16 Most Important Questions You Need to Ask Your Holistic Vet

Holistic Lite

What is holistic, anyway? Some of my most eye-opening revelations come from you, dear reader. Layne sent this plea this week:

Do you know of a doctor who practices like you do in the Dallas/Fort Worth area? I’ve been to 3 vets so far for my 4 month old mini schnauzer. First one said he was flexible with the shots but wasn’t. The second was a holistic vet whose technician accidentally injected corona vax. Third vet works for a holistic vet practice and insisted I was endangering my pup if she didn’t receive bordatella; then gave her the intranasal (vaccine) despite my hesitance. She wants my dog to get lepto and rabies at next visit. So the holistics in my area are still pushing for all the shots. Appreciate you and your research.

Gak! What does holistic vet mean to you? I would hope it means looking at a bigger picture than just offering a natural sort of treatment or two. Came to find out that was the extent of it in these three. These “holistic vets” offered acupuncture. And hung out their holistic shingle. But really, what is holistic?

Lots of you have gone in, upbeat, to a holistic vet practice looking for the kind of care that you’ve learned about here and elsewhere, and gotten the wrong answers to your questions, or worse, like Layne, gotten meds you weren’t sure you wanted.

I’d like to think anyone flying the holistic flag has thought deeply about vaccinations, your most important decision in your animal’s life. And has studied them enough to know that they cause illness, most often chronic illness, the plague of our day.

If they’ve studied this, even a little, they not be asking you to repeatedly vaccinate your already vaccinated animal, be it horse, dog, cat, or ferret. The holistic vet you’re seeking hopefully has learned that giving more vaccines throughout life doesn’t work. That’s what the veterinary immunologists say, anyway. The people who ought to know, the experts.

Just what is holistic? It’s got to take a much bigger picture into account, right? What is holistic about using acupuncture to treat illness that has likely come about from the vaccinations you gave earlier? And what about future vaccinations you are still pushing? How do those fit in your holistic health plan?

What’s the big picture, the 30,000 foot view you have in mind for this cherished soul in a furry body, anyway?

What You’re Up Against

I know. It’s hard. Standing up for what your research has taught you, in the face of a veterinarian with a fixed world view. They’ve seen so much illness and have had so many years of college. How could you know more about things like vaccination and raw food than they?

Odds are, you do. We had lousy training in immunology in vet school, and once in the thick of veterinary practice, new ideas may not come easily. Sure, there are those meetings, often put on by vaccine or drug companies, but you can guess they’re not sending the same message as the immunologists, right?

It becomes all too easy, as in human medicine (“single species medicine”), to get your “education” from drug reps who call on your practice to sell you stuff.

None the less, let me help you sort out “holistic lite” or “fauxlistic” vets with some pertinent interview questions. You really need to ask, in essence, what is holistic about this practitioner?

Ask Good (Hard) Questions

So, you’ll likely have to do some sifting and winnowing to find a holistic vet who will do more than offer lip service to the idea of being holistic. Because, let’s face it, offering a natural treatment doesn’t qualify someone to call themselves a holistic vet. It’s bigger than that.

Here’s what I’d be asking if I were you.

  1. Why do you call yourself a holistic vet?
  2. What is holistic? Please define holistic for me.
  3. How long have you been offering holistic services?
  4. What holistic sorts of training have you had since vet school?
  5. Has that training been followed by testing and certification by a recognized holistic organization?
  6. What percentage of your practice do you consider holistic?
  7. Do you vaccinate adult animals who have a previous history of vaccinations?
  8. If so, why? (see the veterinary immunologists’ take on that question here).
  9. If I want to call the shots (sorry) on whether or not my animals get more vaccinations, are you still willing to work with my animals? (for example: I’d like my previously vaccinated adults to have No Vaccines emblazoned in red ink at the top of their records. Are you with me here?)
  10. Do you offer titer testing? If so, and my animal’s titers fall, I will likely not get further vaccinations. Are you still with me here?
  11. Do you support raw feeding of dogs and cats? (Bonus points if they’ve got a freezer full of raw food for sale).
  12. If not, are you cool treating my raw fed pets? (Or will your peeps feel the need to put on masks and gloves to examine my animals, in which case, see ya, probably never again, unless we happen to be in a live event at the same time and cross paths. But I can’t promise I’ll let on I know you, please understand.)
  13. If I choose not to use monthly pesticides to keep heartworms from killing my animal, will you test them annually for me anyway?
  14. Do you sell topical flea preventatives, aka pesticides?
  15. If so, will you work with my animals if I choose to use natural, non-toxic flea control?
  16. My main vet is a homeopathic vet who may ask me to get diagnostic work on occasion. Are you willing to work with my animals in this way, even if I’m not seeking treatments from you?

