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Herbal Therapies

Herbal (botanical) medicine involves the practice of prescribing plant products, or products derived directly from plants, for the treatment of disease.

Herbal medicine has survived since prehistoric times, in part because, until recently, there were no effective alternatives. Some plants do contain biologically active ingredients, and some pharmaceuticals in widespread use today are identical to, or derivatives of, bioactive constituents of historic folk remedies. Indeed, herbal and botanical sources purportedly form the origin of as much as 30% of all modern pharmaceuticals (Merck Veterinary Manual).  

The use of herbal treatments within veterinary medicine is not a new phenomenon, nor has it always been considered alternative. In fact, ever since veterinary medicine emerged in Europe in the 17th and 18th century, plants have been an important part of veterinary herbal medicine. The ultimate goal of herbal therapy is to treat disorders naturally, and lower the amount of prescription medication a pet’s body is exposed to.  

Our veterinarians all use some herbal products in their care of patients, but Dr. Bev Bateman has worked to gain knowledge as to how to use combinations of natural Chinese herbal ingredients. These Chinese herbal blends can have a role in managing a list of chronic medical issues including arthritis, dermatology, endocrinology, behaviour and cancer, among others. Chinese herb blends may also be used to enhance the effects of acupuncture and maximize the amount of time between acupuncture treatments. 

Acupuncture and/or herbal medicine can be used to address conditions such as: 

  • Acute and chronic musculoskeletal or neurological pain due to injury or age – for example: arthritis, muscle strains, cranial cruciate ligament disease, luxating patella, hip dysplasia, intervertebral disc disease

  • Allergies and dermatitis

  • Anxiety and other behavioral disorders including canine cognitive dysfunction in senior pets

  • Cancer

  • Immune mediated conditions

  • Internal organ dysfunction - for example: kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease

  • Gastrointestinal problems - for example: vomiting or diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis

  • Bladder and urinary tract inflammation

  • Seizures and vestibular disease