by Lauren Johnson
When it comes to the care of our beloved pets, one thing is certain: we want only the best. For many, this comes with finding a veterinarian we can trust that shares our point of view. Holistic veterinary care offers a unique approach using alternative methods to assess an animal’s health.
“Oftentimes conventional veterinary medicine looks at ways to put out fires but doesn’t look at how they started in the first place to prevent them from coming back, and this is where holistic care can really help,” says Suzanne Walski, DVM, owner of Meadowbrook Animal Healing, in Ottsville. “Holistic care takes a different approach, looking at the whole being and treating it emotionally, physically and even spiritually.”
Walski, who began as a conventional veterinarian, is not a purist when it comes to holistic health. Sometimes conventional care is needed, and she encourages people to continue with their regular vet while using her as a consultant. “My approach is: ‘What else can we do aside from what is necessary to do?’ I’m passionate about educating people about alternative methods that can be helpful not only for their pet, but for themselves as well.”
Walski began her journey into holistic vet care after suffering from physical health issues of her own that weren’t improving with the use of conventional medicine. After heeding the advice of a friend to try chiropractic care and finally seeing results, she began investigating other types of alternative methods like acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
“If my health can improve with alternative methods, the health of an animal can too,” says Walski, who has since become certified in animal chiropractic and acupuncture, using both in her practice. “I love when people see these methods work for their pets and start to explore them as ways to improve their own health. It’s a wonderful way to educate people about other options.”
Another way Walski’s practice is unique is that she creates a completely individualized experience for both the owner and their pet. “It’s not a hustle-bustle type of practice. When you come into my office you’re the only client—you and your animal get undivided attention by me, which really helps animals that hate going to the vet. It feels more like a spa day, and they look forward to it,” she says, adding that she also uses Bach Flower essences and pheromones to help put both the animals and owners at ease upon arrival.
When asked whether holistic veterinary care will be the wave of the future, Walski says she believes it will certainly have its part. “I believe holistic care is something that will continue to grow. Will it be a takeover? No—because that’s what holistic is all about. It’s about incorporating the best of both worlds in order to find a solution.”