What to Hope For

In decreasing order from best responses to worst, you’d hope for a holistic vet who:

  1. Understands holistic means seeing a larger, more whole picture of health and disease, beyond just offering a natural treatment. Doesn’t push vaccines on you. Respects you and your health choices period, and sees, along with his staff, how your animals speak volumes about natural health, by their very presence.
  2. Respects your choices on raw feeding, vaccinations, and drug free heartworm and flea control, but still brings up vaccines periodically. Listens when you say No More.
  3. Looks the other way on your natural choices, but seems to recognize how remarkably healthy your animals are.
  4. Is there for occasional work, like diagnostics, heartworm tests, etc. but has little affinity for what you’ve accomplished.

In my homeopathic vet practice, I’ve usually been the primary physician to my patients, and my clients rarely need to go elsewhere for anything, especially the cat owners. Dog owners are encouraged to seek a yearly heartworm test, just to be sure their natural choices are working for them. My not drawing blood (no tech help, too rusty from lack of practice) is a bit of a limit for some, but this phrasing often works for my clients:

My primary vet is homeopathic, but doesn’t do blood work or keep diagnostic equipment in his clinic. Would you be willing to work with our animals for the occasional blood test or, God forbid, a life endangering accident?”

Most level headed vets will, if your cards are laid clearly on the table like this, say, “Sure.” The ones who won’t, and feel threatened by your obvious level of understanding of natural health practices, are simply checked off your list. You move on to ask another.

Howzit for You and Yours?

Have you found a sweet spot with vets for your animals that is in line with your desired rearing goals? Have you asked the hard but basic question: What is holistic to you? Let us know in the comments. I suspect there are many ways to land on this spot, and what works for you may help someone else gain confidence to ask for what they want.

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  1. Debra H on January 22, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    I stumbled across Dr. Falconer’s site and this page like many others (especially in Texas) searching for a real holistic veterinarian. I have an 11-year old Pomeranian with a heart murmur and enlarged heart. So far, I have been able to reduce his heart murmur from a grade 3 last July to grade 1/2 by the end of October 2018 by feeding him a good quality raw diet, supplements and a holistic heart health herbal program from Five Leaf Botanicals as the conventional vet that diagnosed his heart disease put him on Vetmedin and Lasix and it made him terribly sick. My regular vet that I have been using for years is good with wellness but not with serious illness. She has always been good with my not vaccinating my dog but she and all other vets in the area require rabies before they will touch any dog or cat. Cody had his 3 year rabies back in 2017. I’m good for now, but since he is a senior with heart disease and collapsed trachea, I have been taking him in more often for blood work and exams. I don’t know how I’m going to get those things done after his rabies expires. Anyone else in the Houston area found a holistic vet here?

  2. Karen Mitchell on March 20, 2016 at 3:05 am

    Hi Will,
    As usual, great page and shared, again. Thank you.
    A lot of pet parents don’t have a holistic vet close to them, for instance, the closest one to me is 120km one way.
    I know there are other pet parents out there who are in the same boat as myself. I take my lot to a conventional vet and I hate it, but it has to do for now. This was one of the reasons I started researching over 6 years ago on nutrition and the effects of processed food, chemicals, etc etc on our pets.
    Now, taking our lot to the vet is a desperate move.
    Questions pet parents can ask their conventional vet. Would it be worth putting anything like this together for my Facebook group members?
    I know if I was to ask a conventional vet a few questions, I’d be walking out of there pronto! lol

  3. McCoy's Mom on December 19, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Hi Dr. Falconer,
    My twp licensing is coming up due for my dog. He has had 2 rabies vaccines in the 4.5 yrs since he found us.
    I know he is protected still. He has mild skin allergies that are well controlled right now. I would like to keep him that way.
    A local holistic vet told me that a rabies exemption is only given if the animal is “severely” allergic. My boy is not.. I would like to keep it that way by not un-necessarily vaccinating him.
    I am in southern NJ. Do you know of any vets in my area I could see?
    I need to get a game plan in the next month as his license will be due and its been 3 yrs since his last rabies…
    Thank you in advance.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on December 19, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Sent you an email. Check your inbox. Reiterating: you have every right to not get another rabies shot. You now have to figure out how to effect that in a way that works for you.

