Pet Health Education Handouts

Alternative Therapies

  • Perna (Perna canaliculus), the green-lipped mussel, is a shellfish that is a natural source of glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) including chondroitin. It also contains a number of other nutrients, including essential fatty acids, carotenoids, and other compounds that possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Platelet rich plasma or PRP is a form of regenerative medicine where the platelet and protein fraction of blood is retrieved from a patient and then injected back into the patient at the site of inflammation. PRP contains growth factors that appear to promote tissue regeneration and reduce inflammation. It is a promising field of research and may help with wound healing and osteoarthritis. The procedure is not yet widely available and should only be performed by a veterinarian with special training in this area.

  • Probiotics are dietary supplements that contain normal, potentially beneficial bacteria and yeasts. The currently adopted definition of a probiotic by the FAO/WHO (the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Health Organization) is: "Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host".

  • Slippery Elm is an herbal treatment prepared from the inner bark of the Slippery or Red Elm tree (Ulmus rubra). The term 'slippery' refers to the remarkable viscid gel that is formed when the powdered bark comes in contact with water.

  • Soy proteins are the proteins found in the soybean and its products such as tofu. Isoflavones are a particularly important class of soy protein, and include the water-soluble compounds genistein and daidzein. Genistein is found in other plants as well, including red clover, and is one of the most heavily studied plant compounds in the world, because of its phytoestrogenic effects.

  • St. John's Wort is an herb prepared from the plant Hypericum perforatum. Currently, it is mainly used for treating depression and anxiety disorders in people. This is a fairly modern use of St. John's Wort. Traditionally, the herb was used to ease the pain of peripheral nerve injuries.

  • Stem cells are unspecialized cells that are capable of renewing themselves though cell division. Under certain conditions, they can become a specific tissue or organ cell. Stem cell therapy commonly refers to the process of placing stem cells from the body into diseased or damaged tissues, such as a torn ligament in the knee or perhaps an arthritic joint. This process is often referred to as regenerative medicine. Adult stem cells are capable of repair and regeneration of various tissues because they have the potential to differentiate into specialized cells of an organ. The most common use of stem cell therapies has been in the treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs and cats. Currently, there are no current guidelines with respect to stem cell therapy. Stem therapy should only be performed by a veterinarian with special training, who understands the benefits and limits of this therapy. It is important to have realistic expectations as positive outcomes cannot be guaranteed.

  • A supplement is a concentrated nutrient source that is added to a basic diet for either a nutritional or a therapeutic effect. There is a great deal of confusion that surrounds the terminology of food additives, and sometimes terms are used interchangeably.

  • A supplement is a concentrated nutrient source that is added to a basic diet for either a nutritional or a therapeutic effect. There is a great deal of confusion that surrounds the terminology of food additives, and sometimes terms are used interchangeably.

  • A supplement is a concentrated nutrient source that is added to a basic diet for either a nutritional or a therapeutic benefit. There is a great deal of confusion that surrounds the terminology of food additives, and sometimes terms are used interchangeably.