How can I locate a holistic veterinarian who knows nutrition?
Holistic veterinary medicine looks at the animal’s life and doesn’t just focus on the symptoms. Many use holistic veterinarians in conjunction with a conventional veterinarian, not as a total replacement. Holistic treatments work best with long-term problems like arthritis.
To find one:
• Talk to your veterinarian about finding a holistic veterinarian for an ongoing, hard-to-treat condition like arthritis, epilepsy or skin problems. Don’t worry about offending your vet; they get this question all the time. In fact, he or she will probably recommend someone whom they frequently work with so you’ll have a good team. The most popular choices are chiropractic and acupuncture.
• Check online with the American Holistic Veterinary Association to see a listing of holistic veterinarians and what therapies they offer. If you do not live in North America, then you need to check out the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. See resources below for links to these agencies.
• Be sure to check the regulations for holistic vets in your state or country. You can find them on the same websites.
To become a holistic veterinarian:
• You first need to become licensed as a veterinarian, so plan to major in a science in undergraduate school; then it’s at least four years in veterinary medical school. To practice, you need to become licensed by passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE). Your state may also require an additional exam.
• It’s a good idea to volunteer or work for a vet, an animal hospital or in another way with animals while in undergraduate school, because this can help you get into veterinary school. Because you’re interested in holistic medicine, try to get a job or an internship with a holistic vet so you can learn all you can.
• To become a holistic veterinarian, certify through the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (AVH): 128 hours (six months) of veterinary homeopathy. You will then need to pass a qualifying exam and submit 4 case studies to the AVH. Then you will need to pass the final exam—and consider becoming a member of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) so you can further your education about holistic medicine.