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Holistic Companion Animal Care Studies: Summary of Coursework

Holistic companion animal care coursework aims to teach students alternative methods for treating and caring for animals. This unique field isn't widely available, but options can be found. Read ahead to learn more about what this field is and to see examples of classes.

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Essential Information

Holistic companion animal care courses may be found in some veterinary school programs. In some instances, individuals may take holistic companion animal care classes through continuing education programs at universities, as well as via private organizations. Common concepts covered in these courses include:

  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal medicine
  • Aromatherapy
  • Chiropractic manipulation

List of Possible Courses

Alternative and Complementary Pet Medicine Course

In this course, students examine the efficiency of the alternative and complementary therapeutics used in veterinary medicine. Students discuss the ways diet, stress, genetics and relationships may affect health. They survey methods for treating ailments in the least invasive manner possible, while still utilizing conventional medical treatments when needed. The various herbal medicines used to treat animals and how these medicines are researched and regulated are typically analyzed as well.

Animal Acupuncture Course

The first part of the coursework in animal acupuncture normally includes studies in small animal anatomy and physiology, animal handling and animal restraint. Veterinary emergencies and learning how to recognize conditions and diseases that need medical attention are often examined. During the second part of the coursework, students' theoretical knowledge is complemented with hands-on experience practicing supervised pinpoint location on small animals.

Massage for Animal Health Course

During this course, students learn body work skills - both theoretically and practically - designed to promote optimal health in small animals. Anatomy and physiology, animal behavior, handling animals and kinesiology are among common topics. Students generally learn several massage modalities, such as trigger point, stretching, shiatsu and muscle energy techniques. Normally, another major goal of the course is to provide students with an understanding of how massage therapy can strengthen the connection and bond between humans and animals.

Chiropractic Treatments for Animals Course

Students are introduced to concepts and methods of chiropractic care as it relates to animals. The course includes a combination of classroom lectures, textbook studies and lab work. Students practice chiropractic care to reduce pain in the back, neck, tail and legs of animals. They also learn how to make adjustments to discs and joints to improve alignment. Chiropractic care may be used to treat muscle spasms, neurological problems, certain infections and various injuries. Topics typically include osseous static palpation, neurology and biomechanics of animals, muscle palpation, gait analysis, posture analysis, radiology and general adjusting techniques.

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