Why Veterinary Alternatives?
My main motivation has always been the animals that I treat and I've always strived to be able to offer owners a reliable, cost effective service for managing their animals problems.
Initially I studied acupuncture and Chinese medicine through IVAS after my boss at the time asked me to study it so that we could offer these treatments at our practice. We were finding a growing demand for acupuncture and alternative treatments from our clients.
People were starting to look for other ways of treating animals and becoming less and less enthusiastic about having their pets on long term medication especially if there was side effect risks or the animals were unwell in other ways that prevented them from being able to take these medications.
Initially it was just acupuncture, and this bought about an influx of horses which meant I had to cut back on my small animal general veterinary work to be able to help these owners.
Then this evolved into looking at other modalities and therapies and to be honest I've now looked at just about everything. You need an open mind and an ability to be discerning (there is a lot out there that simply just doesn't work, or work consistently enough for me at least to be able to offer it for my patients).
It is also quite common that routine medications while very good don't always work for all animals and this can be very hard for their owners when there isn't something suitable to relieve pain or suffering. I'm referring in particular to arthritis treatments here but it applies to all conditions.
It seemed the more I looked the more I found with the predominant problems continually resurfacing:
a) veterinary medical: the medications more often than not would work but also would often come with unwanted side effects. Often costs were also an issue for people.
b) natural alternatives: multiple options that all read brilliantly but when put to the test would be very hit and miss. In contrast though very little if any side effects would be seen.
Over time what I started to realise is that the key was to find effective treatments, with minimal side effects that are reasonably priced for owners (most medications or supplements fail at 1-2 of these criteria. Sometimes all 3).
Although it started out at firstly seeing acupuncture work in patients when really I had no expectation and was pleasantly surprised, then looking at many other modalities to see what other options there were, my practice has now come full circle to just finding the right balance between mainstream and alternative medicine and that seems to be why people seek us out for help.
Some consultations are purely second (independent) opinions on animals, others are for treatment and others are for a combination of both.
It's been an interesting past 14 years and particularly the past 8, and I look forward to helping as many animals and owners as possible moving forward".