  4. Sherri on July 3, 2015 at 12:02 am

    I know this is kinda off topic for this article, but it does relate in not being able to find a holistic vet in my area. I had commented earlier about having trouble finding a vet to do a spay that didn’t require rabies vaccine. I knew my cat was going to be coming into heat soon again, feeling like I didn’t have another choice, I went ahead and got her rabies vaccine this past Monday. Perfectly.healthy. cat. Until the vaccine. This morning, less than 72 hours later, we woke up to find an almost dead cat. Even my homeopathic skills weren’t enough to bring her back. I wonder if the “establishment” will use vaccines against people in the future in a similar fashion (must have “x” vaccine in order to get treatment). I am so sorry we aren’t in your area Dr. Falconer and wish there were MORE LIKE YOU!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on July 7, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Oh, Sherri, I’m so sorry for your loss. You, unfortunately, like so many mothers who took normal healthy kids in for vaccination, saw your cat’s life put on the line. This by a single vaccination: rabies.
      In regards to availability of homeopathic vets, be sure to visit my Resources page and look for the AVH list there. Many of us work at a distance by telephone, very aware that there aren’t enough of us to go around.
      My sincere condolences Sherri. I’m sorry your cat was taken by this seemingly innocuous procedure.
      p.s. If you ever want to get that on record, it can be reported. Search on Adverse in my search box on the right column, and you should pull up an article or two that has links for this purpose.

  5. Kathi Richards on June 16, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    I am grateful for my holistic vet who understands my feelings on vaccinations. She just wrote an exemption letter for my 13 1/2 yo border collie mix. My county in California won’t take a titers test but will accept a letter from the dog’s vet saying that he “is not in adequate physical health to receive a Rabies vaccination”. His health status is debatable. He doesn’t like to discuss it and feels fine except for a few aches and pains. It is worth the 2+ hour drive to see her.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 16, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Hats off to your holistic vet, Kathi. And to your Border for not wanting to discuss it!

  6. Sherri on June 15, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    We have never had our dogs or cats “fixed” mainly to stay away from the required vaccines (we live in TX). However, that means we have wayyyy too many animals!
    Question #1 – is there a way to keep your outdoor cat from coming into heat?
    Question #2 – seems a rabies vaccine is required in TX before they will spay. Is there anyway around this? We do not have much money, though we are still able to feed good raw food to our animals, they have never been to the vet and are extremely healthy.

    • Kathi Richards on June 16, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      Sherri, I don’t know of anyway to keep an intact female from going into heat. Kinda like asking a human female to not ovulate every month. I would think the only thing you could do is to keep her inside during her cycle.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 16, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      #1 as Kathi said, you need to figure out some quarantine situation that works for you.
      #2 you can always ask. Perhaps a holistic vet who offers surgery would be willing. Average vets wouldn’t even consider it a possibility.

      • Sherri on June 21, 2015 at 11:11 pm

        Thanks Dr. Falconer and Kathi for your replies. The only reason I’m considering spaying my female cat is at her last pregnancy (her one & only) she got mastitis during nursing. While we were able to clear this up homeopathically, it took some time and she lost 3 nipples – just totally shriveled up and either fell off or were bit off. She managed to raise all 5 to be healthy kittens and we’ve just finished giving most away. However, I am concerned about any future litters not being able to be nourished properly. I don’t think I could stand seeing some of them starve, but I’m not up to the task of feeding them either. In this situation, is spaying her best option? I don’t think keeping her inside during heat is an option as we have 2 family members allergic to cats, so she must stay outside.

        • Nancy on September 7, 2015 at 9:01 am

          Check out the ovary saving spay page on FaceBook. There are options to traditional spay/neuters.

