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Old Modalities Become New Again By Brad Shannon

For more families than ever, pets are family members. As medical science for companion animals has advanced, they now lead longer, healthier lives; but even as it has advanced on many fronts, more pet parents are seeking, and more veterinary practices are offering, integrative and Chinese medicine as part of their services. In many cases, vets and pet parents swear by the results they see from adding this to the standard array of veterinary medicine modalities. One local veterinarian making use of this full spectrum of treatment options is Dr. Katie Woodley, along with her colleagues at Advanced Animal Care of Colorado (AACC) in Fort Collins. Dr. Woodley, who went to Notre Dame for her undergraduate degree, received her DVM from Massey University in New Zealand. She got her acupuncture certification through the CuraCore certification program and is working to obtain a graduate diploma in Chinese Veterinary Herbal Medicine through the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies. She belongs to the AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association) and VBMA (Veterinary Botanical Medical Association) along with the CVMA and AVMA. The team at AACC offer all the usual products and services a conventional

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veterinary clinic has, including medicines, vaccines, surgeries, wellness appointments, bloodwork, and the like, and all three DVMs on staff are acupuncture certified. Dr. Woodley is the integrated medicine doctor on staff, practicing Chinese herbal medicine along with everything else the clinic provides its patients. “I find that, when I see cases where there’s a chronic, longstanding problem like kidney or liver disease, herbal medicine is a nice tool to have,” she said. “It can bring values that are out of line back to normal, and rebalance and re-center the animal, and I choose a formula based on the animal’s presentation.” Dr. Woodley shared that she typically uses herbal formulas that are specifically formulated for pets, in that they have different concentrations of certain herbs, compared to their human medicine counterparts, which make them safer for this application. She obtains products from different companies, and all are picked based on their safety and testing done on all their products to ensure there is no heavy metal contaminations. “There are many formulas to choose from,” she said, “and we can add individual herbs to these formulas based on each case and its needs to improve efficacy.”

The Process For pet owners seeking information about integrative care for their animals, the intake process at AACC is how they work with any new client/patient. Prior to a visit, new patients are asked to fill out some initial forms to provide as complete a picture as possible to the veterinarian. Records on the patient can be requested to give AACC staff the most up-to-date information possible on the animal’s health. At the appointment, the animal is weighed and examined by a vet tech and the DVM, and there are a series of what Dr. Woodley refers to as “different questions” that are designed from the Chinese medicine perspective to grasp the patient’s symptoms in detail and discover what sort of conditions and imbalances the animal is experiencing so the proper herbal formula to administer can be found. Then, the patient is sent home with an initial course of herbal medicine, typically two weeks’ worth. After two weeks, a follow-up visit covers how the animal has responded to the medication, another exam is performed, and the next month of herbs is prescribed. Regular checkups ensure the animal’s health is closely monitored, and herb formulations can be modified, as needed. The initial evaluation exam is $100, with follow up visits at $50, varying

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2017-09 Lydia's Style Magazine  
2017-09 Lydia's Style Magazine  

Annual Breast Cancer Issue!