"PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO RECOGNIZE THAT MAYBE CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE DOESN'T ALWAYS HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS"
KELOWNA – When you walk into Pandosy Village Veterinary Hospital, it feels like a combination of old fashioned apothecary, modern day pet store and coffee shop.
As a licenced veterinarian, Dr. Jason Rowan does all the procedures that a normal vet can do, but he is part of a growing number of traditionally trained vets who are starting to take a broader approach to pet care.
“We bill ourselves as an integrative veterinary hospital,” he says. “We don’t use only natural approaches or only traditional approaches. It’s looking at the animal as a whole, and that means the environment, diet, stress and anything else that affects their well-being.”
Pandosy Village Veterinary Hospital isn’t the first holistic pet clinic in Kelowna, but it is one of only two permanently-located clinics in Kelowna actively targeting residents who want to avoid pharmaceutical treatments whenever possible. Pawsitive Veterinary Care on Sutherland Ave. was the first integrative clinic in Kelowna and there are also two mobile veterinarians who specialize in homeopathic remedies and holistic care.
According to Rowan, their clients tend to be middle-aged or younger and open to new ideas when it comes to health care.
“Most older people had traditional medicine their whole life,” Rowan says. “But it is something that is emerging as a trend in both veterinary medicine and human medicine. I think people are starting to recognize that maybe conventional medicine doesn’t always have all the answers.”
At his clinic, there are tinctures and herbs on display and behind the counter are rows of pet treats, reminiscent of an old world candy shop. They sell over the counter herbal remedies for common conditions but also do custom formulations for specific health issues. Here you will find an all natural flea, tick and mosquito repellent, paw balm and an herbal tincture said to reduce anxiety.
“Herbal medicine is useful for things like chronic conditions of the immune system, arthritis and it’s good for conditions that need supportive care like issues with digestion and liver response,” Rowan says. “But if an animal breaks its leg or has a raging infection, then traditional medicine is more appropriate.”
Dr. Rowan, who has been a practicing veterinarian for 12 years, became interested in the integrative approach after a family member became sick. They weren’t having much success with traditional medicine alone so they looked at nutrition, supplements and herbal medicines as well.
“We had a lot of success with that,” he says, adding he has noticed a marked increase in recent years in the number of local clients who agree with him.
“People here are conscious of eating a lot of organic food and we’re in an agricultural community where people value a natural lifestyle and are open to other ways of doing things,” he says. “It’s just another tool in the toolbox.”
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