  7. Lori Ann on June 13, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Great article, Dr. Falconer. Thank you.
    Lucky for those of us that cannot find a good holistic vet close by, we have the option to work with you, long distance. Thanks for that!
    I was wondering if you could point me to your blog post about the remedies you recommended having on hand for minor incidents or accidents. I would appreciate that. Thanks and take care.

  8. Valerie on June 12, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Does anyone know of any holistic vets in the Spring/The Woodlands/Houston, TX area? I live on the north end of town and have been looking for the past 5 months. TX law requires rabies shot, I have been waiting as long as possible to do this, my puppy is 7 months old now, so he can strengthen/build his immune system. But I am going to have to board him next month and now need to look.

  9. Layne on June 3, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks, Dr. Falconer, and to all the people who shared their experiences here. About to interview another doctor in the DFW area. You all have helped me prepare for it and stand firm.

    • Layne on June 8, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Just left my interview with a more natural vet and was told to do bordetella every 6 months or yearly depending on lifestyle and lepto yearly bc of Texas critters’ highly infectious and fatal germs. Then add immune supplements and Benadryl while doing shots.

      • Will Falconer, DVM on June 8, 2015 at 11:16 pm

        So sad, Layne. Bordetella rarely even confers protection, and I’ve been practicing in Texas for over 20 years and I’ve seen lots of sick dogs, never yet a case of Lepto (which is also quite widely recognized as very low in efficacy as a vaccine).
        The fear tactics of Dr. WhiteCoat, tempered with a Holistic Lite addition. Meh.

  10. Amy on June 3, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Luckily my conventional vet understands don’t even try any of the vaccine pressure. I have proven to him over the last nine years that raising my dogs and cats naturally is working. He understands that under no circumstances will theses “kids” get vaccinated. And he knows not to suggest steroids. Because he knows while I respect him that I will not give in. And I will not return to his practice. The staff has learned not to bring up vaccines to me. They tried it and told me I had to. I told the staff they needed to go speak with the doctor about it. I’ve never heard another word about vaccinations in the last nine years. And the vet sent me to anote vet for an ultra sound. Sorry folks, I lied on the paperwork and said the cat was current on everything. Once in the room alone with the vet I explained we are a no vaccine family. He never batted an eye. He asked what I fed the cat. He actually commended me for feeding raw. So my advice is stick to your guns and don’t let them talk you into anything you feel is not right for your pet. If the staff cannot accept walk out and don’t go back.

  11. L on June 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    What state is this happening in? Where I am, veterinarians have no choice but to encourage pet owners to comply with the law regarding rabies vaccinations.

    • Daphne Wilcox on June 3, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      It is in Connecticut, but you have to understand, they get the vaccine out and write the number down so that I have a certificate. I do not know what they do after that – a pretend injection, a minimal injection or an injection of water? I do not know, nor do I ask. I DO trust them and I know they do the same for their own animals.
      My dogs are also therapy animals and my vet simply writes that they are healthy and they “have all the vaccinations they need”. I switched my registration from Pet Partners ( formally, DELTA) to Intermountain Therapy Animals because Pet Partners does not allow raw fed dogs. Funny thing! Their corporate sponsor is Purina.

  12. Daphne Wilcox on June 2, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Apparently, I am blessed! I have two homeopathic vets available to me who, naturally ( pardon the pun), support and encourage my no vacs approach. My dogs have NEVER been vaccinated and were weaned to a raw diet. These docs, also have a way to “do rabies” that will cover their butts and not hurt my dogs. Rarely, have they had an antibiotic. Ticks are tacked with raw amber necklaces and an essential oil with garlic. They are 8 and 12 years old, have beautiful coats and no major health issues. What’s more, they are registered therapy dogs who give to hospice, autistic children and struggling readers.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 2, 2015 at 11:27 pm

      Daphne, you are indeed blessed. I’d love to meet your vets, though privately. Perhaps you could email me through my Comtact page and give some contact info for them. So inspired to here of your success!

  13. Yvonne on June 1, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    We had titers done on our horses. The vet told us that as the animal ages, their immune system becomes less functional and they will need to be vaccinated to boost immunity. We don’t really agree with that statement. As I understand your article here, the immunity will always be there, just not showing high titers if there is no disease to prompt it. Am I understanding this correctly? We have found the vets really haven’t dealt with titer testing and are not fully up to speed as you are. Please let me know. Thank you so much for all your information!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 1, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      You’ve got it, Yvonne. I make the case for why this is true on this page called, The Fallacy of Titer Tests.
      Thanks for stopping by. The horse is the most over vaccinated species I think, though some pets might come close, especially if they are “cared for” by Banfield, who likes to vaccinate twice a year. I applaud your choice to be an exception with your horses.

