One of the most important things to me, as a hospice practitioner, is continuing to learn and find ways to better support my patients and clients. Veterinary hospice is a field that is always growing and changing, and I want to make sure that I do my best to stay educated about ways to provide comfort and care in this critical time.
Because of this, I am incredibly excited to announce that I’ve been accepted into an Apprenticeship in Western Herbal Medicine, starting this fall! This is an eight-month-long program, focusing on in-depth learning about veterinary herbal medicine, with a focus on traditional western plants.
So often, when we’re facing a terminal diagnosis, families want to turn to resources beyond mainstream medicine. The primary challenge in doing this is a lack of education – about what herbs and supplements are safe and effective, how to properly dose them to be most beneficial, what their interactions with other treatments and other health conditions may be, and how to choose the right brand and formulation (since these products are not regulated by any government office). By studying this subject in depth, I hope to learn how to use these plant-based treatments to help give my patients the best possible quality of life, as well as answer questions from their caregivers who are looking for complementary and alternative paths to support their beloved pets.
My apprenticeship will begin this September, and I can’t wait to share what I learn with my clients – and if you are a pet caregiver who is interested in herbal medicine for your pet, definitely discuss it with your veterinarian! These treatments are frequently very helpful, but they still need to be approached with education and care to make sure that we’re helping our patients in a safe, knowledgeable way.