About IVA

Integrative medicine refers to the blending of conventional and complementary medicines and therapies with the aim of using the most appropriate of either or both modalities to care for the patient as a whole.

Integrative Veterinarians Australia (IVA) is a special interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA). Our members are veterinarians who use or have an interest in complementary or alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM) and surgery.

IVA provides registered veterinarians and veterinary students with support and professional development so that they can pursue careers in integrative veterinary medicine and surgery, and provide the public with the best advice and practice of CAVM available.

The aim of IVA is to foster the use of CAVM in a caring and professional manner in order to benefit the health of animals, and to create a positive image of holistic animal care in the general community. Integrative veterinarians integrate CAVM into a well-chosen pharmaceutical and surgical regimen in order to provide the widest choices for managing animal disease.

IVA believes it is important that knowledge of CAVM becomes part of veterinary student education so that all veterinarians are well equipped to provide the most reliable advice to the public regarding these medicines and practices.

What do integrative vets do?

Integrative veterinarians use modern and traditional systems of medicine to formulate individual treatment plans for a wide range of animal disease in all species. This involves the consideration of nutritional, behavioural and environmental factors in relation to both the animal or herd and the presenting disease. Integrative veterinarians employ a range of medical and physical therapies to assist restoration of health, behaviour and function in animals.

What types of diseases can be treated with integrative medicine?

Most disorders including behavioural, physical, endocrine, reproductive, skin and organ disease can be treated with a range of integrative medicines and therapies. Integrative veterinary medicine is ideally suited to biodynamic and organic farming practices for example and most cases of disease in all animal species can benefit from the use of integrative veterinary medicine.

How do you become an integrative veterinarian?

All integrative veterinarians are qualified veterinary surgeons who have undertaken or are undertaking further studies in their chosen fields of interest. These fields include but are not restricted to western herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic and a range of other complementary and alternative veterinary medical practices.

What are some examples where integrative medicine has been used?

Integrative veterinary medicine has been used to treat most types of animal disease and dysfunction. Conditions most commonly treated often include those for which other options are no longer working well. These include skin disease, chronic pain and arthritis, inflammatory conditions, chronic organ diseases, behavioural problems, incontinence and neurological disease. There are also many simple first aid and homecare options for acute injury or discomfort like car sickness, allergies and flea control.