The main alternative forms of treatment available for animals are; acupuncture, homeopathy, herbalism and the manipulative therapies such as osteopathy. Of course there are many other forms of treatment out there such as healing and reiki, and I will write about these if I find interesting articles about them but I will tend to concentrate on the more mainstream forms of treatment.
I believe that it is very important to keep an open mind about all things. As a veterinary surgeon I have had the benefit of a scientific education. Unlike some scientists I believe that we should not dismiss something just because we cannot understand it, or "prove" it, within our limited scope of understanding. I think that science can only move forward if people keep an open, questioning, and enquiring mind.
There is a lack of solid evidence at present regarding complimentary and alternative therapies. However there is plenty of anecdotal evidence which suggests that they may have a place in medicine, and many clients are starting to request them, both for themselves and for their animals.
At present within veterinary medicine we do not know enough about the alternative therapies but I will not dismiss them, because I do not know enough about them to do so!
When faced with a practice in medicine which would appear to be against current thinking I always remember Dr Ignaz Semmelweis who died a broken man with his reputation in tatters because he simply suggested in 1847 that doctors should wash their hands before attending women in childbirth! One day hundreds of years hence, our current lack of knowledge regarding some of the alternative therapies may be looked upon in a similar light as to the lack of understanding of bacteria and other micro-organisms in that unfortunate doctor's time.
I hope you find the articles in this section interesting and informative but please don't use any information found here to treat your pet yourself. Always consult a qualified practitioner, your own vet should be able to refer you to a reputable person. Any alternative practitioner working with animals needs a referral from a veterinary surgeon in order to treat your pet legally.