by Laura Weis
Feline asthma, like many chronic diseases that plague both humans and our companion animals, is a disease of inflammation. In the initial stages, inflammatory and allergic responses in the respiratory system cause the production of mucus in the airways and swelling of the walls of the bronchi. As this reaction progresses over time, the walls of the airway spasm and constrict, leading to difficulty in breathing, and eventually to chronic structural and infiltrative changes in the airways. Continue reading
by Laura Weis
Thawing temperatures and longer days are early harbingers of spring, but unfortunately so is the appearance of ticks and the diseases they carry. Ticks can be active anytime the temperature climbs above 45 degrees, which means that the month of March signals the beginning of consistent tick problems in Pennsylvania.
Understanding the Problem
All ticks feed on the blood of their host animals, and most go through four life stages and often prefer different host species for each stage. Ticks can sense their hosts’ body heat, breath and odor, as well as moisture, vibrations and even shadows. Ticks cannot jump or fly. They find potential host animals by attaching to grass or leaves with their hind legs, holding their front legs outstretched in a behavior called “questing”. When a promising host brushes past, they quickly climb aboard, attach and begin feeding. Continue reading
Dr. David MacDonald, with Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care, recently received certification in veterinary spinal manipulative therapy (VSMT) from Healing Oasis Wellness Center, in Sturtevant, Wisconsin.
The VSMT program is a post-graduate certification approved by the College of Animal Chiropractors and the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. The American Veterinary Medical Association recognizes veterinary chiropractic as a complementary and alternative treatment, a category that also includes acupuncture. Continue reading
Environmental pollutants both outside and inside our homes have greatly increased the toxins we and our pets are exposed to every day. Our pets are sentinels of chemical hazards to human health. As they walk through urban neighborhoods with industrial activity, and are exposed to numerous household and garden chemicals, our pets accumulate toxins on and in their bodies, often at levels that far exceed those found in humans.
Holistic veterinary medicine encompasses many modalities, including Western herbal medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)—which includes acupuncture and herbal medicine—nutritional therapy, chiropractic, and homeopathy. These methods are not new in treating disease; in some cases they have been used for centuries. In the United States, homeopathy is experiencing a resurgence of interest after many years.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were 22 colleges of homeopathy in the United States and more than 15,000 practitioners. A statue of Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, was erected in 1900 in Washington, DC, by grateful patients due to the success of homeopathy in treating epidemic disease. Veterinary homeopathy offers a gentle approach to wellness throughout the lifetime of each pet.
Doylestown Community Programs, the non-profit branch of Doylestown Food Market, presents FED Talks, a series of talks about our food system and health, at the Doylestown Mennonite Church, 590 North Broad Street, in Doylestown.
Pet Nutrition will be offered from 7 to 9 p.m. on March 9. Dr. Laura Weis, owner of Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care, will talk about the pet food industry, the importance of balanced nutrition and common myths, and will offer simple steps that can easily improve pets’ diets.
Autoimmune Disorders will be offered from 7 to 9 p.m. on April 20. Deborah Bernstein, of Holistic Healing Center, and Audrey Fleck, a registered and licensed dietitian-nutritionist, will discuss using holistic approaches for prevention and treatment of autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Dr. Laura Weis is the owner of Doylestown Veterinary Hospital and Holiday House Pet Resort, which has been caring for pets in the Central Bucks area for six decades.
You’ve recently added a Holistic Pet Care division to Doylestown Veterinary Hospital. How does a holistic veterinary approach differ from a more conventional approach?
I have been a conventional veterinarian for almost 20 years, and I love my job every day. It is interesting to talk about points of commonality between conventional and holistic veterinarians, as we all have the same goals: improvement of animal health, alleviation of animal suffering and strengthening of the human-animal bond.
My path to holistic medicine grew as I searched for better answers to improve animal health and treat chronic disease. I knew I wanted to move away from the tendency to compartmentalize problems and then address each one as though it lived in a separate box—a tendency we often see in the human health care model.
Doylestown Veterinary Hospital announces it is broadening the services provided by the practice to include Holistic Pet Care. Pet owners interested in holistic programs for the care of their pets now have a veterinary practice in the Central Bucks area that offers a variety of traditional and holistic options.
“Doylestown Veterinary Hospital has been integrating holistic modalities like acupuncture and laser therapy with our conventional veterinary practice for some time, and we are excited to be expanding those options even further,” says Dr. Laura Weis, who owns the hospital with her husband, Dr. Randy Weis. “The veterinary hospital has been dedicated to the health of pets since 1972, with a tradition of offering compassionate care through modern medicine and technology.”
Weis’s practice provides homeopathy and nutritional counseling. She explains, “The objective of homeopathy is to trigger the body’s natural defenses so with each step in making the pet healthier, the body gains a greater ability to heal. It’s a gentle approach to wellness that lasts throughout the lifetime of your pet.” The benefits of a homeopathic approach to pet care include an overall increase in health, longer lasting results with fewer in-between treatments, no toxic side effects and reduced healthcare costs over the life of the pet.
On staff, Drs. Ashlea Erk and David MacDonald are certified veterinary acupuncturists. MacDonald also has years of experience working with herbal therapies. They both agree that a fully integrative approach to pet health care enhances patient comfort and offers unique solutions to a variety of medical conditions.
“Offering conventional medicine and holistic therapies allows the medical team to provide highly individualized pet care,” MacDonald explains. “We can work with the pets and their caregivers to choose therapies that accomplish the proper balance for a healthy life or a unique solution to more effective treatment of a chronic illness.”
Location: 380 N. Shady Retreat Rd., Doylestown. For more information or to schedule an appointment for either their conventional or holistic services, call 215-345-6000 or visit DoylestownVeterinaryHospital.com.