Alternative veterinary medicine

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Alternative veterinary medicine is the use of alternative medicine in the treatment of animals. Types alternative therapies used for veterinary treatments may include, but are not limited to, acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, ethnomedicine and chiropractic.


The terms alternative veterinary medicine, complementary veterinary medicine, holistic veterinary medicine, and integrative veterinary medicine may be used as synonyms. The task force for complementary and alternative veterinary medicine for the American Veterinary Medical Association says that:

"There is only one veterinary medicine and only one standard by which it should be assessed. All treatments and modalities should be judged by the same criteria and held to the same standards. Descriptive terms such as holistic, conventional, traditional, alternative, integrative, or complementary do not enhance the quality of care provided and should not receive special consideration when judging the safety and efficacy of those treatments."[1]


In practice, alternative veterinary medicine may incorporate, but is not limited to, acupuncture, botanical medicine, chiropractic, homeopathy, massage therapy, and nutraceuticals. A veterinarian interested in alternative treatments may be a member of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA).[2] The modalities comprising alternative veterinary medicine vary in their evidence for effectiveness.[3]

According to the AHVMA, holistic medicine is humane.[4] Use of blood tests, X-rays, and similar objective diagnostic techniques are minimized.[5] Nearly every form of medicine and therapy used in alternative medicine for humans is also used in holistic veterinary medicine.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ AVMA Alternative and Complementary Therapies Task Force (June 2001). "An insight into the AVMA Guidelines for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine" (pdf). J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 218 (11): 1729–30. doi:10.2460/javma.2001.218.1729. PMID 11394818. Retrieved 2008-06-05.
  2. ^ American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
  3. ^ "Veterinarywatch". Archived from the original on 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
  4. ^ AHVMA - Home
  5. ^ 403 Forbidden
  6. ^ AHVMA - What is Holistic Medicine?