Integrative Medicine: A Comprehensive Approach


dr-stephanie-meyerBy Stephanie Meyer, DVM, CVA, Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital

Integrative veterinary medicine is a comprehensive approach to animal care that combines the best of conventional medicine and complementary and alternative therapies.

Western medicine and nontraditional medicine are not mutually exclusive, and the integration of these practices is often extremely beneficial. The goals of both are the same: healing, maintaining a good quality of life for our patients, and disease prevention. This integrative approach to diagnostics and treatments gives our animal patients many more therapeutic options and can benefit animals from birth to their senior years.

Integrative medicine and rehabilitation services can include:

• Traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine)

• Western herbology/homeopathy

• Nutritional/dietary management

• Advanced dietary supplements

• Rehabilitation therapy and pain management (physical therapy, underwater treadmill/hydrotherapy, cryotherapy and thermal therapies, therapeutic ultrasound, shock-wave treatment, cold laser)

• Chiropractic (spine manipulation)

• Massage therapy

Common conditions addressed with integrative medicine and rehabilitation include:

• Orthopedic issues (e.g., osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease, canine hip dysplasia, paralysis/pain from bulging or ruptured discs)

• Neurologic problems (e.g., intervertebral disc disease, fibrocartilaginous emboli)

• Behavioral disorders

• Developmental diseases

• Geriatric conditions (e.g., weakness and/or chronic pain, dementia/ cognitive dysfunction)

• Immune system disorders

• Pain management and post-surgical conditions

• Endocrine disorders (e.g., Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes)

• Dermatologic disorders (e.g., allergic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, lick granulomas or “hot spots”)

• Internal medicine conditions (e.g., cardiovascular disorders such as anemia and heart disease, cancer, liver disorders, urogenital disorders such as bladder infections and renal failure, pancreatitis)

At the Pilchuck Integrative Medicine and Canine Performance Center, our focus is on treating the whole animal, while establishing a partnership and therapeutic plan with each client and his or her regular veterinarian to achieve optimal wellness for your animal companion.

Appointments and info: 360.568.3112 or