Our Miss Gabby is quite the pup. She’s super sassy (and sometimes a little mouthy), she’s a super good snuggler and she loves everyone. We are pretty sure she’d go home with anyone that gives her a good behind the ears scratch and a treat! You wouldn’t know by just looking at her, but Gabby also has canine epilepsy, a condition that results in her having recurrent seizures with no warning. She was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy two years ago which means there doesn’t seem to be one, single cause of her seizures, and we’ve been searching high and low for the best possible pet care ever since. We have fantastic insurance through Pet Plan, and this has allowed us to go above and beyond for Gabby. Without them, it wouldn’t have been financially possible for us to care for her as Pet Plan has allowed.
In addition to her seizure medication and regular check-ups at her neurologist, we’ve recently added a holistic vet to our cadre of medical specialists, Dr. Rebecca Verna. Combining both traditional medicine and holistic care is considered an integrative approach to treatment. We are just in the beginning stages with Gabby’s holistic treatments, but we are already seeing great improvements in her behavior and have our fingers crossed that her seizures will start to decrease. So what is holistic care and what has Gabby been doing at her visits?
Laser Therapy Treatment
Gabby’s visit always starts out with a laser therapy treatment. Laser therapy can be used to assist pets with almost any medical condition, and it’s most often used to treat nervous system and musculoskeletal issues. It is considered a natural pet therapy, it isn’t painful for the animal and works best when combined with other forms of therapy. As seen in the first photo, the treatment requires protective eyewear, and Gabby loves wearing her Doggles! To read more about how laser therapy helps with everything from inflammation to nerve stimulation, visit the AKC Canine Health Website.
After laser therapy, Gabby’s acupuncture session begins. Gabby has tons of energy, and during the session she becomes incredibly calm. It’s almost like she becomes a different dog! Acupuncture is the ancient Chinese art of entering needles into specific points on the body in order to move energy or “chi”. Acupuncture aims to treat the cause of the illness, not just relieve symptoms.
As Dr. Verna states on her website “Acupuncture works well to relive pain and stress and is a wonderful tool for returning patients to a healthy state of well-being.” There is still much research being done in learning exactly how acupuncture helps pets with different illnesses, but I can attest Gabby has been doing great after her first few treatments! You can read more about acupuncture treatments here.
Massage and Chiropractic Adjustment
Gabby’s favorite part is next – her massage! Prior to her chiropractic adjustment, she receives a relaxing massage, stimulating all of her pressure points. She also might get a belly scratch in there somewhere. What can I say, she’s spoiled!
The last part of Gabby’s physical treatment is a chiropractic adjustment. If looking at chiropractic care for your pet, ensure your pet’s chiropractor is a certified veterinary chiropractor. Chiropractic can help with pet arthritis, ear infections, allergies, injuries, seizures and much more. Click here to search for a certified and licensed pet chiropractor in your area.
We’ve also started Gabby on a few Chinese herbs in powder form. In Chinese medicine, seizures and epilepsy belong to what is called the “internal wind syndrome”, and from their perspective there are six patterns that can cause seizures in both humans and animals. Based on Gabby’s symptoms, she is taking Long Dan Xie Gan Tang and Di Tan Tang. We sprinkle the herbs on her food twice a day. Chinese herbs can be used for multiple conditions and illnesses, not just epilepsy. It is thought they work best when combined with other forms of holistic pet care.
Gabby goes every other week for her treatments, and we have noticed a difference in her spirit, her respiratory health (she has constant allergy/sinus issues) and in her energy levels. She went from collapsing after a short walk from exhaustion to wanting to play an hour or two longer with her brother and sister. We have yet to see if the care has helped with her seizure patterns, but if her overall health has improved, my husband and I consider the treatments a success! If you are in the Northern VA area, Dr. Verna has been amazing to work with!
So have you tried holistic pet care or an integrative approach for your pooches? Have you seen any success? Please share!