Treatments other than conventional western medicine are usually considered "alternative therapies." They usually are not backed by scientific data but by years of use. Some alternative therapies date back thousands of years. As more people use alternative therapies for themselves, they are also seeking them for their pets. The alternative therapy treatments include, but are not limited to, massage, acupuncture, herbology, homeopathy, and chiropractic. The American Veterinary Medical Association has established guidelines for veterinary acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathic, and holistic medicine.
If you seek an alternative treatment, discuss it with your veterinarian first to make sure no harm will result from the trial. Discontinue use if results are negative. Get referrals from your veterinarian, family, or friends who have used the type of treatment you are seeking for your pet. States vary in their requirements regarding who can treat animals. A person may need to be a licensed veterinarian in that state to legally treat the animal. Check with your state government or state veterinary medical association to determine what is legal in your state.
Descriptions of the various alternative techniques used in veterinary medicine are listed below: