The Lure of the Holistic Vet - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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The Lure of the Holistic Vet

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

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 03:42 PM
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Re: The Lure of the Holistic Vet

I hear you Lisa. I've had the same experience with holistic vets that I've had with allopathic vets. Some are great and respect your input, etc. and others are pushing this, that and the other thing and don't respect your input, etc. I was going to one for a while about once a month but I couldn't afford it anymore and stopped going.

Acupuncture has worked well for some issue with my animals and not so much for others. Same with herbs. Same with conventional medicines.

I like the vet I have now b/c he is hands off. He helps me when/if I need help, he listens to me and checks things out with/for me but he never pushes anything (except certain types of testing which is fine) and he trusts me to take care of my animals b/c he sees proof every time I bring them in that I take good care of them! He's also not afraid to say he doesn't know something or that he needs to look something up or that I should go to a specialist in a particular area. That kind of vet is very, very difficult to find.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 05:39 PM
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Re: The Lure of the Holistic Vet

The holistic vet that I have been taking LJ to for chiropractic is VERY pushy and wants to be in control of the supplements. I'm not crazy about what she sells - I too want to know all the ingredients. Last visit the supplements alone cost $160. She suggests dosing that I'm not at all comfortable with.

We have an appointment next week with a new holistic vet far, far away. He was recommended by my regular vet. They went to Tufts together and she says - at the time - he was very compassionate.

I have a similar relationship with my regular vet as Ruth. She listens to me and is always open to my suggestions. I just wish she knew more about treating tick diseases.

Lisa, I hope your vet isn't retiring. Maybe she'll consider semi-retirement. If you adopt a few senior dogs, you could be her only client.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The Lure of the Holistic Vet

Originally Posted By: LJsMom If you adopt a few senior dogs....
Aack, at this point, that might put me over the edge!! I don't know how I could juggle anymore right now!! eek!! BUT, I have to say, I just don't know what I would do if the dogs weren't here. They are the only reason that I am not stark raving insane right now.

I guess we'll see how this vet reacts when I go back and report how I changed things that she said. At that point, I guess the ball is in her court, and we proceed from there.

I must say, Max is doing well, and I'm very pleased.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 03:56 PM
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Re: The Lure of the Holistic Vet

I have been going to the same holisitic vet since 1993, and she is wonderful. She doesn't push anything - just works hard to get your dog/cat better. She does prescribe remedies of course, but they are inexpensive. Her time is what costs, because she works up each case individually, and the sorts of problems most of her clients go to her for are stubborn or unusual cases which have met with defeat elsewhere. I feel very fortunate to have found her all those years ago - she is a caring and compassionate person who will even come to your home when it is time to say goodbye to your best friend - and she has helped my guys immeasurably. Anyone in Colorado who needs a really great holistic vet is welcome to PM me!


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Lure of the Holistic Vet

Definitely hang on to that vet!!!!

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-01-2009, 09:21 AM
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Re: The Lure of the Holistic Vet

My holistic vets are great. My primary vet was holistic as well as conventional. Unfortunately he is retired (waaah!) and I have not yet been able to replace him.
Our acupuncture vet usually discusses the points when we first arrive and as the needles go in we discuss the pro and cons of supplements/herbs. I always want to know why they are given and sometimes I will ask for a specific one and she will agree with me or not but it's always a dialogue. I also tell her when I am not comfortable with a herb or supplement or if I can't afford it right now and it is always fine and she understands. I know we are lucky to have her!

Glad that Max is feeling better!!! Good luck
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-01-2009, 11:24 AM
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Re: The Lure of the Holistic Vet

The only holistic vet I went to because of such wonderful recommendations disappointed me quite a bit. I agree with Lisa, maybe becasue I had my hopes so high and trusted him be better than regualar vets.

He had an attitude and made me feel like I am useless clueless owner, he was afraid of my dog and didn't even try to make a connection with him, and he blamed me and the dog. Then I saw the bill only at the time I had to pay and it was $550, and all this time I had to say 'no', 'no thank you', 'not today' to the suggested treatments that I didn't feel were needed except stuffing the vet's pocket. Anton didnt' throw up for almost ten hours, why did he need a vomit preventing shot? Because it costs $70, I have no other explanation. Then the technician told me that antigen is not accurate for giardia so they don't do it and do floatation instead. When I said I don't want it in this case they looked at me like I'm the enemy of the state.

And what really threw me off was that I had to come next day for a follow up appointment just to hear the results of the blood test (that was paid for), and that appointment cost me again $60. I will not go to this vet again, I don't even care if he's good anymore.

Sorry for this rant. I'm really considering going to the cheapest mobile vet for shots now and to emergency care for emergencies, and for complicated problems to WSU 3 hours away. I'm tired of our local vets, conventional or holistic, and their attitudes.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-01-2009, 04:49 PM
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Re: The Lure of the Holistic Vet

Man I hear you Oksana!! That particular holistic vet is working hard to pay for his new clinic. I do like his store tho and miss it here. And you are right, it seems there are not a lot of really good vets where you are at.

I really like the vet I found here and although he is not a holistic vet he is very willing to let me use supplements and even suggests there use.


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