Integrative Medicine at East End Veterinary Center

September 21, 2020

Integrative Medicine at East End Veterinary Center

If you have experienced the benefits of acupuncture, massage, or physical therapy, you understand that not all medicine comes in prescription form. Veterinarians who practice integrative medicine believe that the best healing can be reached by combining traditional medical therapies with complementary, alternative treatments, and approaching your pet’s condition from different angles, which allows for more complete healing. Integrative veterinarians focus on keeping pets healthy to prevent disease, instead of treating disease once it occurs. They also believe in treating the mind and the body, as relaxed, happy pets are less likely to develop disease, and more likely to heal faster.


East End Veterinary Center is pleased to announce that we have added Integrative Medicine to our arsenal of tools to help keep your pet healthy or return your sick pet to good health. Led by Michel Selmer, DVM, MS, CTCVMP, our Integrative Medicine team can offer your pet a variety of integrative modalities for lifelong good health. Dr. Selmer has over 25 years of experience, and is one of only a small number of Veterinarians with a Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and who is a Master Practitioner. He also holds certifications in veterinary acupuncture, herbal medicine, food therapy, and Tui-na. 


Acupuncture for pets

Acupuncture for pets

Acupuncture is the ancient Chinese practice of inserting needles through the skin to stimulate specific body points, and maintain the body’s energy flow, or Qi. Acupuncture, which can stimulate the immune system, relax muscles, modify blood and lymphatic flow, and release endorphins to aid in pain relief, can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including:

  • Musculoskeletal and orthopedic diseases (e.g., osteoarthritis)
  • Dermatologic disorders
  • Neurologic conditions (e.g., seizures, intervertebral disc disease)
  • Behavioral issues
  • Gastrointestinal diseases (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation)
  • Respiratory conditions (e.g., feline asthma, canine chronic bronchitis)
  • Cancer and/or chemotherapy-related side effects
  • Heart conditions (e.g., heart failure, cardiomyopathy, valvular disease and murmurs)
  • Kidney disorders
  • Liver disorders 
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Immune-mediated diseases
  • …and more

Pets rarely experience discomfort when the needles are placed, and most often find treatments relaxing. The number and frequency of treatment sessions depend on your pet’s condition and are customized based on your pet’s needs.

Herbal therapy for pets

In addition to traditional medications, such as antibiotics or pain medications, a number of herbal remedies can often help a sick pet, and may be added to a treatment plan for conditions such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Cancer 
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Neurological disorders
  • Musculoskeletal and orthopedic disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Skin issues
  • Eye problems
  • Behavioral issues
  • Hormonal diseases
  • Immune-mediated diseases
  • Inflammation
  • …and more


Nutritional consultations and food therapy for pets

Your pet’s diet plays a large part in their overall health, and while a simple one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition sometimes works well, pets with heart or kidney disease, for example, have unique dietary needs that require special consideration. Our Integrative Medicine team will thoroughly review your pet’s health challenges and nutritional needs, and tailor a diet plan to their specific requirements, including nutritionally complete recipes and nutritional supplement recommendations, when appropriate.


Laser therapy for pets

Laser therapy uses light energy delivered by a hand-held probe to positively stimulate body tissues and accelerate the body’s natural healing processes. When a laser beam is applied to a pet’s skin, photons penetrate the tissue and interact with cellular molecules to speed up cellular reactions, including those that stimulate tissue healing. Our Integrative Medicine team uses a low-wattage Class IV laser to treat conditions such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Tendonitis
  • Skin wounds
  • Post-surgical inflammation
  • Lick granulomas
  • Ear inflammation (e.g., otitis or aural hematomas)
  • Sinusitis 
  • …and more

Tui-na massage for pets

Tui-na is a traditional Chinese treatment method, related to massage therapy and chiropractic manipulation that involves rubbing, pressing, rolling, and kneading a pet’s body areas along the meridians, or Ashi points, to improve Qi flow. Tui-na is often combined with acupuncture, herbal therapy, or food therapy, to enhance their effectiveness. This modality also is often part of an integrative approach to musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis, orthopedic problems, and surgical recovery. Tui-na promotes balance and can also be used to maintain health and prevent disease. 


Integrative diagnostic blood testing for pets

Your pet’s blood contains dissolved substances that can help us gain valuable information about their health status. In addition to basic organ function, specialized tests impart information about your pet’s cancer or osteoarthritis risk. We can also measure your pet’s vitamin, mineral, and amino acid levels, to determine if a disease condition may be due to nutritional inadequacies. Pets who suffer from low levels of these important micronutrients may develop health conditions, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Coarse hair coat
  • Flaky skin
  • Digestive disorders
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Poor cardiovascular health
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • …and more

An integrative approach involves combining alternative therapies with traditional medicine, but  these therapies offer the important advantages of safety and lack of side effects. Integrative therapies can often be used in patients whose traditional healthcare options are limited, because of their age or disease condition. Many times, acupuncture, laser therapy, herbal treatments, or tui-na provide pain relief and healing that would otherwise be impossible for patients who cannot receive medications.

Integrative medicine can help most patients who are undergoing disease treatment, or whose owners want to help them remain healthy and disease-free. Contact us to see if our Integrative Medicine team can help your pet.