Barbara Fougere, an international speaker with an outstanding knowledge of integrative medicine introduced Herbal Botanical Medicine (HBM) and other adjuvant therapies such as Acupuncture, diet and Traditional Chinese Medicine. This one day stream provided the opportunity for veterinarians to gain an insight into an area of veterinary medicine that is growing exponentially both in research and consumer demand.
The first lecture ‘Show Us The Evidence’ gave veterinarians the confidence to use HBM in their practice knowing that many herbs have contemporary ‘Evidence Based Research’ in conjunction with the historical veterinary empirical base.
Barbara’s presentation provided details on the factual information and research that has been undertaken studying the use of HBM. There have been more than 3000 studies published in mainstream veterinary aquaculture, poultry, dairy, swine, equid and small animal journals on herbal medicine in the last 10 years. Plus more than 30,000 studies on rabbits, rats, mice and guinea pigs.
This was an astounding statistic, supporting the need for integrative medicine to be addressed by the veterinary profession.
Examples were then discussed such as challenging cases of atopic skin disease, the growing resistance of microbials to antibiotics and antifungal treatments and the use of integrative medicine in chronic disease.
Barbara also noted that the growing publication of studies in veterinary and allied journals attests to the recognition that botanical medicines offer the potential to improve many common conditions that affect our animal patients.
How to find the ‘Evidence Based Research’ was extensively covered ensuring veterinarians could access information with many of the published efficacy studies being available on pub med or medline, or on www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez and goggle scholar.
Herbal efficacy can also be accessed in the Cochrane Reports, The Natural Standards Database and the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy.
Barbara provided an indepth insight into how herbs work, covering some of the constituents, the actions of herbs and the scientific basis for their efficacy. An understanding of the herbs actions as well as the pathophysiology of a particular condition allows the practitioner to strategise the selection and use of particular herbs to treat our animal patients. This is the beauty and art of herbal medicine in the selection of herbs that have appropriate action and yet are tailored for the whole health of the individual patient.
The lectures covering feline diabetes, chronic renal failure and oncology support attracted a greater number of veterinarians. These topics provided informative, relevant and practical integrative support for the above listed conditions. There was interactive discussion and positive feedback from the attending veterinarians with respect to the evidence based support of integrative therapies for common animal diseases.
The main key messages delivered:
Chronic Renal Failure in Cats
Veterinarians who attended the presentations felt inspired and excited to be able to incorporate supportive additional therapies, particularly for chronic cases with poor responses to conventional treatments. Barbara’s presentations provided invaluable information for veterinarians to take and utilize in their day to day practice.
The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies offers a wide range of courses for veterinarians interested in upskilling their knowledge in the fields discussed.
The complementary branch would like to extend our thanks to Barbara for giving us an insight into integrative veterinary medicine and opening new doors for extending our knowledge base.
Summarised: by Jacqui Snell