Modern Veterinary Medicine is no longer a practice of diagnosing and treating solely within our “Western” dogma. Pet owners and Veterinarians alike are seeking treatment solutions to complement traditional therapies across cultures and continents, all in an effort to improve pet longevity and quality of life. There are many branches within complementary medicine including but not limited to Medical Acupuncture, Rehabilitation, Laser therapy, Massage, Nutraceuticals, and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine or TCVM has been adapted from Traditional Chinese Medicine; a practice dating back over 4,000 years. It incorporates acupuncture, herbal therapies, food therapy, and lifestyle. After graduating from veterinary School, I found that TCVM dovetailed beautifully into my traditional veterinary training, allowing my patients to receive the absolute best treatment possible, regardless of its origin.
In TCVM, disease is a manifestation of an imbalance in the body; pain a symptom of stagnation. The goal of therapy is not to cure the symptom, or even start life-long supplementation/treatment, but rather to re-balance the body. By achieving balance and homeostasis in the body, the body is able to self-modulate disease to achieve optimal health. Severity of clinical signs usually indicates chronic imbalance in the body of the animal. This can be a product of lifestyle, diet, exposure to toxins or pathogens, stress, and genetics.
My practice is aimed at helping pets to achieve balance in their body. With my diverse background of training, this could include traditional pharmaceuticals, surgery, etc., or a more natural approach including acupuncture, herbals and food therapy. Often it is a combination of both.
Acupuncture is quickly becoming mainstream in veterinary medicine, with ample research showing its beneficial effects. Acupuncture alone has been shown to decrease inflammation, improve mood, reduce pain, and modulate immune function. In combination with herbal medicine, the results are even better.
Chinese Herbals, in contrast to western herbal supplements, are ancient formulas containing 8-12 ingredients, modified over thousands of years, developed to work synergistically with acupuncture and food therapy. All of the herbal formulas I use are botanical in origin, as well as responsibly sourced, making them safe and pure for your pet. As mentioned, our goal is to achieve balance in the body and so herbals can be used to warm or cool your pet, drain dampness, tonify Qi, reduce pain; each formula directed at a different pattern of disease. Chinese herbals allow for customization of treatment unlike anything in the Western world. For example, 2 geriatric dogs may be treated with the same anti-inflammatories from a traditional standpoint, but in Chinese Medicine they may be found to have two completely different constitutions requiring vastly different approaches with acupuncture, food and herbals. Not only is TCVM’s approach custom, but it is often temporary once homeostasis in the body is achieved. For those pets that require prolonged treatment, owners can anticipate higher quality of life, reduced reliance and side effects of traditional pharmaceuticals, and prolonged survival.
You can read more about Dr. Jenny Ladd and her amazing career in veterinary medicine HERE.