A mother-daughter veterinary clinic is offering Northeast Ohio patients an integrative approach to traditional pet care treatment options. Carol Osborne and her daughter, Halle, operate Chagrin Falls Veterinary Center. The integrative and holistic clinic is located at 530 E. Washington St., Chagrin Falls, opened about a year ago, offering a departure from clinics which for years have only prescribed traditional treatments and medicines for ailing pets. “We combine the eastern, natural, holistic therapies with the western traditional therapies to optimize and offer the best treatment to each pet,” Carol said. The clinic’s approach is that food can be used as medicine, according to Carol. “We use a lot of food and nutritional therapies for our patients for a variety of aches, pains and illnesses,” Carol said. “We also use traditional science to optimize and restore health.”
According to Carol, who received her veterinary degree from The Ohio State University in 1993, the clinic might be the only one in Northeast Ohio to offer these integrative therapies for pets. “It’s a softer more natural way to address some of the concerns [of pet owners],” Carol said. “Our results have been wonderful.”
Some of the natural methods include using diffusers with lavender in exam rooms to help calm pets and owners. Another method includes rubbing flower essence inside a pet’s ears which works as a natural calming agent. “It’s very calming and relaxing,” Carol said. “And it takes the edge off for a few hours.” The clinic also uses a variety of foods and herbs to help ease pet ailments. “We do a lot with diets,” Carol said. And while the clinic uses vaccines and other drugs, Carol said they are careful not to over prescribe medicines and vaccines. “We find that some vaccines are necessary,” Carol said.
However, the clinic is careful in prescribing vaccines, especially in older pets due to the potential damage that can be done to immune systems, Carol said. The clinic specializes in all pets, but concentrates on older pets. After college, Carol opened a clinic but was not happy with treatments available for older pets. She returned to school to learn more about what could be done for the aging pet population and natural therapies.
“I realized there was a void in traditional medicines, and my puppies and kittens were suddenly seniors and had a variety of sicknesses and diseases,” Carol said. “That’s when I decided to go back and further my education.”
The doctor has tried to help educate others by creating product lines and writing books on her methods. After completing her degree on the aging pet population, Carol opened up her current clinic with her new philosophy. Halle, a senior at John Carroll University recently joined her mom and will finish her political science degree and apply for veterinary school. Halle was following in the footsteps of her dad, Howard, an attorney, until she decided to join her mom. “It’s wonderful to be with my daughter her and wonderful to be so close to work,” Carol said. The family lives about five minutes from the clinic, which is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We try to make ourselves as available as possible,” Carol said. The methods work, Carol said, citing several instances where diet and supplements improved the health and well being of pets. “The wonderful thing about this clinic is that it’s a family affair,” Halle said. Each appointment is “completely about educating the owner about their pet,” Halle said. One of the diets touted includes vitamins, vegetables, scrambled eggs and chicken.
“With the use of our diets and products we have dogs living to 18 years old and cats to 26,” Halle said. “When people see the changes in their pets, it is the biggest reward to us.” Some clients question the nutritional method until they see the end results, Halle said. A former K-9 unit German Shepherd injured its spine and had a degenerative nerve disease in its hind legs. The dog was 120 pounds and was dragging around it’s back legs. Through the diet and therapy program the dog lost 20 pounds in a month and was able to run and jump again.
“They were amazed,” Halle said. “When people see that big of a change in their dog there is nothing else you have to tell them because when they see it — they believe it and that’s the magic of what we do here.”
By Tim Troglen
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