September 28, 2022

Katherine Marraccini is a veterinarian and the Founder of Renew Integrative Veterinary Care. In the article below Dr. Marraccini provides an introduction to holistic veterinary care and explains why it has become so increasingly sought out by pet owners in recent years.
Veterinary hospitals have more in common with human hospitals than ever before.
Katherine Marraccini explains that there are veterinary cancer and heart disease specialists and surgeons who specialize in everything from equine ocular disease to symptoms related to canine aging.
As the profession has increasingly become specialized, Dr. Kate Marraccini more treatment options once reserved solely for people, have become available for your pet.
Welcome to the brave new world of holistic veterinary care.
As with holistic medical care in general, holistic veterinary care refers to treatment approaches that usually blend conventional treatments, such as medication and surgery) with alternative medical therapies highly tailored to an animal’s specific condition.
Dr. Katherine Marraccini explains that such treatment protocols aim to consider the whole picture of a patient, including genetics and nutrition, but also stress levels and disease patterns. Holistic veterinarians prioritize anything and everything that may address all aspects of an animal’s health and treatments that target the whole body as opposed to one health concern or ailment.
Holistic medicine can also be preventative and used to address chronic health conditions. Katherine Marraccini reports that those veterinarians who integrate holistic methods in treatments are as highly trained as their traditional veterinary counterparts and may also hold specific licenses to practice certain holistic treatments.
They all must be graduates of veterinary schools to practice veterinary medicine, and additional specialized training either happens in veterinary school or after graduation.
At its heart, Katherine Marraccini says that holistic veterinary care subscribes to the thought that animals develop an array of ailments that are linked to both psychological and physical causes.
What Are Some Holistic Veterinary Treatments?
Holistic methods vary wildly, but common approaches include massage, chiropractic principles, hemopathy, acupuncture, and herbs.
For example, Katherine Marraccini says an ear infection is likely treated with steroids, antibiotics, and antifungals, but a holistic veterinarian may look beyond the ear and look to see if a diet is contributing to the problem. If it is, they may use Chinese herbs to address digestive issues.
There are many other forms of holistic treatments. According to the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, aromatherapy, flower essences, mega-nutrient therapy, osteopathy, stem cell therapy, and low-level laser therapy are among the common therapies used by veterinarians practicing holistic care.
Hydrotherapy is also becoming more prevalent says Katherine Marraccini, offering low-impact exercise for dogs and other animals in recovery from surgery or injuries.
How Do Holistic Veterinary Therapies Help?
Katherine Marraccini explains that whether used on their own or typically as a complement to surgery or medication, holistic veterinary therapies on animals can have the same effect as equivalent therapies used on humans.
Acupuncture, which has been used in Asia for more than 3,500 years, is frequently implemented to both relieve pain and improve organ system function. It stimulates a pet’s nervous system through targeted points on the body.
In aromatherapy, Dr. Katherine Marraccini explains that plants or substances that are plant-derived are used to bolster mental, physical, and emotional well-being, particularly in a patient dealing with stress.
As with humans, chiropractic approaches are non-invasive ways to target the spinal cord in such a way as to help free the nervous system to perform back at the level it should.
Other therapies have become more refined in recent years. LED lights are used in laser therapy to improve cellular function, particularly in animals with constant pain, experiencing inflammation, or requiring accelerated healing of wounds. Nutritional therapy is considered holistic within veterinary medicine.
Katherine Marraccini says often, such therapies include tweaking an animal’s nutritional intake to maximize energy or prevent certain medical conditions. Mega-nutrient therapy ups the ante by focusing on supplemental vitamins or minerals tailored to a patient’s specific deficiencies.
Should My Animal Get Holistic Care?
Conventional, evidence-based veterinary care has long been the gold standard, but more and more conventional veterinary approaches integrate some form of care that would be considered holistic.
Katherine Marraccini says when it comes down to veterinary care, there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution. A holistic care treatment that may be right for one case may be totally wrong for another.
While holistic care cannot replace treatments such as vaccines or surgeries, whether they are used or not depends on your pet’s condition, your preferences, and the recommendation of your veterinarian.
As with your own medical care, Kate Marraccini says getting a second option on therapies is an option. Many animal owners have opted to consult a holistic-minded veterinarian to see whether a natural treatment may be effective or if their holistic methods may complement an approach their conventional veterinarian will take.
The Bottom Line
Dr. Katherine Marraccini explains that evidence-based veterinary care remains the gold standard, but holistic care is increasingly being seen as beneficial to help treat certain conditions in animals. The key is to listen to a veterinarian and keep an open mind.
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