Our goal at the Integrative Veterinary Center is to provide clients with all available options for pet care. This is achieved by using conventional medicine, diagnostics, and all other reasonable therapies or systems of medicine to obtain the best therapeutic results. Every system of medicine has its strong and weak points and each is utilized according to what tool is best suited for an individual pet’s problem. The goal is to try to resolve or cure disease and not to suppress symptoms alone. In cases where the animal is at the end of its lifespan or has a terminal condition, the goal is to provide our patients with as high a quality of life as possible.
Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) that has been practiced for over 5000 years. Traditional Chinese Medicine theory holds that Qi (vital energy) flows throughout the body along energetic channels called meridians. Each meridian is also associated with a specific internal organ that reflects the physiological and pathological conditions of that organ. The meridians connect the exterior of the body with the interior.
Acupuncture points are located along these meridians, and when stimulated can relieve pain and restore normal body functions. Acupuncture points have specific locations and effects and have been documented over millennia. From a Western perspective, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate a variety of sensory nerves in the body that transmit the signal through the nervous system to the brain, which then releases various chemicals that produce multiple physiologic effects that activate the body’s homeostatic regulatory mechanisms.
At IVC, we always say that anyone, human or pet, can benefit from acupuncture. Acupuncture can be used to treat numerous ailments from diarrhea to kidney failure. There are multiple acupuncture techniques: dry needle acupuncture, moxibustion, aquapuncture, alectroacupuncture, laser acupuncture, and gold wire implantation into acupoints. These various methods allow for flexibility in animal acupuncture because different pets respond to the various techniques in different ways.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine are typically used together because clinical results can be obtained more quickly that way. The combined effects are also stronger, this is especially important in the treatment of difficult cases.
For more information on the different types of acupuncture practiced at IVC please go to the Pain Management page of our website.
Botanical (Herbal) Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used in China for over 2500 years to maintain health in humans and animals. TCM includes herbs, acupuncture and massage. Herbal therapy and acupuncture are typically used together, as the combined effect is greater than using one of them alone. Chinese herbal medicine is the primary type of botanical medicine practiced at IVC. However, Western, Aryuvedic, Native American, South American and Hawaiian herbs may also be used depending on the case.
The Chinese herbal prescriptions used at IVC are not available over the counter; they are prescribed the same as conventional pharmaceutical drugs. The herbs used in these prescriptions are from the same companies as those used to treat humans. They have been tested for purity and quality. TCM herbs are safe and effective and can be used for long periods of time without side effects when prescribed by a qualified herbalist and used appropriately.
Chinese herbs can be used to treat most conditions recognized by conventional medicine. They can be used alone or combined with other therapies for an enhanced or synergistic effect. Often, a Chinese herbal and a conventional prescription will be used together.
Chinese herbs are especially helpful in the treatment of internal medicine disorders, failing organs, chronic diseases and diseases of the geriatric animal. They can be used to relieve pain, help improve and restore organ function, strengthen and support the immune system. TCM herbal prescriptions are specific for the individual patient and are directed at the root cause of an illness to correct it, and are not given to disease present and are not used to control symptoms alone.
In general, TCM herbal prescriptions must be given for longer periods of time than pharmaceutical drugs, but the benefit lies in their natural ability to gradually return the body to a state of balance and health, without adverse effects. Herbs must be given regularly two to three times a day just like conventional medications to see a therapeutic effect. Modern botanical medicine research is currently working to identify and document the active chemical constituents of many of the herbal formulas used today. Clinical results from TCM herbs can be seen in as little as 3 days but some take up to 2 months depending on the formulation for full effect.
Herbal medications come in a variety of formulations: pills, tablets, capsules, liquids, topical tinctures, washes or pastes, and concentrated herbal extracts in powder or granule form. The formulation used depends on the type of condition treated and the species of animal.
For best results, our veterinarians will periodically monitor your pet’s condition, utilizing both conventional diagnostics and Chinese veterinary medical examination (tongue and pulse diagnosis) to determine if the formula they are being given is effective and still appropriate. In general, for acute conditions an animal may need to be rechecked once every 3-7 days; for chronic cases, once a month or longer may be adequate.
Animal chiropractic is a medical therapy that is used to maintain the health and normal functioning of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. It follows the same principles and practice as chiropractic medicine in human medicine.
A chiropractic adjustment is a very specific treatment that corrects subluxations. Subluxations are defined as misaligned vertebrae that are stuck or unable to move correctly causing pain, stiffness and/or neurological deficits. When the movement of the vertebrae or bones of the spine are restricted, the animal will not have normal function or flexibility of the spine and/or limbs.
