When we had that terrible shock–finding out my “soul cat” had cancer—we had so little time to make decisions, but I couldn’t find one doctor with all the information I wanted.
I’m not sure what it’s like where you live, but here vets are extremely time-taxed. Especially the holistic ones.
Holistic veterinary expertise is still rare, but some of the experienced ones are now available by phone. This can be very helpful if your local vet doesn’t have all the time and expertise you need.
Special request: If you consult with any of these doctors, will you kindly share your feedback about them in the Comments? That could help readers a lot.
Holistic vets available for phone consults
Some of these vets may expect you to have a local vet and an official diagnosis in order for them to be able to help your cat. However, you may be able to have more general, informational conversations with them in some cases.
If you need a prescription, they may require you to work with a local vet.
Note: If you are new here, let me reassure you that none of these doctors are sponsors or affiliates of this blog.
Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, NMD
Dr. Becker runs the Natural Pet Animal Hospital in Illinois. She has been practicing integrative animal medicine for many years. I recently discovered her on Twitter and the MercolaHealthyPets.com, and I’ve been very impressed with her holistic knowledge and advice.
Phone consultations are “designed to provide clients with an integrative opinion about their pet’s health, nutrition and well-being.” She can talk to you about existing tests and diagnosis or just answer general questions, but both must be faxed ahead of time. Cost: $4.50 per minute.
Dr. Becker contact info:
- More info here.
Dr. Michelle Yasson
Dr. Michelle Yasson was recently (Feb 2011) featured on CBS news—you can watch the clip here.
Her description of her work on her website has an enthusiastic, warm tone. She has special knowledge of a promising new natural tumor treatment called Neoplasene.
Her site says “Here at HolVet we treat more cancer than anything else. It is a sad sign of the times that cancer has become an epidemic in our beloved pet population, occurring in younger and younger animals each year. Ninety percent of our care is provided by phone consultation all over the country and we see the same situation everywhere.”
Dr. Yasson contact info:
- Consultation info here.
Tip: Currently her website says she provides a free initial 15 minute consult for new clients.
Marty Goldstein’s clinic, Smith Ridge
Dr. Goldstein is in great demand because he’s the author of the wonderful holistic book The Nature of Animal Healing, and has an impressive track record. When I called Smith Ridge there was a 2-3 month wait for an appointment with Dr. Goldstein.
I was, however, able to get a faster appointment with another nice, knowledgeable vet at Smith Ridge.
Here’s my experience
- I can’t recall the exact rates, but I found it pretty expensive, as you might expect from a famous clinic.
- We were dealing with a high-grade, fast-moving lymphoma and had already had some chemotherapy, so in retrospect I realize that Smith Ridge could not have worked miracles in our unique situation. However, it gave me more peace of mind to get the Smith Ridge view of the best holistic approaches available at the time, so I’m glad I did it.
- I was hoping this vet would advise my local vet on exactly what chemotherapy protocols to use (if any) and which holistic treatments we should use in conjunction with chemo. He was not able to provide something so specific. What he did provide instead was a long list—with dosages–of the best alternative supplements he could recommend in our situation. He could not give advice related to chemotherapy protocols at all.
Here’s how they describe their phone consultations: “… if you have already received a firm diagnosis and are able to provide us with copies of relevant test results, we can, after reviewing the records and speaking with you, inform you about natural treatment options that have worked with animals having similar conditions.”
One advantage of Smith Ridge is they’ve been working with remote clients for years and have a good system down for it.
Smith Ridge contact info:
- More Smith Ridge phone consult information here.
Dr Charles Loops, DVM
Dr. Loops is a North Carolina vet whom I do not have experience with, however I have a few reasons to be impressed with him:
- Clients gave given him positive reviews in the comments section here.
- When I checked, he had an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau here.
- He’s published a helpful holistic cancer treatment resource list.
He does many phone consults. While an initial in-depth consult is not cheap, follow-ups are very reasonable. It looks to me like he may do shorter, less-expensive phone consults for some types of cases.
Dr. Loops contact info:
- (919) 542-0442
- Here’s his service FAQ .
Bonus info: Conventional veterinary phone consultations (not holistic)
I want you to know about one more phone resource even though it isn’t holistic. This is pretty cool because it comes from one of the best feline health centers in the country and is subsidized to be affordable.
“The Cornell Feline Health Center’s consulting veterinarians answer your specific questions, giving up-to-date advice based on the most current information available in feline medicine.”
Phone consults are $55, except for oncology consults, which are $75. I have used this service. It’s real.
(Not holistic) Cornell Feline Health Center contact info:
- Remember—this center is not alternative at all, but they are good for getting the full picture of latest conventional treatments & outcomes.
- The Feline Consultation Service website is here.
If there are any other good holistic vets available by phone, please contact me so I can see about adding them here.
P.P.S. If you use any of the providers above, will you come back and share your feedback in the Comments? That will help a lot. Thank you!