      • Yvonne on June 2, 2015 at 5:49 pm

        The horses have had reactions in the past from the vaccines. Our equine integrated therapist has found evidence of neurotoxicity. He told us this junk can settle in the spinal column. Very scary to think what we do to them. No more for the kitties either!

  14. Chris on June 1, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    We are going to be building a home with a fenced back yard. I have two Westies, neither have had rabies shots. (long story…shortened)Our first Westie (sadly, now deceased) immediately developed autoimmune issues following a rabies shot. she lost the hair over one third of her body, developed malesezhia (sp?) ear infections, copper colored paws and muzzle. I swore that I would never give any vacs to any pets ever again.
    My concern is now that they might be exposed to rabid “critters” in our yard. In this ( NJ) state, if your dog comes into contact with a rabid animal they quarantine the dog for 45 days and give them a “booster.” If the dog has not had a rabies shot they euthanize the dog.
    Any thoughts?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 1, 2015 at 5:04 pm

      Hi Chris,
      Rabies doesn’t usually show up in your backyard. It’s not a high incidence disease. You can check online for your local health department’s reporting of it, as it’s a reportable disease.
      I’ve armed folks in a previous blog post to make sure euthanasia never comes up in a case like you describe. Be sure to see the comments there. Some great ideas.

  15. Christy on June 1, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Wow! This one hit close to home. I also am in the DFW area and had very little luck finding a good vet (ie holistic). The closest I have come is my current vet who only requires rabies (for boarding and I have to occasionally). They will do titers and respect my wishes of no more vaccines, I just have to sign a waiver for when he boards.
    And yes all the vets comment on how young my dog acts (he’s 65# and 10 years old) and how good of health he is in. I must be doing something right.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 1, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      Nice, Christy. I’m glad they see the results. That means there’s a small crack in the mind shutters, where a bit of light can shine in.
      Just be sure not to mistake a low titer with a (perceived) need to vaccinate again. Tain’t so.

  16. Nora on May 31, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks for this list doc, I am printing it out since we’re moving up North to find a holistic/homeopathic practice. Searched to no avail here, found some promising vets in Vermont and New Hampshire. For some reason there are lots in the snow states, while the South is deficient in holistic vets. I can’t wait to say bye to the whitecoat that insisted I should put Pookie to sleep because they found a tumor. By the way, I’ve been giving a ground up apricot kernel in her raw food, and the tumor is half the size it was! There are no side effects…I call it “kerneltherapy” ha ha! Tastes really bad, bleck! gag! I have to give it with syringe full of pureed raw chicken, kale and minerals. She hides when she hears me get out the food processor because she knows it’s kernel time! (but she’s getting well.)

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 31, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      Wow, nice going Nora. Sounds way better than chemotherapy, even with the bitter taste!

    • Marie on June 1, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      where are you moving to? I’m in NH and there are two within a 45 min drive. Neither are as holistic as I wish they’d be and neither can be my only vet. I’m thinkinh I’ll have to drive farther.

  17. Midge Kelly on May 31, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Regarding the Fort Worth/Dallas alternative vets…I’m using a conventional vet currently who doesn’t press me when I say no, so far. We discuss all before and after each visit, and he knows I’m a minamalistic drug/vacc client, who I feel has seen my dogs and cat respond to my way many times. But I’m now scared because one of my dogs has come due for his 3 year rabies vacc and so I have begun to call around to ask about “recombinent” rabies vacc, but no one seems to have heard of it. I know Merial has taken out the mercury from its vacc, but it still has all the other poisons. So I’m trying to see if the alternative vets will talk to me about it. One in Mansfield is Dr. Nancy Bozeman at Little Animal Vet. One is Dr. Pam Montgomery in the Dallas area if she has come back into practicing. Dr. Ballard was in Carrollton but for unknown reasons (to me) has stopped practicing. If you find another that you like, I’d like to hear about it. Thanks, M.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 31, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      Hi Midge,
      I don’t know your area, but “due” by what standard? Your dog is immune to rabies for life, you know? What would happen if you didn’t do another one? Would you have a swat team at your door, God forbid?

