Dr. Shauna provides an integrated overview of the health, wellness, and athletic performance of both horses and companion animals. She brings her training in conventional medicine, pain management, and neurology together with complementary therapies to search outside the usual constraints of health and medical principles to bring new light to old problems. Her practice entails improving equine performance through acupuncture, chiropractic, postural rehabilitation, hoof and dental balance, nutrition and saddle fit. Equine illnesses such as heaves (COPD or RIA disease), nonsweating and hormonal issues such as reproduction and Cushings are also just a few of the medical issues that she addresses. Ask her how integrative medicine can help other medical problems bothering your horse or pet. She works with agility dogs, neurologically impaired dogs, as well as animals with debilitating illnesses such as allergies and cancer through nutritional and structural support, acupuncture, chiropractic and complementary (holistic) therapies. Dr. Shauna encourages her clients to work in conjunction with their conventional veterinarian and other professionals such as the trainer, farrier, and equine dentist. She will coordinate a team approach for your animal’s well-being and treatment. She practices with a strong emphasis on owner education and is available for educational/training appointments (shows, barn, house) and group lectures or clinics.
Dr. Shauna has specialized training in veterinary anesthesiology. Through this rigorous course of training, emphasis was on pain management in all species. While teaching at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, she provided this service to surgical and hospitalized patients for ten years. This area is fairly new in the history of veterinary medicine, and until recently, focus has been on using limited conventional pharmacology for acute pain conditions. In the last five years, much attention has been directed to the awareness, research and management of chronic pain states in animals. Dr. Shauna has been involved with the development of treatment protocols for acute and chronic pain, and is fortunate enough to have complementary medicine also in her tool box to apply to her patients.
An example of integrative pain management can be found with dogs with osteoarthritis. Many factors can enhance the quality of life of the old or injured dog, starting with good quality diagnostics. Dr. Shauna would examine xrays and bloodwork done by your conventional veterinarian and decide on appropriate drugs if necessary to alleviate certain components of the pain state. She would also help you as the owner develop a written log to annotate your dog’s progress and troubleshoot factors that enhance or undermine pain management. Acupuncture and other modalities through Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, physical therapeutic techniques and nutritional therapy would significantly help with your dog’s comfort level, and indeed decrease the need for many of the common drugs. She would then develop an exercise plan for you as the owner to follow with so that you can play a large part in your dog’s well-being and road to health. She will develop an individualized followup appointment plan so that you and your dog can continue to chart progress and be on the road to good quality of life.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE VETERINARY MEDICINE
Acupuncture, herbal therapy, Tui Na (Chinese medical massage) are the major components of TCVM and are derived from traditional therapeutics originating in China over 2000 years ago. Each can be applied individually or in combination to your animal. For more information, see www.tcvm.com
Fine needles are used in predefined points of the body in patterns called meridians. The placement of the needles depends on the imbalance and disharmony in the body and differs for each animal. The anatomical locations of the points are made up of nerve bundles, lymphatics, key muscle endings, and focused stimulation creates a cascade of effects in the body. Much quality research exists to demonstrate the effect and benefit of this modality. Acupuncture is used to ease muscular strains, minimize pain, minimize inflammation, support the immune system, and create a host of neurologic and physiologic changes in the body to aid healing of the whole. Most animals find the experience neutral to very relaxing. Initial changes continue in the body for up to several days after the treatment and the long- term effects can last for months.
Many Chinese herbs are used to optimize the body’s health and support healing. The choice of herbals depends on the animal’s balance and individual presentation or illness. Chinese Herbal Medicine has been demonstrated in clinical studies to be effective in treating many medical disorders, including cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, dermatological, respiratory, and endocrine diseases, among others. Herbals can be used to decrease pain, resolve diarrhea, improve stamina, calm animals, improve cardiac function, and clear infection. Recent and ongoing veterinary studies demonstrate effectiveness of herbal medicine in the treatment of equine gastric ulcers, canine inflammatory bowel disease, and equine anhidrosis (non-sweating). The best herbal combinations are carefully selected, often imported from quality controlled growers in China, and made here in North America for specific TCVM conditions. Rigorous research is rapidly developing in the area of herbal medicine, and Dr. Shauna has peer-reviewed well-designed studies in this area.
A form of Chinese manipulative therapy, Tui Na is often used in conjunction with acupuncture and herbs. The practitioner massages specific areas to get the energy moving in both meridians and muscles. The practitioner can then use range of motion, traction, massage, with stimulation of acupuncture points to treat both chronic and acute musculoskeletal problems as well as many nonmusculoskeletal conditions. In human medicine, it has been used to treat or complement therapy for many conditions such as stress-related gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory and reproduction problems. Dr. Shauna will often demonstrate techniques for clients to practice daily on their own animals to enhance the effect of the treatments.
Also called Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy, animal chiropractic is a medical modality of using rapid focused force to stimulate joints and nerves to reset nerve function, muscle tension, and therefore joint alignment. Through these factors, ease of motion is achieved and a frictionless skeletal system is more closely attained. For some animals with long term or chronic musculoskeletal issues, multiple sessions may be required to allow the body to gradually rebalance and strengthen. Because the spinal cord supplies the nerve supply to the organs as well as the musculoskeletal system, improved function of the systemic physiology is also attained. When an animal has been worked on for the first time, the body accommodates new changes and can take a few days to relearn how to use its body with ease. The animals should be restricted from peak performance during this time to prevent injury. Dr. Shauna will provide guidelines for each individual, and give graded exercises to bring your animal back to optimal and improved performance.
Postural Rehabilitation is an integrative, evidence-based approach to alleviating chronic performance problems and preventing musculoskeletal injury. It provides a global perspective on how manual therapies alter the complex systems that control the neuro- musculoskeletal apparatus in animals (definition taken from posturalrehabvets.com). Symmetry and balance in posture are achieved through neurologic input from vision, the vestibular system (inner ear), temporal-mandibular joint (TMJ), upper cervical joints, and distal proprioception (how the feet hit the floor). Hoof (and toenail) anatomy and dental occlusion (how the teeth come together) thus are very important in facilitating optimal balance input to the brain. Dr. Shauna checks these on all animals when she is evaluating the state of the nervous system through posture. Multiple exercises are done to reset and strengthen the central nervous system to allow for postural control and correction of musculoskeletal disorders and disease. See www.posturalrehabvets.com for more information.
Waking up the brain through clinical neurology is what functional neurology is about. It is really the culmination of the effect of the above therapeutic modalities applied in a very specific way to the nervous system. Treatment is specific to increase the function of certain areas of the brain that are responsible for downstream function in the body. Emphasis is on the relationship between the environmental potential and the central nervous system. This is done through forms of physical exercises, manipulation, and other forms of specific therapy that generate stronger neurological pathways and therefore stronger function in the body. Integration of motor skills, neurologic relays, reflexes and responses, muscle tension, internal organ function through control of the autonomic nervous system are all factors affected by applied clinical neurology. An example would be to minimize pain in certain areas by increasing limb-specific exercise. Another example is to improve the strength of a weakened leg with a bowed tendon by performing chiropractic adjustments from the side of the body that stimulates the brain to create an increased output to the leg in question. Thus the leg gets stronger, and is less prone to reinjury during rehabilitation.
For more information, see www.carrickinstitute.org
NUTRITIONAL THERAPY AND COUNSELING
HOMOTOXICOLOGY (a form of homeopathy) – See www.heel.com
NUTRACEUTICALS (Orhomolecular Medicine)
OZONE MEDICAL THERAPY – see www.appliedozone.com/medical.html