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Integrative Veterinary Medicine

In today's global health scenario, we are facing some serious issues both in human and veterinary medicine; antibiotic resistance, addiction problems with pain medication prescriptions, and a high proportion of obesity in both ourselves and our pets.  These things combined with significant environmental and climate changes around the world are slowly, but certainly, starting to create the perfect storm that will shake our current healthcare systems as we know them once the winds begin to blow.  As ominous as this picture sounds, it is imperative that we begin to work towards sustainable medicine both in the human and veterinary fields.

This is where we need to take a closer look at alternative health therapies and consider options for integrative medical approaches.  In addition to appropriate use of antibiotics (reminder that antibiotics are not effective for viral infections), we need to not only consider IF an antibiotic is to be used but if so, which particular ONE is chosen. The veterinarians at Wascana Animal Hospital have been working diligently to use antibiotics prudently and to help educate others on the importance of doing so.  We want to "use the right drug for the right bug" to make sure that when we actually do need a particular antibiotic for a specific infection, we can actually count on it to be effective.  Additionally, we can also look at other options for pain control either in conjunction with or instead of, anti-inflammatory or narcotic medications such as Tui na (a type of massage) and acupuncture.

        At Wascana Animal Hospital, we are pleased and proud to offer alternative veterinary therapies in addition to our conventional practices.   Dr. Ulmer is a certified veterinary acupuncturist (CVA) and routinely uses integrative medicine in her practice.  Other veterinarians at our hospital are also able to consult and offer Dr. Ulmer's services in addition to their treatment plans for their patients as well.   At Wascana Animal Hospital, we like to have as many tools in our box of therapies as we can to help all of our patients heal to the best of our abilities.  We like to combine conventional medical treatment with alternative therapy whenever possible for an integrative, multi-modal approach to patient wellness.  

Dr. Ulmer performs traditional Chinese Veterinary Medical (TCVM) exams to determine appropriate alternative therapy.  TCVM evaluations are a natural and holistic form of medicine that have been practiced for millenia.  The TCVM exam is an important first step in allowing Dr. Ulmer to determine what systems are "unbalanced" in the patient and require support to help the body heal itself.  Acupuncture treatment helps to restore the balance and can include dry-needling (needles placed through the skin), electro-acupuncture (a low dose of electrical current passed between acupuncture needles placed through the skin), as well as aquapuncture (where a small amount of liquid is injected into specific acupuncture points).  Acupuncture is effective for many musculoskeletal & neurological conditions such as intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), repetitive strain injuries common in working or agility dogs, torn/damaged ligaments & tendons, nerve paralysis, chronic pain and bone abnormalities (arthritis, bone cysts).  Many other medical (heart & kidney disease, cancers), behavioural (anxiety) and dermatological conditions (ear infections, skin allergies) can also respond well to acupuncture therapy.  Acupuncture may allow a patient to reduce, and in some cases even discontinue the amount of antibiotic, steroid, pain control or other medications they require.  This is what integrative and sustainable veterinary medicine is all about!  

If you have questions regarding alternative veterinary therapy for your pet, please call us at 306-789-0918 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ulmer.

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