      • Christy on June 1, 2015 at 1:25 pm

        Unfortunately you can’t get around the rabies vaccine if you board your dog.
        I have tried pet sitters in the past and my dog did not like that path. His anxiety went through the rood, while at the boarding place (has always been my vet’s), he does ok with minimal anxiety. I think the activity calms him.

        • Nora Lenz on June 25, 2015 at 10:45 am

          Hi Christy,
          I know it’s a long shot that you live in my area, but I offer vaccination free boarding (2-3 dog limit) in my home near Seattle, WA. I have many raw fed dogs in my care whose shot records are not kept up to date, thankfully. Here’s my website: http://www.DoggyPlayGroups.com.

          • Will Falconer, DVM on June 25, 2015 at 2:05 pm

            Bravo, Nora. We need many more like you across the country and I hope you are just as busy as you want to be, offering such a fine service.
            Best to you in all your endeavors.

      • Midge Kelly on June 1, 2015 at 2:03 pm

        Regarding the rabies vaccinations, here is Texas they require a vacc every 3 years. I know the vaccs are for life and my dog doesn’t need another of any of them. He is a 4 year old rescued lab mix boy who has had before us, at least two rabies shots. He has already attacked the neighbor’s dog when he accidentally got out of our fenced yard, so I know he has the capability to do it again. He would be impounded if no rabies record for at least 10 days, and if an owner was bitten somehow with a dog scuffle, who knows if they would sue us for medical damages and a rabies shot for them the human as well. It’s like being in a trap. That’s why I was looking for the recombinent shot, hoping it didn’t have as much poison in it. And the others are right, if we take our dogs anywhere, including classes, they require and demand the shot records. I know their are others fighting to expand the 3 year requirements to at least 5 or 7 years. I just hope I live long enough to see Texas go along with it. The vets fight it here. They are still promoting yearly shots including rabies. ugh.

    • Rebecca on June 1, 2015 at 6:38 am

      Hi Midge,
      When I was looking for a holistic vet, a web search led me to Dr. Shawn Messionier. I don’t recommend him. I took my puppy there because she was suffering from intolerable itching. When I asked him if puppy vaccines (which were given before I rescued her) could have caused the problem, he said, no— any vaccine reaction would have been immediate (REALLY??). He also wanted me to bring her back for a second set of puppy shots even though she had the itching problem!! As part of trying to find out why she was itching, he gave her a steroid shot and said if that helped, it probably wasn’t a food allergy. He didn’t mention any homeopathic remedies at all. His “holistic” alternatives were to try to sell me some herbal remedies and special shampoo which I refused becuase the bill had grown so high due to his various add ons during the visit. I spent a lot of money for nothing. I wish I had searched further on the internet and found Dr Falconer so that the available money I had would have been better spent. My puppy is 2 years old now and still suffers, but not quite as much. Reading this site and other homeopathic sites have led me to some remedies which help, but I would love to visit Dr. Falconer when I am able.
      By the way, just checked Dr. Shawn’s website and he mentions that Dr. Ballard retired, but that “he can offer the same high quality alternative care”.

      • Midge Kelly on June 1, 2015 at 2:10 pm

        Good to know, Rebecca. I forgot about Dr. Messionier. Had a disagreement with him years ago over something regarding one of my Dane fosters and never went back to him. We just need to keep searching and asking and finding things out ourselves so that we are armed and dangerous, I mean informed, when we walk into the vets’ offices.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on June 1, 2015 at 4:59 pm

          Armed and empowered! That’s what I’m talkin’ bout!

        • Bruce Woods on August 8, 2020 at 11:06 am

          Have you or the others on this site found a good holistic vet in the Dallas area? Thanks!

