Integrative Care

Herbal Medicine and Food Therapy

Orange Tabby and PlantMinnetonka Animal Hospital is committed to offering holistic, integrative care options for you and your pet. As part of this commitment, we’re pleased to have the services of Dr. Leilani, who has extensive training in the areas of veterinary herbal medicine and food therapy.

Herbal Medicine

As one of the main branches of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), herbal therapy has been practiced for thousands of years. It’s well known that plants can have a variety of healing and therapeutic properties. Many modern drugs, such as aspirin, are actually derived from plants. However, chemical processing is thought to diminish their natural medicinal qualities. In herbal therapy, it’s believed that herbs are more effective (and produce fewer side effects) when applied in their more pure forms. This includes the use of extracts, fresh herbs, dried herbs, or oils.

Herbal medicine can be used for many different conditions or ailments, including:

  • Endocrine disorders
  • Digestive problems
  • Skin disorders/irritations
  • Kidney or bladder disease
  • Injuries to bone or tissue
  • Cancer treatment
Dog Giving Paw

At Minnetonka Animal Hospital, we carefully select the sources of our herbal therapies since the quality and safety of different formulas can vary.

Food Therapy

Another main branch of TCVM, food therapy is the practice of tailoring your pet’s diet based on age, breed, personality, health condition, and other qualities that are unique to him or her. Foods and ingredients are selected based on their energetic properties, which includes thermal energy (a food’s “temperature”) and taste. The main goal of food therapy is to restore or maintain balance in your pet’s body. Recipes generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • Health Promotion and Prevention
    Seeks to improve health on a regular basis, prevents seasonal/climate-related issues
  • Disease Treatment
    Directly treats health conditions such as skin problems and autoimmune diseases
  • Adjunct Therapy
    Used to support or enhance primary treatment strategies

When properly designed, food therapy usually produces no unwanted side effects and is a modality that can be used safely throughout your pet’s life.

Please contact us to learn more about how herbal medicine or food therapy can benefit your companion.