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Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine

Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine (VWHM) provides us with increased options for patient therapy in addition to traditional veterinary therapies. By integrating VWHM into our clinic we have expanded our toolkit for patient care, increasing the quality of care for our patients and increasing options of treatments for our clients.


We have access to a vast array of medicinal herbal plants with which we can formulate remedies. The beauty of using whole plants in our treatments is the fact that these plants provide medicinal benefits of hundreds of compounds found in these plants.


Prescriptions are formulated with a body systems-based approach. Herbal actions of plants can benefit more than one body system. By using blends of herbs there is a synergistic effect that vastly multiplies the medicinal effects.


For example: For an old dog with arthritic pain and signs of decreased cognition/dementia, we may formulate a tonic that addresses not only arthritic pain (musculoskeletal system) but also includes formulae for cognition (nervous system), increases blood flow to the brain,  (cardiovascular system) and increase disease resistance (immune system) Medicinal plants provide opportunity to treat all these systems with one simple tonic!

Furthermore, for this arthritic dog, we use Traditional Vet therapies such as Cartrophen injections for arthritis and tablets for pain relief. Complementary therapies such as Therapeutic Laser Therapy are also available to treat arthritis. Integrative Vet Medicine thus allows us to provide optimum holistic health for our animals.


Many of these therapies we use on a daily basis - sometimes without even realising! Clay poultices are used regularly by horse owners for hoof bruising; along with natural Epsom Salts - both examples of organic products used for medical purposes.


Many therapies have stood the test of time - a long time! Egyptian burials have been found with pots of honey, sealed, intact, and ready to use! Honey needs no introduction as a well-respected, thoroughly studied, and highly effective instrument for wound healing.


Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine is based on Evidence-Based Medicine. Evidence-based practice (EBP) is defined as "the conscientious, explicit evidence-based veterinary medicine and judicious use of the current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of EBP means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research (Sackett 1998). (College Of Integrative Veterinary Therapies (CIVT))

Through our studies with CIVT, we are able to formulate appropriate prescriptions for our patients. We have extensive reference material available to us and there is an enormous body of Herbal Medicine Research available to access. 

Ref: Wynn SG, Fougère BJ. Veterinary Herbal Medicine: A Systems-Based Approach. Veterinary Herbal Medicine. 2007:291–409. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-323-02998-8.50024-X. Epub 2009 May 15. PMCID: PMC7151902.

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 Prescriptions may be composed of liquid TONICS, HERBAL LEAF OR HERBAL POWDERS.

A HORSE with a chronic cough will have a prescription for the respiratory condition (mucolytics, antitussive); the immune system (boost immunity to fight infection), the gastrointestinal system (ensure digestion of nutrition) & excretion of toxins from the body (liver & kidneys).

As the horse is a herbivore they are ideal patients where we use herbal leaves and powders. We can use herbs whose components have actions to address all the above - actions that have been well established, through scientifically proof, research, clinical & traditional use.


VWHM Consultations are available for all animals with Dr Joan Deetman at Silverson Vet Clinic in Serpentine WA.

Your consultation will assess your animal clinically, with a thorough history required & any past/present treatments. A treatment plan will be developed & may include a prescription which combines Traditional Veterinary therapy with Herbal formulations of leaf, powders or tonics.

VWHM Consultations may be booked at our clinic online:

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