Holistic Medicine

Holistic (or integrative or complementary) veterinary medicine is the examination and diagnosis of an animal that considers all aspects of the animal’s life, and employs all of the practitioner’s senses. Treatment is generally a combination of conventional and alternative (and complementary) modalities. We often integrate Ayurvedic medicine and homeopathic medicine in our holistic treatments.

Veterinarians who practice holistic medicine seek to gather information about your pet’s behaviors, complete medical and dietary history, and environment, including current diet, emotional stresses, and other factors. A thorough understanding of your pet’s health will help our veterinarians make recommendations and provide you with the appropriate treatment options to improve your pet’s health. The techniques used in holistic medicine are gentle, minimally invasive, and incorporate patient well-being and stress reduction.


Acupuncture, the stimulation of specific points on the body, has long been one of the most common types of holistic medicine for pets and humans alike. Used for millennia, the treatment is said to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions and help the body heal itself.

Research has demonstrated that acupuncture can be effective for certain medical conditions. Acupuncture points contain nerve bundles, clusters of blood vessels, and increased numbers of mast cells that release histamine and other chemicals when stimulated – including endorphins and enkephalins, the body’s natural pain killers.

Through the use of acupuncture, the staff at Hadlock Veterinary Clinic can treat certain cases of arthritis, hip dysplasia, sprains, lick granulomas, and some neurological conditions.

Before treatment starts, one of our veterinarians will conduct a thorough examination. This examination often involves an in-depth history of environmental and emotional situations that may be affecting your pet’s condition, as well as palpation of certain acupuncture points. Acupuncture does not replace the use of traditional treatments for the above disorders; rather, it complements them. Therefore, all pets undergoing acupuncture must have a complete western work-up and be treated medically or surgically as necessary prior to acupuncture.

Treatments last anywhere from 10 seconds to 30 minutes, depending on the condition treated and the method used. Pets are typically treated once weekly for four to six weeks, but this can vary based on your pet’s response to the treatment.