Thursday, June 7, 2012

Holistic Vet Visit

Since Maya's itchiness has still been bad, I made up my mind to take her to the vet again. However, I decided not to go back to the dermatologist anymore, because I don't really trust her. It seems to me, she just wants to shove more drugs into Maya and keeps requiring us to go back for those not-that-helpful rechecks whenever we need a refill. She's also against raw feeding, which makes our discussions somewhat difficult, since food is also an essential part of allergy treatments. 

This time around, I want to find a holistic vet who also supports raw feeding. After lots of googling and yelping, I found one in Pacifica, but unfortunately they are not taking new patients till the end of fall. I did ask them for some referrals and got a list of other holistic vets around the area. I ended up picking one in San Francisco, which also has good reviews and practices both western and eastern medicine.

Today, we took the drive into the city. I rarely go into San Francisco due to the bad traffic and limited parking. Luckily, it all went smoothly in the early afternoon. Maya was whining out of excitement as soon as I parked the car. She knew we are going someplace "fun"! I'm really glad she enjoys vet visits and has no problem being handled by anyone, or else it'll just make things even more painful.

Silly girl jumping up as soon as the car stopped

During the visit, we spent most of our timing going through Maya's past treatments. I also told the doctor what I've been trying on my own and she sure was impressed. It's really nice to have someone appreciate the efforts I put in instead of being bashed or ignored. She told me that she was suffering from allergies since a kid herself and was badly "damaged" due to all the drugs. It got worse year after year till she gone through some holistic treatments and this is the why she picked this carear. This story sure made whatever she said later more convincing. She also agreed with me that giving Maya Atopica is not a long term solution. 

Checking out the exam room

According to the doctor, dry itchy skin is caused by "Blood Deficiency" and the body is too "hot". We should focus on feeding her "cooling" foods which includes:
  • Raw meat: white fish, duck, rabbit, turkey, pork
  • Raw fruit: apples, pears, melons, berries
  • Cooked vegetables: summer squash, carrots, green beans, peas
  • Supplements: omega-3 fatty acides, vitamin E, vitamin C, aloe vera

The doctor went out a few times to check with another vet, who is the chief clinician and seems to be the guru of diet and Traditional Chinese Medicine. They ended up prescribing a supplement called "Standard Process Canine Dermal Support" for Maya and asked us to come back again in two weeks to meet with the chief. They also wanted me to switch to Nordic Naturals fish oil instead of what I was feeding. I did hear about how great Nordic Naturals is before, but was set back by the price. Since we're about to empty the old bottle of fish oil, I went with it to give it a try.

Waiting for the doctor

To be honest, I wasn't so sure about this visit, especially after being sold two types of supplements, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and come back again to see what the chief has to offer. After all, the bill was less than any of our previous dermatologist visit and there hasn't been any antibiotics or steroids involved. For the time being, I'll make some adjustments to her diet to include more of the cooling foods, as well as start her on the new supplements.

Let's see if it works this time


  1. Did you have to pay a hefty "new patient" fee? That's the biggest reason why I have not taken Conker to a holistic vet. They charge something like $200 just to put your dog into the computer, and then tack on the actual exam fee. That's just too dang much for me. I'd rather battle it out with my current vet than pay three times the rate.

    Anyways, good luck with the new supplements and diet change! I hope it works out for Maya.

    1. The dermatologist was like that. This one actually only charged me $45 for the office visit, which is even cheaper than my regular vet. They seem to charge by time, and since the doctor was running in and out to check on stuff for me, she only charged me 15 minutes (though I was there for an hour, which should be $90 according to yelp). I believe they are cheaper because they are actually a "regular vet" who also uses eastern methods, instead of a pure holistic vet.

  2. I really, really want this to work for you and Maya!
    Please keep us posted. I might even ask you to refer me if this works out for you. $45 exam fee is way lower than anything I've paid since the first vet we tried.

    And @Losech, that's approx. the going rate at some of the more high profile holistic vets around here too. But supposedly the new patient intake is extremely, impressively thorough... they spend about an hour or two getting the full history, observing, and getting to know your dog.

    At least, that's what all the rave reviewers have told me -- I have not made the leap, either.

    1. Thank you! We really, really want this to work as well. :)