Holistic Medicine’s Place in Cancer Treatment
A few weeks ago, we took Maggie to see Dr. Patrick Mahaney, a veterinarian who specializes in holistic medicine treatment options. He is also an active blogger, so you may have come across his blog or writings in other places. We are fortunate that he practices within the same group as Maggie’s veterinary oncologist, so we were anxious to discuss his thoughts on Maggie’s treatment and how we might optimize or enhance it with holistic methods.
What does Holistic medicine mean and how can it help our dogs?
Holistic medicine is defined as: …a diverse field of alternative medicine in which the “whole person” (or in our case, “whole DOG”) is focused on, not just the malady itself. (Wikipedia) In Maggie’s case, it means a focus on everything, not just curing the cancer, or alleviating the pain in her leg. It incorporates many different aspects:
- Chiropractic care and massage
- Herbal remedies
Acupuncture can be used to reduce or alleviate pain and discomfort resulting from the disease or improve the health of the dog’s immune system.
Chiropractic care has been used for many years with humans. It comes from Greek words ‘cheir’ (which means ‘hand’), and ‘praxis’ (which means ‘done by hand’). It is manual manipulation of the spine to heal and restore the relationship between the spine and the nervous system of the body to improve overall health.
Herbal remedies work to enhance nutrition and the overall body synergy. They can be used to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
Homeopathy is natural preparations designed to cure a specific malady. According to WebMD, it operates under the theory of “like cures like” — that symptoms of disease can be treated with preparations, in low concentrations, that cause the same symptoms.
Nutrition is obviously a huge component in any animal’s health and well being. A dog with a compromised immune system is susceptible to all sorts of issues, proper nutrition at least keeps their body well fed.
Our visit with Dr. Mahaney was very thorough. He spent over an hour with Maggie, examining her and fully understanding her background, her life with us the last three years and how she’s been handling her cancer and subsequent treatments. He presented us with a long and thorough list of recommendations for her that we will share as we examine them and decide on a course of action for her.
The best part of the exam was Dr. Mahaney’s overall assessment that: “she certainly appears as though she has a very high quality of life despite her cancer diagnosis”. That’s been our goal with all of our dogs! We have sought treatment for all of your dogs from a holistic vet, we’ve treated their arthritis with acupuncture and laser therapy. We’ve also utilized holistic medications for pain, stress and intestinal distress and have always been pleased with the results.
Stay tuned for more on this topic. Would love to hear your stories of holistic treatments you have used.
— SlimDoggy (@MySlimDoggy) October 22, 2015