WSU’s Vet College Offers New Alternative Medicine Course

Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is offering “Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine,” a new class for fall 2007.

The one-credit elective course, which runs Sept. 22-23, examines complementary and alternative medicine. Topics include information on natural nutritional supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic techniques and rehabilitation techniques for animals.

Complementary and alternative medicine externships will also be available through the class. The externship is in addition to the weekend class and will allow students to earn between one to four credits through hands-on experience in applying alternative medicine techniques.

Previously, WSU offered an elective course that provided a brief outline of alternative medicine. However, graduates still felt unprepared in this area, according to a survey of WSU graduates from 2000 to 2004.

The survey also revealed that many graduates experienced a high demand from pet owners for these services for their animals.

“Veterinarians face different demands than they did in the past,” said Mushtaq Memon, BVSc, Ph.D., an associate professor of reproduction at WSU’s veterinary college and who introduced the new course. “People are having fewer children, and are often emotionally replacing children with pets, who become their family.”

As pets hold a higher stature within the family, owners are increasingly interested in applying a full spectrum of medical treatments available to humans to their pets, Dr. Mushtaq said.

“People are also becoming more interested in alternative ways to treat their pets,” he said. “People see chiropractors healing people for instance and wonder why that same treatment can’t benefit their pet.”

For more information, call (509) 335-0711.

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