When it comes to the medical field, it seems there are two kinds of people: those who believe in alternative health care and those who do not.
If you find yourself on the side of those who at least consider it for their own healthcare, you might want to think about it for your dog, as well, and probably for many of the same reasons. Some people simply do not trust the drugs of Western medicine. Others have been disappointed with the results of conventional drug use and are looking for a supplemental or alternative therapy. Still others are seeking a more natural path to good health.
However, just as you wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) take a conventional medication without consulting someone trained in the medical field, the same thing goes for alternative therapies for both you and your dog. Few people realize the potential dangers of self-prescribed herbal therapy, and giving incorrect dosages of potent herbs, or any supplements, to your dog can have devastating consequences. Just because a substance is natural does not mean it is harmless.
In fact, herb therapy is very serious. Just because herbs are easily accessible does not mean they are safe. Additionally, it is not always clear how different substances might interact with any other kind of herb or conventional drug.
An ideal herb therapy may not consist of a single herb. It could be a formula consisting of several herbs.
If your present veterinarian doesn’t feel comfortable with alternative therapies, you may want to find one who does. However, when choosing a practitioner, verify that s/he is licensed or certified by whatever organization governs the therapy. For example, before taking your dog for chiropractic work, be sure the vet is certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association.
If you choose to treat your dog with alternative medicine, educate yourself about the herbs or supplements and inform your veterinarian before beginning any therapy.