Animal chiropractic is a medical therapy that is used to maintain the health and normal functioning of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. It follows the same principles and practice as chiropractic medicine in human medicine.In general, chiropractic treatments or adjustments correct subluxations.
A subluxation is defined as a partial dislocation of the joints where the articular surfaces are still in contact with each other, but are misaligned. Subluxations commonly occur in the spine secondary to acute injury, over exercise and chronic orthopedic disease, but can affect other joints as well. Subluxations can cause poor performance, stiffness, pain, decreased flexibility and function of the muscles and nerves.
What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment or spinal manipulation is a specific high velocity controlled thrust on the specific joint that is being manipulated to correct subluxations or misalignment of the spinal column to relieve pain and restore normal range of motion and neurologic function to the area being treated. Chiropractic medicine is designed to stimulate a natural healing response and return the body to homeostasis as quickly as possible without harmful side effect.
Chiropractic adjustments can treat neck pain, back pain, sacroiliac pain, and tail pain that occur secondary to hip and elbow dysplasia, arthritis, disc prolapse, cruciate ligament tears, cancer, and others. Early chiropractic treatment can prevent the development of more serious musculoskeletal conditions in the future.
Prolotherapy, also known as nonsurgical ligament reconstruction, is a medical treatment for the repair of torn or weak tendons and ligaments and for chronic pain.
“Prolo” is short for proliferation, because the treatment causes the proliferation (growth, formation) of new connective tissue in areas where it has become weak. Clinical results using prolotherapy in dogs and cats appear to indicate the same response. Many elite human athletes use prolotherapy to strengthen their weak ligamentous tissues to prevent against future tears and injury.
Prolotherapy is helpful for many different types of chronic musculoskeletal pain including: chronic osteoarthritis, intervertebral disk disease, chronic back and neck pain, degenerative joint disease, strengthen weak tendon and ligaments and repair torn joint ligaments, particularly the cranial cruciate ligament. Not all animals are candidates for prolotherapy. Each pet is evaluated on an individual case by case basis, and an examination is required to determine if prolotherapy is an appropriate therapy for your pet.
The type of laser used at IVC is the Companion Therapy Class IV Laser. Laser therapy has been shown to accelerate the body’s natural healing process through photo-bio-modulation. Laser clinical studies over several decades have shown that laser therapy relieves pain and inflammation, decreases swelling, stimulates nerve regeneration and promotes tissue repair. Therapy Lasers have been scientifically proven and successful in treating post-surgical pain and inflammation and many acute and chronic pain conditions.
Conditions that can be treated with Laser Therapy
→ Acute Conditions
→ Cuts/ Bites
→ Tooth Extraction Pain Relief
→ Sprains, Strains & Fractures
→ Post-Surgical Healing / Pain Relief
→ Chronic Conditions
→ Degenerative Joint Disease
→ Inflammatory Bowel Disease
→ Periodontal Disease
→ Lick Granulomas
→ Geriatric Care
→ Hip Dysplasia
→ Feline Acne
→ Anal Sacculitis
→ Perianal Fistulas
“Let food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.”
Hippocrates – The Father of Medicine
At the Integrative Veterinary Center we believe that many of our pet’s health problems can be traced to feeding species inappropriate diets. We do not follow or advocate a single dietary program for animals with a “one size fits all” approach. Instead, our specially trained veterinarians can prescribe a nutritional therapy plan that is tailored to your animal’s specific needs.
Our dietary recommendations are formulated taking into account a variety of factors such as the species, age, breed, weight, work the animals is expected to perform and disease condition. Individual food therapy programs suitable for your lifestyle that range from complete and balanced homemade diets to commercially available pet foods can be formulated for your pet.
For more information please visit bensbarketplace.com
Chinese Food Therapy
Chinese food therapy is one of the five branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is the study of food as therapeutic agents for the preservation of health and the treatment and prevention of disease. For over 2000 years, doctors in China evaluated and recorded the properties of foods and their effects on the body. Our doctors can formulate Chinese food therapy programs to treat your pet’s specific disease condition.
Chinese food therapy follows the same diagnostic and treatment principles as acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Chinese food therapy can be thought of as food used as medicine. Diets are designed to bring the body back into balance and work synergistically with the other TCM modalities.
