Functional Medicine

At Paws & Claws Holistic Animal Hospital, our focus and specialty is on functional medicine. Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and doctor in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole pet, not just an isolated set of symptoms.

Why Do We Need Functional Medicine?

  • There is a sharp increase in the number of pets who suffer from complex, chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, allergies, arthritis, and other serious immune problems.
  • The system of medicine practiced by most veterinarians is oriented toward acute care, the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or illness that is of short duration and in need of urgent care, and doctors apply specific, prescribed treatments such as drugs or surgery that aim to treat the immediate problem or symptom.
  • Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine lacks the proper  methodology and tools for preventing and treating complex, chronic disease. In most cases it does not take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual or factors such as environmental exposures to toxins (too many vaccines, drugs, and chemicals.)
  • Most veterinarians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease and to apply strategies such as nutrition, diet, and naturopathic remedies to both treat AND prevent these illnesses in their patients.

How is Functional Medicine Different?

Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease, and includes:

  • Patient-centered care. The focus of functional medicine is on patient-centered care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease (many pets “look healthy” but testing shows underlying issues that must be addressed or illness will occur.)
  • An integrative, science-based healthcare approach. Functional medicine practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal and external factors that affect total functioning.
  • Integrating best medical practices. Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what is sometimes considered “holistic” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, and detoxification programs.

We are happy to be the only hospital in North Texas to offer our patients functional medicine, and are committed to health using the least invasive and least toxic therapies!