Interview with Doctor Kim Bloomer, V.N.D., N.D. is a certified veterinary naturopath in small animal nutrition. She has many years of experience in animal health. Kim has worked in veterinary medicine as an assistant for years. She later went on to earn her doctorate in veterinary naturopathy from Kingdom College of Natural Health. She is now an adjunct professor to the college. Dr. Bloomer is Co-Founder of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy, and will explain what is a certified veterinary naturopath.
1. Please explain what is a certified veterinary naturopath and is this something new?
Answer: Let me answer the second question first and say no that a certified veterinary naturopath is not something new although it is relatively new in the USA. In fact it is on par in other countries with veterinarians. I have a couple of articles that explain in depth what a veterinary naturopath is and what one is not, and what role we play on the health care team for your pets:
The definition of naturopathy is “a system or method of treating disease that employs no surgery or synthetic drugs but uses special diets, herbs, vitamins, massage, etc., to assist the natural healing processes.” Although in the USA no one other than a veterinarian is allowed to treat disease. Naturopaths guide the pet owner in how to assist the natural healing process inherent in all living things.
2. Would you replace a current Veterinarian or do you work in conjunction with them?
Answer: No we do not replace your veterinarian since they are the only ones allowed by law to prescribe medication, treat disease, and perform surgery. Our role is very different from theirs as you can see from the above articles.
We can work in conjunction with veterinarians. A veterinarian isn’t going to be willing to share the spotlight with a naturopath. Our viewpoints are often greatly opposing – with the exception of true holistic veterinarians or a naturopathic veterinarian.
However, one veterinarian in my home state wants to begin referring some of her clients to me and believes in what I am doing. She is also someone I refer people to already. There are things I can’t do and vice versa. I think it’s great when we can work together in collaboration as opposed to thinking of each other as competition.
The important thing to consider here is what are the needs or wants of the pet owner. How much in control of their pets’ health do they want to be or not be? If the pet owner wants to allow their veterinarian to call all the shots for their pets, then an animal naturopath isn’t someone they’d appreciate working with.
Our role is to empower the pet owner through education. Teach them on how to make informed decisions for their pets and take back control of their pets’ health. Our focus is on promoting health rather than treating disease.
We are often sought out after pet owners have exhausted all other options with their pets. They are told nothing more can be done for the pet. It would be a lot less expensive with much less grief involved if pet owners sought out an animal naturopath as the first resort. Especially for true preventive, foundational care, but we are nonetheless available to assist with chronic care as well.
3. How does one go about finding the right certified veterinary naturopath for their pets? Are they all the same or do some specialize?
Answer: Now that is a darn good question Claude! You see there are so few of us in the USA. The good news is, my dearest friend and colleague and I have just instituted the first American Council of Animal Naturopathy. We want to set a standard for animal naturopaths worldwide so pet owners could be assured of who they were choosing to guide them with their pets.
The site is http://www.animalnaturopathycouncil.org we are offering board examinations and continuing education to animal naturopaths. Ensure a standard for quality guidance for pet owners.
Pet owners will want to keep this site in their radar for future reference as we grow this organization.
We will be listing all animal naturopaths who pass the certification exam. The natural animal health schools who align with us and business supporters of our organization. Some animal naturopaths will add a specialty to their work but we all should have the same foundation in naturopathy.
4. Could you cite some examples of what is wrong in the veterinary practices today?
Answer: Of course this is my opinion, but also that of not only other naturopaths but also some enlightened veterinarians as well. First of all annual re vaccinations are completely unnecessary. To quote one well known veterinarian who lives here in New Mexico, Don Hamilton DVM -“Yearly boosters are unnecessary, provide no benefit if given (will not increase immunity). Thus boosters are either a legal issue (Rabies) or a manipulation issue. Inducing clients to come in for examination rather than directly suggesting an examination.” I concur wholeheartedly!
Also all the pet food recommendations for various ailments in pets are really not about health at all. It is about selling pet food for a nice profit. How can any food that is highly processed and completely unnatural be of any true value to a pet? It is processed junk food plain and simple no matter what label is put on the package.
Also all the so-called preventive care to control pests is nothing more than high-priced pesticides and poisons. That over time, will and do degrade the health of your pet. I’d also add that you can’t put a blanket treatment on every single ailment in animals or people. Reason is because every single animal and human being is unique.
The old story rings true in human and pets: “We are what we eat.”
So every single body (animal or human) that is out of balance or in a state of “dis-ease” can not be treated the same. Modern veterinary medicine proposes to do exactly that – treat each animal the same that presents with the same symptoms. In addition, the common practice of giving out an antibiotic or steroid for any and all ailments. This is a quick fix to appease pet owners and send them on their way is a travesty to me.
The original definition of doctor is “teacher” and that is exactly what we ought to be doing. Taking time to educate pet owners will help them learn and see the value in our methods. Healing and balance in nutrition over time may be slow but sure. They will learn to appreciate the journey and grow closer to the pet. Those are not things you’ll typically learn on a trip to your conventional veterinary hospital.
