Holistic Vet Care vs Traditional Vet Care: what’s the REAL difference?

preventing disease is the cornerstone of
any healthcare system regardless of whether you are a human dog or cat so
what then is the difference between holistic vet care versus traditional vet
care there seems to be a distinction made by alternative veterinary
practitioners that they provide holistic vet care and conventional or traditional
veterinarians simply treat the disease symptoms is the story though in fact a
little more complicated than that my I’m Dr. Alex from ourpetshealth.com
helping you and your pet to live a healthier happier life and welcome to
this the second video in my evidence matters series where I discuss how to
know what to believe and why things might not be as they first seem so let’s
start with the term but the clarity I would classify myself as a conventional
veterinarian and I’ll discuss what this means later on in the video so what does
holistic mean when it comes to vet care well holistic veterinary medicine is
characterized by the treatment of the whole individual including their
environment diet and lifestyle rather than just considering the symptoms of
the disease unfortunately the term holistic has been
hijacked and the meaning has shifted to many people the result being that
holistic vet care is commonly believed to be something that is only practiced
by alternative or complementary practitioners in other words the use of
therapies such as homeopathy acupuncture chiropractic and the recommendation of
raw feeding has become synonymous with holistic care as a result those who
recommend these alternative approaches in many but not all cases claim that
veterinarians who do not subscribe to their beliefs are simply treating the
symptoms of a disease and not addressing the underlying root cause and practicing
a holistic approach I would assert that this is absolute rubbish all
veterinarians advocate that they’re overweight patients should lose weight
rather than keep quiet and simply prescribe insulin when or if they become
diabetic everyone would discuss reducing stress and increasing water consumption
in a cat that had a history of cystitis or bladder obstruction any vet treating
a patient with arthritis would advise weight loss supplementation exercise and
in or management as appropriate rather than
simply hand over a pot of pain painkillers to do otherwise would be to
do a disservice to our patients it would be far more lucrative to do away with
vaccinations and instead treat the parvovirus pandemic that will
undoubtedly occur in a very short timeframe but no instead vaccinations
are recommended to prevent deadly disease developing and this is something
that I’ve discussed further in the video on vaccinations and Titor testing that’s
I’ll just put a link up here so all of these steps are aimed at addressing the
underlying cause of a patient’s problem taking in a patient’s environment their
diet and lifestyle and isn’t that what the definition of holistic entails let
me suggest an alternative view of holistic vet care versus traditional vet
care the difference between self-appointed holistic and conventional
practitioners is often the fact that the former so the holistic put greater
weight on their individual experience of beliefs rather than the weight of
scientific evidence and if even if their conclusions are in direct opposition to
the bulk of the evidence currently available to us in other words they
endorse alternative medical interventions that time and again have
failed to demonstrate a reliable repeatable and significant positive
patient result in fact these interventions are embraced as addressing
the perceived root cause of whatever health problem is felt to be present
with some alternative practices the the jury is still out in that there is
little evidence to support or to refute the claims that are being made in other
cases though the evidence is overwhelming just take a look at my
video discussing if homeopathy works in pets let alone in people that I’ll link
up here and again down in the description now of course we don’t know
everything and to claim that conventional vet care as all of the
answers certainly would be foolish and naive in many cases there are big gaps
or gray areas in our knowledge of certain conditions unfortunately though
many of these gaps and gray areas are instead painted as clear simple
irrefutable black and white facts in many of the online alternative sites and
forums out on the Internet certainly in some cases time may prove that various
alternative practitioner beliefs are right certain nutriceuticals or dietary
supplement may collect enough evidence to show that
yes they do provide a significant overall benefit to our patients with
certain conditions it might be that certain feeding practices are shown to
be the right option for certain individuals or even species as a whole
but evidence is just not there yet and certainly not any great strength that
some might have you believe as a vet though I also strongly believe that my
clients deserve to know when my management or treatment preferences
based on opinion rather than evidence or if the jury is still out wouldn’t you
want to know the same wouldn’t you also want to know when the weight of evidence
actually suggests that a specific treatment or intervention has been
studied extensively and even then failed to reliably show it does any individual
any good if we all ignored scientific evidence we would still be using leeches
and bleeding to treat all kinds of ailments after all many practitioners of
the time strongly believe that these treatments worked and many would have
had stories of their patients improving after such interventions now all of this
is not to say that conventional veterinarians have nothing to learn from
alternative practitioners their consultation approach generally takes
much more time and it can go into details of the patient history that can
be very difficult to obtain in a 10 to 15 minute consultation slot in most
cases 15 minutes is more than sufficient to gather all of the initial information
needed to start an investigation or to start treating a problem clearly though
some cases would benefit from a longer initial evaluation more time would also
allow a more thorough discussion and explanation to be given again in short
consultations this can be very challenging to deliver successfully and
that’s one reason why I started our pets health preventing disease through
increasing awareness and putting various different strategies in place is my
number one aim and it is because of this some of the first content that I
produced on our pet SOUTHCOM and here on YouTube included series on preventing
obesity and successfully dieting your dog and cat along with the recognition
and successful treatment of arthritis and the environmental strategies that we
can put in place to really reduce our reliance on drugs and there have been
many more articles and videos focusing on
on prevention I am a conventional or traditional vet and I make no apologies
for that and I’m not unique in my belief that prevention is better than cure and
that the underlying cause of a problem should be addressed wherever possible in
fact I’m distinctly average in this view I do though demand that wherever
possible vet care should be based on the evidence available wherever possible and
not just personal belief or conjecture quite simply evidence matters join me
next time where I continue my evidence matters series and discuss something
known as the dunning-kruger effect now this is something that everyone who
frequents pet forums must absolutely be aware of so until then I’m dr. Alex from
our pets health because they’re family

One thought on “Holistic Vet Care vs Traditional Vet Care: what’s the REAL difference?”

  1. Do you know if placebo in pets is a real thing? check out the answer here: https://youtu.be/4RzCqm4j8kE

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