      • Joyce on June 3, 2015 at 10:15 am

        Rebecca, I had the same kind of experience with Dr. Messionier.
        This was early on, in my journey toward holistic vets.
        My female has inhalant allergies that presented at 9 months old.
        He wanted to give her a parvo booster!!!
        It was I who demanded a titer, and it was then I started to question his “holistic” title.
        It was downhill after that. I left his practice because I honestly felt he was not in the least holistic, at least in the way I view holistic medicine, after all why on earth would he look at me with a crazy face when I suggested a titer. Shouldn’t he be the one suggesting this to me?
        But, on a positive note, my journey led me to find Dr. Falconer, who is and always has been the real deal!
        One thing I tell folks at the store I work at, which comes in handy.
        I recommend they have the tech write in big bold print at the top of my dogs charts.
        Absolutely NO VACCINES or Medications administered . This way, they won’t try to sneak one in on you, as I have heard happens.

        • Joyce on June 3, 2015 at 10:17 am

          Incidentally, my female had a very high titer for parvo……
          Just as I had suspected she would.

      • Lisa Bradfield on June 23, 2020 at 12:30 am

        I’m sorry your had that experience. Itoo too my fur girl to a ‘holistic’ vet who squeeze me for $200 for a phone consultation it was worthless.
        she wanted to sell me some supplements that her practice sold. I told her I would get them on Amazon or from pet meds or someplace that was led expensive
        She wasn’t a specialist, and charged more than a specialist. I should have researched her a lot more than I did. I asked for some kidney specific recipes and she gave me some copy of some lame recipe that she had laying around and that’s all she did. so I know some of these so-called holistic vets are quacks that just want to take your money.

    • Gisela Kayfus on July 7, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      I recommend Dr Nancy Bozemen DVM integrative vet

  18. Lisa Pantzer DVM on May 31, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    The only additional question I would ask is that of my pet were to be treated by you for an emergency, would you require vaccinations to hospitalize my beloved, minimally vaccinated darling??? The horror stories I hear and the arm twisting, especially by the big corporate practices, which fly in the face of any teaching at veterinary schools, immunology, and just common good sense!!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 31, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      Really, Lisa? See, I’m so out in the woods, I don’t hear these stories. Please, anyone with concerns about this, read the views above from Jane and Diana. There should be absolutely no question of vaccinations in an ill or injured animal. None. Read any label on any vaccine to know why: only for use in the healthy.
      Vaccination in the face of an emergency is malpractice. Remember that, should you ever feel on the hot seat.
      Corporate medicine is an oxymoron. Nuff said.

      • Laura Tomaszewski on May 31, 2015 at 8:24 pm

        That is great Dr Will, will HAVE to remember that one.

    • b on May 31, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      Yes this happened to me. Middle of the night my aids elderly cat had severe flu and could not breathe. I called, vet emergencies asked if he had rabies within 1 year. I was truthful on the first call, and they told me he would be vaccinated the moment I walked in, I explained this would kill him, he is 19 years old, they said doesn’t matter. I hung up. Called the next emergency clinic, and they didn’t even ask about vaccines. We went there and they made $4,000 so it was worth it not to ask about vaccines.
      Now I have learned, during an emergency, just say Yes they have all their vaccines within a year or so. NO, I do not have time to find the records. NO I do not remember the vets name or vaccination mobile van, we went too.
      I have found in emergencies just lie about the vaccinations. You are lying to protect your pet. YOU have that right to do what you have to do to protect your pets health.
      If they want records, just say records are in storage boxes packed away. This is an emergency, I don’t have time to go thru 150 boxes to find anything. This usually shuts them up.
      If having a problem, ask would you like me to spend my money at another vet?
      Then they usually say of course we want your business and become more helpful.

      • Will Falconer, DVM on May 31, 2015 at 9:43 pm

        Unbelievable, B. It blows my mind that trained medical professionals would even have such an outlandish policy. Besides being malpractice, it makes no sense. Even if they believe, in some twisted manner, that they are “protecting” someone by vaccinating for rabies “as soon as you walked in,” don’t they stop to think that there’ll be a lag time in getting immunity?
        I mean, it’s not like the animal’s tank was on empty, and squirting in that virus solution “topped them up!”

    • Yvonne on June 1, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Worst thing you can do is vaccinate an ill or injured animal. Their bodies are already compromised!

  19. Diana Bain on May 31, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    My vets work for me. I tell them what I want and they either are good with it or not. I told my last vet I will walk out of her office in a heartbeat if she has a problem with my requests (no vaxs) and she has never pressured me to this day some 5 years later. And she always comments on healthy my dogs are and how clean their teeth are. To me this is a no-brainer. She is a repro vet also and has seen several litters grow up and never receive a single vaccine and weirdly….are still here, healthy and vibrant.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 31, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      Nice, Diana, you’re proving this works over generations of healthy dogs. Can there be any doubt that it’s your natural rearing and creating vita animalsl that gets the credit?
      Thanks for sharing this.

