Holistic Horse Care: What Does it Mean?

Here’s what you need to know about holistic veterinary medicine and how vets can integrate it into everyday practice.

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Holistic Horse Care: What Does it Mean?
Examples of holistic therapy inlcude manual therapy, acupuncture (pictured here), homeopathy, phytotherapy, and neutraceutical therapy. | Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Learn how veterinarians can incorporate holistic medicine into practice

When an owner says, “I treat my horse naturally,” do you wonder what they mean? Do you picture someone rummaging through the cupboards, grinding a little of this and shaking in a little of that to create the perfect concoction to “treat” whatever ails their horse?

Maybe this was how owners handled health conditions a few hundred years ago, but veterinary medicine has advanced considerably. We now have access to antibiotics, vaccines, and even pharmaceuticals to treat teeny tiny growths in the pituitary gland, not to mention extensive diagnostic and treatment equipment. What more could you need?

Well, many horse owners seek approaches beyond what Western medicine techniques and technology have ­afforded—along with veterinarians offering these options, say our sources

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Written by:

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she’s worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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