What is integrative medicine and how can it help my dog?

Integrative medicine is a combination of traditional Western medicine and other forms of medicine from different cultures and traditions, such as traditional Chinese medicine. This approach allows us to use whatever method will best help your dog. By integrating these different forms of medicine, we aim to achieve the best possible results for your pet.

Dr. Heather Burrowes, DVM CVA
Brunswick Veterinary Hospital

What are the different types of integrative medicine?

There's not really one specific type of integrative medicine. It varies depending on the practitioner's training. It can include acupuncture, chiropractic, and forms of physical therapy. The goal of integrative medicine is to look at the whole patient, not just one particular issue.

How does integrative medicine impact the health and well-being of my dog?

Integrative medicine can benefit dogs experiencing a wide variety of medical conditions. Instead of focusing solely on a single problem, such as a broken leg, an integrative approach considers the whole picture. This includes assessing how the dog handles stairs, if they're eating and drinking properly, and other aspects of their overall health and well-being.

Why is weight management considered a treatment for my dog's health?

Being overweight can exacerbate many health conditions in dogs and negatively impact their quality of life. For example, excess weight puts more strain on a dog's joints, which can lead to more pain and discomfort. By helping your dog lose weight, you can decrease their need for certain medications.

How old does my dog need to be to start integrative medicine?

Integrative medicine is appropriate for dogs of all ages. While it's common for older pets with multiple conditions to benefit from this approach, it's also beneficial for younger pets as part of their lifelong healthcare.

What are some medical conditions that would benefit from the addition of integrative medicine?

All medical conditions can potentially benefit from an integrative approach. Pain management is a common area where we apply this approach, as it is a complex phenomenon that can benefit from a more holistic view. However, this method can be used with any condition.

What is the benefit of a joint supplement for my dog?

Joint supplements can help build up joint material, including cartilage and joint fluid, which in turn helps the joint function better. They're particularly beneficial for younger patients when used over a long period, as they can provide long-term cushioning for the joint and reduce the need for more medications in the future.

When would a veterinarian recommend NSAIDs for my dog?

The recommendation for NSAIDs depends on the individual dog and their specific condition. An integrative approach considers the whole picture. If a dog has pain, NSAIDs might be the first treatment option, unless the dog experiences stomach upset or other side effects. The goal is to find the best approach for each individual pet, which might include inflammation control medications or other options.

Why is it important to avoid treating my dog with medications and supplements before consulting my veterinarian?

Many over-the-counter medications are only approved and tested in humans and might have unintended side effects in dogs. Even medications marketed towards dogs, like aspirin, can interact negatively with other medications. Always consult with your vet before giving your dog any medication or supplement, and inform them of any previous treatments to avoid potentially harmful interactions.

So if anyone has questions regarding dog integrative medicine, would you advise them to give us a call?

Absolutely. We encourage our clients, and those thinking of becoming clients, to call us if they have any questions about integrative medicine for dogs. We're here to provide information and help you understand how this approach could benefit your pet.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (518) 279-0700, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram