UC Davis Increases its Integrative Medical Services Offerings

UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital recently added a new service chief, Dr. Jamie Peyton, to their integrative medical services team. With this increase in clinical staff, the team can now accept additional patients and offer an expanded panel of services. Among these added offerings are increased services in palliative and hospice care as well as pain management.

Focusing on patients stricken with serious illness, the palliative and hospice care program incorporates complementary modalities designed to support the body and reduce the symptoms of a disease and its treatment. In so doing, the program helps to preserve the patient’s quality of life while simultaneously offering a secondary benefit: greater peace of mind for pet owners whose pets suffer to a lesser degree from the symptoms of their disease and treatment.

Similarly, the pain management program at UC Davis integrates traditional medication with complementary modalities—cold laser treatments and acupuncture, for example—in the search for the best pain therapy for each patient.

“Therapy is aimed at not only acute pain during hospitalization but also focuses on chronic pain management at home,” says Dr. Jamie Peyton of UC Davis.

While integrative treatment programs have been the focus of many studies in the field of human medicine, the same programs have received little attention in previous veterinary research. Peyton and her team look to rectify this through several studies that they have cued up.

Endeavoring to further research the benefits of such therapies as physical therapy and acupuncture, the team hopes to contribute information that supports the introduction of physical therapy and chiropractic care as pillars in the field of veterinary medicine. Several of the studies focus on the possible benefits of such therapies as for small animals; researchers are now seeking funding to begin the studies.

“One of the studies we’re looking at is actually showing, wanting to show, that if we add in physical therapy that [the animal] could have a quicker recovery,” said Dr. Jamie Peyton.

An additional goal of the Integrative Medical Service program is to develop a comprehensive academic program in integrative medicine. The first student clinical rotations begin in June of this year.