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52 Ask The Vet by daniel h. grove, dvm M


edicine, whether veterinary or human, is always evolving. New and ancient modalities are constantly


being explored to best serve our patients. What used to be called “eastern medicine” or “alternative medicine”, has now earned the term “complementary medicine”. This month, I thought we might discuss comple- mentary medicine and some of the types we may see in our equine patients. A chiropractor diagnoses and treats


problems with our backs and other areas of the body. In veterinary medicine, the term to this type of practitioner is a Certifi ed Veterinary Medical Manipulation Practitioner (CVMMP). Now, that is a mouth- ful! CVMMPs adjust the backs, hips, necks and other parts of the body. Oſt en times their additional training makes them excel- lent at lameness detection. They manipulate various parts of the equine body that may be out of alignment. They do an excellent job at keeping our equine athletes at the top of their game! Acupuncture has been practiced by the Chinese for over 3000 years. Special acu- puncture needles are placed at specifi c sites in the body. The sites are said to coincide with certain “meridians” of the body that correspond to a particular organ or body system. The act of stimulating these meridi- ans can decrease pain, stimulate blood fl ow, or release substances from the body to aid in the treatment and healing process. Laser therapy is a new and exciting form


of treatment. It can work like acupunc- ture therapy to stimulate meridians and it can also directly stimulate tissues. A low level or cold laser focuses light on an area. Some general therapeutic eff ects have been reported to be increased cell growth, increased metabolic activity, faster wound healing, anti-infl ammatory action, increased vascular activity and pain reduction, just to name a few. With regard to soſt tissue injuries, recently they have been shown to


A monthly column by Daniel H. Grove, DVM


A look at complementary medicine


rapidly speed the healing process and to end up with a bet er structure in the end. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy uses


pulses of high-energy waves to reach tissues. These waves of energy are similar to sound waves. They can speed healing and have an analgesic or pain reducing aff ect. It is a noninvasive procedure that is low cost and has been used successfully. It can be so good at reducing pain, some shows and racing jurisdictions have regulated its use so as to not be performance enhancing or damaging to the animal. Herbal medicine uses various plants for


the treatment of animals. There are herbs labeled for a multitude of ailments. They are great treatment options for those who wish


Got a question for Dr. Grove? Send your inquiries to vet@horsetrader.com, and it could be answered by Dr. Grove in a future column. Dr. Grove is based at West Coast Equine Medicine, headquartered in Fallbrook, Calif., where he lives with his wife Kristen.


to avoid using pharmaceutics. The use of these plants are not without potential side eff ects, but some clients prefer them to the options we have in manmade forms. This is not an exhaustive list, but more of a brief overview of complementary medi- cine. Complementary medicine has earned it name because most practitioners feel that it should be used with conventional or western medicine and not necessarily as an alternative. If you would like to try some- thing new and maybe a lit le out of the box, ask your veterinarian how complementary medicine can be used for your favorite four- legged friend.


–Dan


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