I remember now why I stopped going to a certain acupuncture vet years ago and found a way to make my schedule work with my regular vet (who is a mix between acupuncture and full scale conventional vet).
Took Max in for acupuncture yesterday with this former vet. Max runs hot, but cannot tolerate any of the cooling proteins. But with her treatment, she would be able to get him to tolerate all these things that he couldn't tolerate before (been there, done that, doesn't work for Max at least). I hate the push to try things that I know will not work, and also to try dog foods.
Sometimes things work and follow the philosophy, sometimes they don't. Tried LOTS of times with Indy too. Sometimes you can't "fix" them, you just have to manage them.
This is the type of holistic vet that really wants to be in charge of the whole thing, supplements and all. That doesn't work with me. She comes in, talks, puts in the needles, leaves, and then her assistant deals with everything else and you never see the vet again. She had a bunch of supplements ready for me to take home (i.e. buy), and then also I must be back in 1 week.
Well, I monitor the supplements carefully and want to know what I'm giving. One of them I didn't take, and the person that checked me out acted like I did something terribly wrong. And 1 week? That ain't gonna happen, because of scheduling reasons, and also financial considerations right now. I will try to make it back in 1-3 weeks though. I need to get Max better stabalized before serious things start going wrong.
He is doing great after the treatment though. I have started one of the herbal forumals, and will start the other one probably next week.
She is very good in terms of the mechanics of what she does, and Max has always done well with her acupuncture treatments. BUT, we will have to see if we can create a working relationship.
Holistic vets are tricky. Usually when we go to one, we don't know much about their topic, so we aren't as comfortable questioning them, or making sure that our input is heard, or speaking up if we think something is not right. In this sense, they are no different than conventional vets (if you haven't had much dealings with unhealthy dogs). But for some reason, because they are "holistic", they often get more of a pass than regular vets.
I had one vet, that when she couldn't get Indy better, she blamed me and said that I was making her sick. How classic? Not that I don't value that dogs can pick up stuff and express it externally (great examples here during this past summer!!) I got Indy's diagnosis years later, but it just illustrates that they can be as off base as any vet.
Many people go to a holistic vet as their last chance (versus just as general principle). Because of this, I think we are more willing to believe that they can do something, and sometimes we suspend our own belief for that. Just this whole experience reminded me of a time when I would have done that.
I still place great value in them, but I think working with them, like any other vet, takes time to develop a relationship where they need to listen and respect the client. It's just harder, since we speak less of the holistic language than a conventional one (I'm thinking of chinese medicine here, being good at knowing all the cause and effects, etc.) At some point, I will be looking at a new vet, or 2 new vets, and I don't look forward to that. I hope my old back gets back soon, and for a VERY long time. She has mentioned retiring before, so I hope this isn't early retirement for her