Food is considered to have the same energetic actions as herbs (cooling, warming etc) for treating disease and its application is based on similar principles but with a much broader range of applications. Food energetics refers to the effects food has on the digestion, physiological processes and metabolism of the body.
Food is grouped into 4 basic energetic classifications:
- Thermal nature (hot, warm, neutral, cool, cold)
- Flavor (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, salty)
- Organ association (a food can affect specific internal organs)
- Channel affiliation (a food has a definite effect on a particular acupuncture channel more than any others)
Nutritional consultations are 30-45 minutes in duration and can be scheduled at the center or via the telephone by calling 916-454-1825
Conventional (Western) Medicine
At IVC all of our doctors are trained in conventional medicine and we provide the same veterinary services as those in a strictly conventional veterinary medical practice.
The goal of an integrative approach to veterinary medicine is to provide clients with all the available options for pet care. This is achieved by using conventional medicine, diagnostics and procedures together with all other reasonable systems of medicine (Chinese medicine, chiropractic) or therapies (prolotherapy, gold bead implants) to obtain the best possible results.
Every system of medicine has its strong and weak points and each is utilized according to what tool is best needed for a particular animal’s problem. The goal is to try and cure disease and not to suppress symptoms alone. In cases where the animal is at the end of its lifespan or has a terminal condition, the goal is to provide as high a quality of life as possible for that animal.
We carry a full line of conventional pharmaceutical drugs and offer the following services:
IVC offers non-anesthetic dental cleaning through the Animal Dental Care. Non-anesthetic dental cleaning is performed without general anesthesia or sedation using the same cleaning techniques and instruments as dental cleanings performed under general anesthesia. This type of dental is indicated for animals that require routine dental cleaning more often than once per year, those that are sensitive to general anesthesia and for pets whose age and condition will not allow for general anesthesia.
Your pet will have their mouth examined by one of our veterinarians and then the dental technician with assess the mouth by examining and probing each tooth. Any visible abnormalities of the teeth and or mouth will be recorded on a customized patient dental chart. Most dental cleanings take 20-30 minutes to complete. Due to limited kennel space, we kindly ask that you wait for your pet during this procedure. If your pet has a large amount of tartar or inflamed gums, our doctors may prescribe antibiotics to be given 48 hours before the dental cleaning and continued for at least 5 days after the procedure. They are not required in all patients.
Your pet’s teeth will be scaled and polished and the oral cavity rinsed. Minor tooth extractions can be performed by our doctors under light sedation and or injectable anesthesia with appropriate monitoring. Major tooth extractions or other dental work such as root canals, fillings, etc, can’t be performed with this dental technique. If major dental work is required you will be referred to have your animal evaluated and treated for dental disease under general anesthesia.
Post-dental, the doctor and dental technician will make recommendations as to how to keep your pets teeth clean and healthy and how often they will need to be cleaned in the future.
For more information about anesthesia-free dental services including an instructional video, please visit: animaldentalcare.info.
Intravenous Vitamin C
Intravenous (IV) Vitamin C Therapy involves the administration of Vitamin C directly into the bloodstream. This delivery system is very powerful because it allows the plasma concentration of Vitamin C to reach levels high enough to kill cancer cells.
IV Vitamin C Therapy is a frequent treatment option for cancer, but it can treat much more than that. Vitamin C Therapy can also treat atopic dermatitis, gingivitis, chronic nasal discharge, chronic upper respiratory infections, chronic infections, autoimmune disease and immune deficiency conditions.
For more information on IV Vitamin C go to our Cancer Treatment page.
Wounds, both surgical and non-surgical can be difficult. At IVC we have a number of unique techniques to promote wound healing in addition to antibiotics and surgery.
We understand that many people live far away, and the ability to talk to a veterinarian regarding integrative treatment options for your pet is often requested. A phone consultation can be the first step in deciding what direction to pursue for your pets condition. For this reason, we offer phone consultations with Dr. Signe Beebe. This option provides flexibility for individuals that live long distances from our center, those out of state and internationally who are interested in obtaining information on an Integrative and or Traditional Chinese Medicine approach to healthcare for their pets.
We can provide dietary recommendations, herbal therapy and other integrative therapies after a review of your pet’s medical records. We may also be able to refer you to a veterinarian closer to your area that practices Integrative and or Chinese veterinary medicine.
As no physical examination of the pet was performed during a phone consult, we can’t prescribe any medication. Instead, you will need to follow up with a primary care veterinarian or schedule an examination of your pet with our office so that we may legally prescribe any recommended medications.