  20. Jane Jones on May 31, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    This week I took a new rescue cat to our conventional vet to get him checked out and micro-chipped. I saw a different vet than I usually do, so we had to do “the dance”. Vaccinations, vaccinations, did I mention vaccinations? We haven’t vaccinated in over 22 years, and I have stood my ground. I have to say THANK YOU to you Dr. Falconer, because this time it was so much easier for me, because I have been reading your weekly newsletters and they have really helped to strengthen my convictions. Your support is so appreciated! To the vet I just said, “We don’t vaccinate our animals, and I do not want to discuss it.” She pressed, and I repeated that “it was not up for discussion with me” in a firm, but polite way. I told her that I take FULL RESPONSIBILITY for my animals and my choices. She backed down.
    My experience is that if you show even a slight wavering in your conviction, they will use that to wiggle in and try to change your mind…they are afterall, The Doctor. Stay firm, it’s you, YOUR PET, AND YOUR RESPONSIBILITY…not theirs.
    My vets always comment on how soft and shiny my critters coats are…they notice. I can hardly wait until this new cat’s coat is so nice.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 31, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      Oh, Jane, it does my heart good to hear this. Good for you. You lead the dance, and your animals are living testaments to the methods you use to build resistance.
      How did we ever swallow the idea that resistance was only possible by injecting foreign germs into the body? How far we’ve slid, as a “health care” consuming society.
      And right on about who’s responsible. If vaccinations lead to chronic disease in an animal, no vet is going to see the correlation, let alone admit fault.
      Thanks back at you.

      • Lisa Bradfield on June 23, 2020 at 12:20 am

        my lover year old chihuahua has never been sick a day in her life until a few weeks ago when she had blood work done and the vet told me she has chronic kidney disease.
        Where in the world did that come from with an otherwise healthy pet?
        it’s got to eat or be the foods that commercial food I fed her or the vaccines she had or the treats I’ve given her. I’ve used only premium quality kibble but high heat extruded and that, as we know is no good for them. The chicken jerky and duck jerky treats I have fed her and I didn’t notice were from China. Who knows how they process those things.
        And the vaccines cannot be trusted.
        but my darling little girl Chihuahua now has kidney disease and I’m doing everything I possibly can to keep it from progressing and keeping her healthy and feeling good as long as I possibly can.
        I can’t find a good holistic vet in my area.
        the one I went to see ripped me off $200 for a one-hour phone consultation that barely answered any of my questions or concerns
        She had her own agenda she was a quack and ripped me off.
        Ridiculous. I’ve seen specialists that charge less and she’s no specialist.
        I wish I would have had these questions before I took my dog to see her.
        And I will more thoroughly research anyone I take her to see in the future.
        I need a nutritionist for her and I have looked for days and I can’t find a single one that specializes in nutrition in Portland Oregon or the surrounding area . is an internal medicine veterinarian just as good as a nutritionist do they know the same information can they help me with her diet and supplements ???

    • b on May 31, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      Jane, thanks for sharing so helpful to hear of others standing up for their pets health. This way we know we are not the only ones. We share with many along our dog walks, some do the same, some never heard of over vaccination, and some don’t want to hear about it, and others are willing to look into it to save their pets. I tell pet lovers to come here and sign up for the free newsletter at VitalAnimal.com to keep posted.

    • Joyce on June 3, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Bravo Jane! Bravo!!! Fantastic response to your vet, I couldn’t agree more with you! Exactly right on!!

  21. ann gillett on May 31, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    I have been using a Scalar Energy Flea/Tick Tag for 3 years with super results – no fleas or ticks and live in a very wooded area. I refuse to use any toxic pharmas on my pup due to toxicity to her and myself. What is your opinion about these tags? thank you so much.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 31, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      The jury (in my mind) is still out, Ann. I’d love to love them. Just haven’t heard enough to convince me yet. Glad you’re living free of pests. Did you happen to have big pest problems that then went away when you started using the tags?
      Thanks for sharing your experience.