments under Veterinary supervision.

When looking for complementary therapists for your pet walk away if they don’t ask for Veterinary referral!

CONVENTIONAL AND COMPLEMENTARY

Our Vet Vicky Payne works in First Opinion General Practice as well as taking Holistic referrals so is ideally placed to advise on any conventional diagnostic tests or medicines which may benefit your pet as well as the complementary therapies we offer. All of the therapies we offer combine well with conventional medicines as well as being powerful treatments in their own right.

TRULY HOLISTIC

What Vicky offers is quite unusual in that she takes a truly holistic view of Veterinary Medicine. On recent visits, after examining animals at home she has referred them back to their First Opinion practices for radiographs, blood tests or hospital care before dispensing herbal formulas to support their recovery.