Using new techniques to better treat your pet
By Laura Drucker
When it comes to emerging trends in the field of veterinary medicine, the focus is on collaborative, customized care. Integrative vets use a variety of techniques to treat each animal as a whole, as opposed to one-size-fits-all solutions that may not address the specific needs of your pet.
One veterinary center leading the way in cutting-edge animal care is Chicago’s Integrative Pet Care (IPC). Founded in 2005, IPC was formed in response to an observed lack of effective, holistic veterinary care and rehab practices in the Chicago area. “We don’t pigeonhole [animals] into one treatment,” says Ed Heil, IPC’s owner. “Because we have all these modalities, we can do specifically what’s best for the condition of the animal.”
IPC and other centers like it offer a comprehensive array of methods designed to provide a truly unique treatment plan for every animal who comes through the doors. “One of the first things we do is ask [the pet parent] what their objectives are—what are they trying to achieve?” Heil says. “And then we examine the client and come up with a treatment plan we think makes the most sense.”
With all the new, exciting therapies available to treat our pets, it’s important to remember that only certified professionals should perform them. Dr. Rosemary LoGiudice, an IPC veterinarian with more than 30 years of experience, stresses that while these new methods are great, they can be damaging to your pet if used improperly.
“If [a treatment] is used incorrectly, if the person performing it is not completely trained in all the ins and outs of how to use the equipment, it’s going to make [the problem] worse. One of the things that concerns me is that some of the new equipment that’s really fantastic—things like Class IV lasers for laser therapy—when used incorrectly, can actually hurt animals.”
How can you find out if your veterinarian is certified in a specific therapy? Just ask, LoGiudice urges. “I find that people are amazingly resistant to ask questions of their veterinarians: What are your qualifications? Did you receive additional training? Where did you receive additional training? Anybody who has received that additional training should be very proud of that fact, and will not be at all resistant to talking about it.
A guide to cutting-edge vet care
The field of veterinary medicine is getting increasingly sophisticated, which means better care for your pet. Here are some of the exciting new therapies offered at IPC and similar institutions. Remember to ensure your pet’s care provider is certified in each technique before agreeing to start treatment.
Veterinary acupuncture: Not just for humans anymore, this Eastern medical technique is used to manage pain and to treat a variety of physical and mental ailments.
Massage therapy: A great method of treatment for injured or post-surgical pets. Massage increases circulation, muscle and joint mobility, and flexibility.
Swim and hydro therapy: Ideal for improving joint health and muscle function. Treatments such as underwater treadmills and swimming help increase pets’ agility and movement capabilities.
Electrical stimulation: It’s not as scary as it sounds! Professionals trained in this modality use strategically placed microcurrents to help pets recover from injuries and to relieve pain and muscle stress.
Laser treatment: Used to manage pain and promote healing, therapeutic lasers are often used in conjunction with other therapies.
Learn more about Integrative Pet Care and emerging trends in veterinary care by visiting IntegrativePetCare.com.