Thursday, Jan. 12th 2017

How are we different from other vets?

Welcome to 2017!  We hope to make this year the healthiest yet for your pets.  Would you like to help? Here are some descriptions of some of the services our clinic offers that differ from the traditional veterinary clinic, and what kind of patients can benefit from them. 


Nutritional Consult:  This is in addition to a physical exam and Chinese Medical exam.  The exams help guide the doctor into determining system imbalances and health issues that may be aided by alterations in the diet.  Then the current diet ingredients are examined in the light of these findings.  Recommendations are then made for either an improved diet overall or specific ingredients to either avoid or include in the diet.  While all pets can benefit from a change to a less processed and more healthy type of food, this targeted approach can actually use food as medicine.  Dogs and cats that can benefit from this consult include those with weight problems, skin problems, chronic ear infections, and arthritis or other general inflammatory conditions.


Cold laser:  The Class IV Cold laser at our office has many uses, but most boil down to treating inflammation and healing wounds.  We use it to speed healing of surgical wounds and hot spots, treat ear infections, soothe pulled muscles or joint sprains, and also for dogs with back pain or disc protrusion to reduce swelling of the spine.  We have also had some success helping cats with bladder inflammation and use it in conjunction with acupuncture to improve how quickly a pet responds to treatment. 


Chiropractic:  This has become our most popular therapy, and is extremely effective.  All pets can benefit from regular chiropractic evaluations because if adjustments are needed (which they almost always are), that means there is concurrent impairment of the nervous system and its functions.  We feel all dogs and cats should receive a chiropractic evaluation twice a year.  However, there are some pets that need it more often.  These include dogs with jobs like agility, herding, hunting, or therapy dogs because they are often using their body in a strenuous or repetitive way.  Dog with long spines or frequent back issues like Dachshunds and German Shepherds may need examination every 2-4 months.  Dogs that are overweight or lame also need evaluating more often due to the strain placed on their spine. 


Acupuncture:  This ancient Chinese medical therapy is a way of providing both a focused treatment for a specific problem and also to help balance the pet’s overall health. It is very versatile in that each treatment can address multiple issues at the same time so is wonderful for pets with multiple health problems.  It is probably our strongest pain-relieving treatment when used correctly, so is great for pets with arthritis or other chronic pain.  You would be surprised at how well most pets accept acupuncture.  The only catch is that in order for acupuncture to be effective, it usually starts with treatments once or twice a week, and these are moved further apart as the pet responds, with most pets needing 8-12 treatments before the final interval is achieved.  Then the treatments are continued at that interval for ongoing relief.  There are some exceptions but for pain control in arthritic pets this is our most likely protocol.  However, most clients find that needing treatments every 4-8 weeks is worth it if their pet has little to no pain and needs less medication. 


Vaccine titers:  Many people are confused about these.  It’s not really a treatment, but actually a lab test.  This blood test uses a couple drops of blood and measures antibodies in the pet’s blood to different viruses.  For cats, we measure just panleukopenia (cat distemper).  In dogs we measure distemper, parvo, and hepatitis antibodies.  Antibodies are formed as a result of vaccination and are what allows a pet to fend of disease if they are exposed.  If they have enough antibodies, they can’t get the disease, and also don’t need to receive another vaccination until the antibody levels decrease below a certain disease.  We use this measurement to determine if a pet is protected against these diseases.  If they are, we don’t need to vaccinate them at that time.  We also can provide a letter stating that this test has been done if proof of vaccination is needed for a groomer or boarding kennel.  We do suggest prior to using this test instead of vaccination that you check with any pet facility you normally use to make sure they will accept titer results instead of annual vaccination.  But we feel the health benefits of not giving a vaccination every year, which can stress the immune system and add to overall inflammation in the body, are worth seeking out facilities that understand how an adequate titer is equal to vaccination. 


Thimersol-free Rabies vaccination: While we certainly do recommend keeping pets up to date on rabies vaccination even if they are largely or completely kept indoors (did you know a bat can fit through a half-inch space?), we like to minimize the risk of over-vaccination.  All animals that have previously received a one-year vaccination can then receive three-year vaccinations so only one shot every three years is needed.  And we stock only thimersol-free rabies vaccine, so your pet can avoid the mercury-containing preservative found in many other vaccinations.


Fear-free practices:  While we are not pursuing the costly certification, our staff has all been introduced to Fear-Free practices and we seek to make each pet’s visit better than the one before.  We do this by using calming pheromone sprays and essential oil diffusion, using our exam room only for non-frightening procedures, adjusting our techniques for each pet to help them relax, using low-dose vaccines and oral kennel cough vaccine (instead of the nose drops all pets hate), and being very liberal with treats throughout our clinic.  We like to let pets wander freely through the exam room while a history is being taken and the doctor talks to their family.  They are given treats and petting during that time if they want it, but the exam doesn’t start until they have had time to familiarize themselves with the room and calmed down a bit.  We use soft mats on our table for a non-slip surface.  The table itself can be raised and lowered so pets don’t have to be picked up as high.  We also offer advice for the asking on how to help your pet become better acclimatized to crates, travel, leashes, and our clinic so your training can ease their visits as well.  Finally, we try to schedule appointments so there are rarely overlapping patients in our waiting room, and can make accommodations for pets that don’t get along with other animals.


Other therapies:  Our clinic also includes essential oils, homeopathic remedies, herbal supplementation, physical therapy advice, massage appointments, and much more to give your pets an overall approach to better health.    If you know anyone who is interested in this type of approach to getting and keeping their pet healthy, please invite them to check out our website at , share this newsletter, or give us a call at 816-331-1868.  At Whole Health Pet Center, they will find a vet that will listen to their questions, be open to many different types of diets or treatments, and will strive to optimize their pets’ health.  

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Whole Health Pet Center
18011 E St. Rte 58
Raymore, MO 64083

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