5. Where can we find more information about certified veterinary naturopathy methods?
Answer: Our audio library on Animal Talk Naturally is a great resource for pet owners who want to learn about a naturopathic, holistic approach to the care of their pets. It is free to listen! Just visit this page to find all the available audios http://www.animaltalknaturally.com/past-programs/
Soon we’ll also be offering monthly educational webinars through our animal naturopathy council as well. Our first webinar will be in March 2011.
6. What recommendations can you offer to what they should be doing today with their feline pets?
Answer: First and foremost because cats are obligate carnivores meaning they are obligated to eat raw meat and bones. This is not optional for them or any carnivore for that matter. They need to be fed a species appropriate raw meat and bone diet. Fresh and daily!
The difference is so incredibly noticeable in raw fed cats versus kibble fed cats. You’ll wonder if you have the same species. Felines are nature’s most perfect hunter. Every facet of their bodies is designed for the hunt. Cats are absolutely incredible to observe the predator carnivore they are. What beautiful coats, what strong, healthy bodies they display with a natural diet. Raw meaty bones help keep pearly white teeth, and the most noticeable thing is the lack of disease!
This country has become too dependant on vaccines, now creating a condition called vaccinosis due to over vaccinating pets.
Let me say this about vaccines also. Naturopaths perceive all vaccines to be toxins and toxic to the body not protective. Many will disagree and they can do so but it doesn’t change the facts for me and what I’ve observed. Personally I’d say dump the annual boosters. You’ll discover a noticeably healthier cat but be sure your cat is also raw fed. This will insure that their immune system will be strong, naturally.
7. As a cat lover, I always encouraged my cats to hunt. In the absence of “live food” what do you recommend for a feline diet?
Answer: As I stated previously, a raw meat and bone diet. You can feed whole prey such as mice and rabbits purchased from a carnivore supplier. These would be dead animals not ones you have to butcher yourself although some raw feeders do just that. Another option is what we raw feeders call frankenprey. Frankenprey is just a fancy way of saying feed different cuts of meat purchased wherever you purchase your food.
A great ebook you can read that helps you learn exactly how is Raw Fed Cats by Linda Zurich. You can find it at http://www.rawfedcats.org Another book is Whole Health for Happy Cats by Sandy Arora
8. On this same line what are your recommendations on feline exercise and emotional support?
Answer: Cats, just like any other animal, are designed to move and not become couch potatoes. It’s not likely a cat owner will take their cats out for a walk. There are other ways to engage your cat. While this isn’t my area of expertise I can make some suggestions.
I’ll start with two website recommendations:
My sister has always been the cat lover in my family. Whenever I’m at her house I get my “kitty” fix! My Neo Mastiff isn’t fond of cats so for now I have to remain catless. I always seek out a toy like the fishing poles or other toy I can engage her cats.
At a party last year I was on the floor playing with her cats instead of interacting with company. For at least a half hour and the cats never got bored! It was as much fun for me as them and it got them needed exercise as well. Both cats ended up rubbing up against me afterwards and wanting to get into my lap. This surprised my sister because she said neither one is much enamored of people they don’t see regularly. Just goes to show what a little attention and interaction will do!
Cats are sentient and cat quickly become overweight due to low activity.
We have animals as companions but often don’t treat them as such. But one of the best ways to interact with them is to just simply play with them. It can be so much fun with lots of laughter and a good time had for all – human and animal! Another way is to sit and just touch, pet, and massage them. Cats LOVE a massage once they realize how good it can feel and it’s good for them too.
These things can engage their minds and their emotions. If they are having emotional problems I always want to rule out any kind of health issue first. Many cats that were previously, moody, unhappy cats were changed incredibly just by switching them to a natural diet. I’ve seen the same in dogs, so diet plays a key role in keeping our pets healthy and happy.
9. What is your best advice to someone living in an urban environment who desires to own a pet? Would this advice be any different to a rural environment?
Answer: My advice for owning any pet is going to be the same no matter what environment.
What is your motive for obtaining a pet? Is it for companionship, commitment, love and friendship? Good. If it is for status well I’d get a nice car, cell phone or something else to accommodate the ego.
Do your homework to find out what pet is going to best accommodate your lifestyle, commitment, and living space. Take all of the animal’s needs into consideration FIRST not AFTER you’ve put your own wants first.
Animals are not furry animated toys or décor. They are living, feeling, and thinking beings. They each have a specific nature that needs to be accommodated in order for them to thrive. If you are unable or unwilling to meet each of those criteria I’d postpone having a pet. You can commit to and provide for according to their species needs and not what what is convenient.
Make sure you’ve considered the inevitable costs for raising them, your total commitment in time, money, friendship, and love.
Claude, thank you for the opportunity and privilege to share with your readers about a certified veterinary naturopath.
They can find me at http://www.AspenbloomPetCare.com and visit our Animal Naturopathy Council at http://www.AnimalNaturopathyCouncil.org
Here is a phone interview were I asked Kim some specific questions about who, what and why would I use a naturopath and what is she doing with her business.
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