Alternative and Complementary Therapy

Allergy Testing/Immunotherapy

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Nextmune Allergy Testing
The SPOT Platinum+ test examines 92 different environmentalallergens. This includes indoor allergens, such as house-dust mites and molds, and outdoor ones like pollens from trees, grasses and weeds. After performing the SPOT Platinum+ test you will know which allergens your pet is allergic to and treatment can begin. This is a fundamental step because without knowing which allergens are causing the problem, it is impossible to develop a tailored immunotherapy treatment or implement allergen-avoidance measures. It also provides a quick assessment of food hypersensitivity. It is a non-invasive test that can save time and money.

Allergies are a lifelong condition, and for that reason any treatment must be continued for life to keep the disease under control. Hypo-sensitization Therapy is effective and safe for long-term use. The best solution is to avoid contact with allergens, but most of the time this is impossible, especially with allergens like house dust-mites, grass, and tree pollen. However, there are measures that can help to minimize contact. Hypo-sensitization Therapy can be administered subcutaneously or orally. Studies show that around 75% of patients have a positive response to it. The effect is usually seen after 5 months, but can take up to a year. Immunotherapy is effective, safe for long-term use, and can be combined with other medications.

A very small number may not improve much. If this happens with your patient, it is important to work closely with your veterinarian, because it is likely that there are other factors involved, other allergies or new allergies (e.g. to fleas of foods). Regular follow-up appointments are important, especially during the first year of treatment. It may be necessary to change the dosage and interval.

Ozone Therapy

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Ozone therapy is one of the most positive approaches to healing. When you have inflammation, swelling, infection, bruising, and even cancer, there are higher amounts of CO2 within the tissue. When we give ozone, it brings Oxygen into the tissue and displaces the CO2. Therefore, inflammation, infection and bruising go down. Ozone is a very effective treatment in acute and chronic viral diseases, as well as acute or chronic bacterial diseases, including those that do not respond well to antibiotics. Ozone can effectively relieve acute “asthmatic” attacks, as well as reverse the allergic component from the inhalation of molds, dust and other allergens. Perhaps the most exciting application of ozone is as an effective adjunct to high-PH therapy for leukemias, lymphomas and other malignancies.

Ozone may be administered by body bagging, bagging of the affected limb, inhalation, rectal insufflation, or by direct intravenous or subcutaneous administration of ozonated saline. Treatments are usually done for several consecutive days or weeks and can be done in the office with the owner present. It relieves pain and allows the tissue to heal as it is bathed in oxygen. We deliver ozone in several different ways. Most of our clients feel the effects are very helpful and positive.

Therapeutic Laser Therapy

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Used similarly to acupuncture, massage therapy, and other alternative therapies, laser treatment can be used in conjunction with or in place of medication to manage pain, inflammation, and wound healing. “Laser”—an acronym for “light amplification of stimulated emission of radiation”—refers to a unit that emits focused, penetrating light beams. Laser therapy helps tissue repair by causing the following:

  • Endorphin release
  • Vasodilation, which increases blood flow to bring in oxygen and cells involved in the healing process.
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Faster healing and repair

The main clinical benefits of laser use in pets include decreased inflammation, decreased pain, and improved wound healing. Laser therapy is used for many veterinary medical conditions, including:

  • Chronic arthritis
  • Surgical incisions
  • Tendon and ligament injuries
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Painful infections

During a treatment session, the handheld laser wand is slowly moved back and forth over the damaged tissue, producing a warm, pleasant sensation that most pets seem to enjoy and find relaxing. Sessions usually last 5 to 15 minutes, with the number of sessions and frequency of treatments dependent on the injury. Chronic conditions may be treated weekly, whereas surgical incisions and open wounds often require daily treatment.

Homeopathic Medicine

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Homeopathy can be used to help treat or prevent a range of health conditions in pets, including allergic reactions, chronic disease, and anxiety. It is sometimes used in conjunction with acupuncture and chiropractic therapy.

Derived from the Greek words homoios, which means like or similar, and pathos, which means suffering (disease), homeopathy is based on the philosophy that “like cures like.” Homeopathy uses very dilute solutions (extremely small quantities) of medication that, in an undiluted form, can actually cause symptoms of the disease or condition.

This therapeutic method was developed more than 200 years ago, when a German scientist ingested the bark of a cinchona tree, which contains quinine (used to treat malaria at the time). He began to experience the same symptoms as malaria. When he stopped taking the tree bark, his symptoms disappeared. The scientist theorized that if a substance could cause symptoms of a disease, minute amounts of that same substance could cure the disease by stimulating the body’s natural defenses.

Homeopathic remedies are prepared from pure, natural substances derived from plants, animals, and minerals. Their preparation may involve diluting the original substance from ten times to millions of times with water or alcohol. Remedies include arsenicum album, belladonna, and chamomilla. Because these remedies are highly diluted, they are generally considered safe and unlikely to cause severe adverse reactions.

Homeopathy is not typically used to replace conventional veterinary treatment. To keep your pet as safe as possible, it is a good idea to have him or her see the same veterinarian for both conventional and alternative treatment.

To discuss the potential use of homeopathy in your pet, please call our clinic to set up an appointment.

Acupuncture

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Traditional Chinese medicine is based on the philosophy that illness is caused by an imbalance of vital energies in the body. Acupuncture is one aspect of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) that focuses on restoring the energy balance in the body to promote healing. The technique requires the insertion of fine needles into the dog’s body at specified points, called acupuncture points, where nerves and blood vessels converge. TCVM calls these sites meridians, which are believed to be energy channels that transmit energy throughout the dog’s body. The inserted needles guide “chi” or vital energy along the meridians. Placed in these identified points, the needles enhance blood circulation which improves healing ability. Acupuncture also stimulates the nervous system and increases the release of anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving substances to reduce a dog’s discomfort.

Even though dogs may be a little nervous in a new clinical setting, most become very relaxed after needle insertion. Depending on the conditions addressed, the actual session may last 10-30 minutes. The doctor outlines a treatment protocol that may involve one to three sessions per week for several weeks. Often, the number of sessions is tapered off as the dog improves, so visits are scheduled less frequently. The effects of acupuncture treatment are cumulative so there is a benefit to repeated sessions, but the goal is to achieve the greatest degree of improvement and maintain that level with the fewest treatments necessary.