Posted : 6/25/2008 3:24:03 PM
State vet schools are also
beginning to offer very good nutritional consultations too (from
veterinary nutritionists, not just the normal vets) if you live near
one. I know that at least our does, and a lot of it involves good,
proven herbs/supplements, homecooked diets, etc. Things are, thank
goodness, moving away from only saying "try xxxx variety of SD" ;) !
I do agree that these veternary specialists are a terrific resource - I'm grateful to anyone who offers their services in this way. I have myself gotten the help of a friend who is a veterinary nutritionist, to "run the numbers" for me on various diet approaches.
However, though you are right that conventional medicine is acknowledging the role of holistics, it is still hampered by it's way of looking at health care. Conventional medicine is about analyzing symptoms, identifying underlying causes, and treating them until the dog is asymptomatic. This is a GOOD thing. Someone needs to be good at this stuff.
But, when it comes to a dog who presents with chronic loose stools, let's say the dog is treated with psyllium to increase water absorption. That works and for conventional medicine, that's the end of it. The vet will probably make a guess as to why it worked, and say something about weaning the dog off later, but if nothing else helps, then psyllium will be a permanent part of the dog's diet forever.
Is such a dog suffering from a psyllium husk deficiency?
Holistic medicine asks questions like these: What is it about this dog that made him present these symptoms in response to these stressors? How can we prevent it in the future, or other problems arising from these same characteristics? As a dog owner, I've been frustrated trying to get answers to these questions from conventional vets, and now as I begin studying human medicine myself, I understand that the answers to these are actually outside the realm of the discipline. It's okay - there is a place for both approaches.