What to Expect?
Each pet has a unique history, lifestyle, medical history and set of individual behaviors that the owner may or may not know is healthy.
Dr. Bernadette Aleksey will recommend a specialized treatment plan that can be implemented after a comprehensive examination, interpretation of diagnostic test results, discussion of health history and current wellness, along with completion of the TCVM questionnaire so the whole pet is treated not just the symptoms that are presented.
Acupuncture is the use of sterile thin needles to stimulate specific points on the body. Stimulation of these points generates the flow of Qi through specific channels in the body called meridians. Qi is the animating force that allows cells, organs, and systems to function. The body is designed to maintain balance (homeostasis). Disease processes, lifestyle excesses and deficiencies, unhealthy habits, and even negative thoughts counteract the body’s ability to maintain balance, resulting in disease symptoms. Acupuncture is used to resolve symptoms by restoring balance and health. This healing process begins with the flow of Qi.
Dr. Bernie practices traditional Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. Integrative veterinary medicine individualizes each patient’s treatment plan according to the specific needs of the patient.
Which patients/conditions would benefit from integrative veterinary medicine?
All patients can benefit from being assessed by a different set of eyes. Some conditions that are commonly treated effectively with integrative veterinary medicine include painful conditions, arthritis, seizures, neurological disorders, gastrointestinal problems, behavior problems, kidney disease, liver disease, anemia, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infections, bladder stones, allergies, immune system disorders, skin problems, weight management issues, thyroid disorders and other endocrine diseases, heart problems, and many more.
Chinese herbal medicine is the use of specific medicinal herbs compounded together into balanced formulas that help the body to achieve and maintain balance. These formulas can be used to reinforce acupuncture treatments; they can be used together with Western medical therapies; or they can be used alone as a primary therapy. Chinese herbal medicine is used for disorders of the musculoskeletal system, as well as internal medicine disorders, skin problems, and behavioral problems. All of the herbal formulas prescribed by Adorable Pets Veterinary Center are stringently tested and manufactured using GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) in accordance with FDA standards.
Chinese dietary therapy uses food as medicine. Each food has its own effect on the body. For example, some foods can cool the body, while others make the body feel hot. Chinese dietary therapy is the practice of designing a therapeutic diet that addresses the patient’s specific needs to help restore and maintain balance within the body.
Here is an example of how dietary therapy might be used for a specific condition: A dog with recurring ear infections and itchy red skin rashes who drinks a lot of water, pants excessively, seeks out cold tile floors to lie on, and dislikes hot weather might feel better on a diet that decreases the Excess Heat in the body and removes Dampness from the body. Dr. Bernie would either formulate a recipe for a diet that the owner could cook at home or she would guide the owner to a commercial food containing the therapeutic ingredients necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for the patient.
Manual Manipulation Therapy (Chiropractic)
A very sweet 6 year old female rescued pitbull had severe trauma throughout her body, a crooked jaw, and exhibited bunny hopping on her front legs. The normal behavior of alternating paws and flexing the wrists while walking. Something really bad must have happened to this dog in her past. The wrists are also known as the carpi, which is the plural of carpus. All four of the carpi were rigid and would not allow the pitbull to walk normally. Much like a dog trying to walk with casts on her wrists. Dr. Skip Hightman, DVM, DOM, CVA, CVH, Diplomat NCCAOM has practiced manual manipulation on pets since 1990. Dr. Hightman spent less than 10 minutes adjusting the restriction in the joints of the whole body. To our amazement and awe the pitbull was then able to bend her carpi and walk out of the treatment room just like any healthy patient. Dr. Hightman stated that the pitbull would need the muscle manipulation for several sessions. That demonstration of the effects of manual manipulation has rejuvenated my enthusiasm and positive outlook for my patients. I want to make a significant improvement in the health and well-being of the pets under my care. This technique works and can be replicated when the correct techniques and training are combined with a compliant owner! Does your pet have rigidity issues or is slow to move about?
Veterinary Manual Manipulation (VMM) is a term used in many states that do not legally recognize the term Veterinary Chiropractic. VMM is a drugless form of therapy based upon manual manipulation of the spine, extremities, and skull bone junctions to restore full and pain-free range of motion to joints. Just as in people, the brain of our pets communicates with almost every cell in the body either directly or indirectly through the spinal cord and nervous system. If there is interference in the nervous system, the rest of the body cannot function properly. The goal of VMM is to re-establish normal biomechanics and movement in the spine and extremities, thereby freeing the nervous system to restore and maintain the body’s health. VMM therapy can increase or restore performance in animals that participate in agility, fly ball, obedience training, hunting, herding, and day-to-day activities.
An adjustment can be beneficial if the animal has any of the following symptoms:
- Hip dysplasia
- Acute or chronic injury
- Recent orthopedic surgery
- Difficulty / reluctance going up or down stairs
- Disc disease
- Neurological disease
- Behavior problems related to pain
- Hunched back
- Pain in neck or back
- Urinary incontinence
- Unusual gait
- Lick granulomas
- Difficulty eating
And many, many more
VMM therapy is very safe. When done properly by a certified veterinarian, or a Doctor of Chiropractic trained in veterinary anatomy, a patient has a higher probability of getting hit by lightning than being injured by an adjustment. Do not allow adjustments on your pet from an adjuster, veterinary or chiropractic, who has not completed a certified veterinary specific training program. The most common side effect is localized muscle soreness. It is important that your animal feels comfortable with the practitioner and is relaxed during the treatment. There are some gentle chiropractic techniques that do not use manual thrusts, and these may be more appropriate for a tense or uncooperative animal. A veterinary examination prior to chiropractic treatment is important to identify patients that might be harmed by chiropractic. For example if your pet has a fracture or a tumor, chiropractic treatment in affected areas is contraindicated. Professionally trained doctors know how to assess pain and reduce the chances of painful adjustments without medication. If a manual adjustment is too painful for your animal, I will use a different treatment such as acupuncture or laser.
Laser therapy is a painless use of laser energy to generate a photochemical response in damaged or dysfunctional tissue. Laser therapy can alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and accelerate recovery from a wide range of acute and chronic conditions. As rehabilitation specialists know, the main goal of treatment for many painful, debilitating conditions is to facilitate improved function and mobility. Laser therapy is a drug-free, surgery-free technique to help make that goal a reality.