Finding A Holistic Vet

Finding a holistic veterinarian is harder than it should be. There is a website for finding holistic veterinarians, www.AHVMA.org, and that’s a great place to start, but I’m not sure that all holistic vets are listed there, and from what I understand, you don’t need much holistic in your toolkit to be listed there, so more research will probably need to be done.

I did a search on the AHVMA website and didn’t come up with much in my area so I went to Google. I found a couple, not much. In fact, the veterinarian that I had contacted prior to moving here had retired by the time I moved. I contacted her right after we moved into the new house and she told me that she and her husband decided to take advantage of the current real estate market, sold their home, and started traveling all across the country in an RV!

So I called around to a few more places and found a house call vet that says they are holistic (it’s in the name). Great! I didn’t need them at the time, so I contacted them and had them put me and the crew in the system for when we do.

Well, I needed them this past week. I’m still struggling with Sissy and her overgrooming. I’ve worked with Pam at Purrrfectly Holistic (remember last weeks post?!) and since I’ve switched Sis over to a chicken-based diet, some of her hair has actually grown back in. YAY!

But I want to cover all of my bases so I contacted the “supposedly” holistic vet and scheduled a visit. Now, I will say that there are now 2 vets in the practice because the one who founded the practice was overwhelmed. I got an appointment with the newest vet, who just started with her this year.

She was pleasant and open to everything I said and all of the holistic approaches I have and am taking with Sissy and the rest of the cats.

I was taken aback when she suggested that we try a topical flea and tick medication. We’ve talked about these insidious “medications” so much at this point that I’m sure you’re just as aghast as I was!

But I pushed through and calmly and rationally let her know that I use safe, veterinary-grade essential oils with my pets for their pest control and use Wondercide externally and that I have serious concerns about using neurotoxins on my pets.

She did give that up, so we were good again. Then she said that she’d like to do skin cytology to rule out any skin infections. No problem, let’s do it. After all, that’s my goal, rule out anything medical and move on to behavioral.

The cytology came back negative but with trace amounts of cocci bacteria. Nasty buggers, but I am not freaked out because I have confidence in my ability to rationally educate myself and find the best possible solution with the least potential side effects for my cat.

She recommended a shot of convenia and apoquel to stop the itch. HOW DARE SHE!!??

I remained calm, listened to her, and let her know that I would do some research and follow up.

There is no infection, so why would I give my cat an antibiotic? Not only does an anti-biotic kill all bacteria, good and bad, but giving them when not warranted can lead to antibiotic resistance. No thank you.

And then there’s the Apoquel recommendation. I did make a point to tell her that I’m aware of the drug and that it does not treat the root cause of the issue, rather only inhibits the immune system, keeping it from doing its job and tricking the animal into not scratching (or licking in this case). She agreed and we ended the conversation.

I’m not an expert on Apoquel, but if you’ve been a part of any pet groups focused on holistic health and healing, or if you follow any integrative, holistic, or homeopathic veterinarians, you’ve probably heard how terrible it is for our pets.

Again, no thank you!

So, I am in search of a new vet again. I have a game plan for Sissy. I have been terrible about using essential oils for many months, which is a shame and I feel terrible for it, but it is what it is and I can’t go back. I have started a new routine with Sis using animalEO’s Kitty Boost twice a day. I feel confident that this will keep those nasty bacteria at bay. If necessary, I can add Skin Spray into the mix.

I have also started a new behavior modification technique with Romeo. Any time he picks a fight with Sissy, she gets my attention and a treat to console her. He doesn’t much like this. So far, he runs up to us and sits waiting for his treat (that isn’t coming).

He has also started to go to the litter box to pee shortly after Sissy and I have our moment. He knows that peeing in the litter box gets him a treat, so he may be starting to put 2 and 2 together. We’ll see!