Questions and Answers with Dr Ann Nevill
Q. What does being a naturopath vet involve?
A. Diagnosing the basic body disharmony that provoked the disease. I have five Chinese herbal diplomas and an acupuncture diploma and I've studied in China. When I see an animal, I get a fairly immediate sense of their body balance.
Q. Do some animals respond better than others?
A. Yes. For instance, I treated 6 cats which had abscesses and five responded adequately to herbs or acupuncture treatment. In treating them without antibiotics I feel I have supported the body instead of damaging the body balance.
Q. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A. Seeing animals get better. I’m addicted! We get a lot of very difficult problems from other clinics when animals don't respond to Western medicine. Being able to offer them such a range of natural medicines results in a very high success rate.
Q. Do you see natural medicine as an alternative or complementary to conventional medicine?
A. I think natural medicine is the basis now rather than the alternative. We still use conventional medicine where appropriate, for example in chronic and autoimmune diseases.
Q. What kind of cases do you treat?
A. We treat a large range of cases including many difficult cases where the owner feels they have run out of options with their own vet. We also treat a lots of behavioural problems. It is hard to think of a disease that would not benefit from the alternatives being put into the treatment protocol.
Q. Would you encourage pet owners to bring their sick pets to an animal naturopath?
A. I think it expands their awareness of the meaning of health because I think there’s too much focus in our culture on disease as opposed to health. I can’t help but believe that going to an animal naturopath would teach people other facets of healthy living.
However, if the naturopath is not also a qualified vet, this choice can be dangerous. Some naturopaths lack the training to forsee the severe consequences of failing to address some serious medical conditions. Nor can they distinguish readily those factors that can be altered by nutrition from those that cannot.