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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Reset Your Pet with Restorative Therapies : Expanding the Toolbox at Main Street Animal Services

Dec 29, 2016 10:42PM ● By Margo Roman

A key consideration when choosing care for an animal companion today is access to the wide variety of modalities in functional medicine that can help a pet get healthier.


As more is learned about how to establish wellness and increase health in humans, treatment options continue to advance and have become available to include and utilize in caring for pets. This has enabled veterinarians to have a much larger and more diverse toolbox to help their patients; including acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy, functional nutrition, chiropractic, microbiome restorative therapy, myofascial work, ozone therapy, biophotonics, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, cold laser therapy, and pulse electromagnetic therapy to name only a few.

Why is this diverse toolbox so essential in animal care?

The environment has become more toxic over the years with pesticides, herbicides and other challenges. Cancer is now the most common cause of chronic illness affecting approximately 50 percent of dogs and 40 percent of cats, and autoimmune disease continues to rise. Autoimmune problems can lead to other ailments such as cancer, allergies, infections, Lyme and co-infections, organ failures and other serious medical issues.

Animals that have been through many conventional therapies, including antibiotics, require time to rebuild again. The need for diverse alternative approaches to help these animals become healthy and stay healthy has become a necessity. Bringing in functional medicine can give the body a chance to reboot itself and rebalance itself. Doctors should be looking to have support from one’s own body to care for itself.

Helping the body reset

A strong immune system is critical for an animal to fight infections and overcome medical challenges affecting them. Since 80 percent of the immune system comes from the gut, it is imperative for an animal to have functioning microbiome. It is important to nurture the microbiome by replacing a diet of foods exposed to pesticides or herbicides (like glyphosate) with a natural organic diet. Antibiotics and other drugs that focus on killing microbes weaken the microbiome, thereby becoming critical that the body be allowed to “reset” to reduce the risk of further immune compromising issues.

Ozone therapy and microbiome restorative therapy (MBRT) have been shown to help the body reset. Ozone therapy helps give more oxygen to the mitochondria (the batteries of cells) and that in turn supports the immune system. Cells need more oxygen to allow their mitochondria to work, and ozone therapy directly affects the oxygen utilization of the cells. This is a very important aspect of functional medicine.

This exploration of the internal “garden” in the gastrointestinal tract is the new frontier of health care. Doctors in human medicine are treating a lot of autoimmune problems with Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT or MBRT). The National Institute of Health is spending millions of dollars studying the genome of the microbiome.

Dogs have been eating feces forever. Making sure they get a healthy replacement to help rebalance the imbalanced microbiome is a great place to start, just be sure its a healthy microbe from a healthy donor.

Family animals deserve to have an opportunity to heal. For proper health care, seek out a veterinarian that understands this commitment to allow the body to balance itself. Look for veterinarians broadly trained in these alternative modalities. provides access to local practitioners across the country.

Margo Roman, DVM, CVA, COT ,CPT, FAAO, is a veterinarian at MASH Vet (Main St. Animal Services of Hopkinton). She has practiced integrative and functional veterinary medicine for almost 40 years. For more information, visit