Newcastle Holistic
Veterinary Services

Dr Kathy Cornack

0421 501 977

PO Box 620, The Junction
Newcastle NSW 2291

Servicing Newcastle and Surrounds

I didn’t know you could use natural health care techniques with animals?

Yes, you sure can. Any therapy you can use on humans can be used on animals.

What animals can be treated?

It is possible to treat any species. Most of my experience is with cats and dogs, but I am willing to treat all species. The animal’s response will vary according to their personality and the duration and severity of their illness. Some individual animals respond to particular types of therapy better than others. Cats are finicky eaters so herbal medications can present a real challenge when treating cats but it surprises many to know that many cats will tolerate acupuncture.

What types of conditions do you mainly treat?

I see mostly chronic illness, like skin disease, cancer, arthritis, auto immune disease. With animals with cancer, the sooner we see the animal the more likely it is that I can help. Chronic illnesses like cancer have taken years to develop so if your animal is very ill chances are there is little I can do to reverse that. Best we can hope for is as much quality of life for the time that remains, and empowering you to be a part of that process.

I see a lot of older animals too, people looking for quality of life options for their older ones. The oldies are lovely and there is much we can do to keep them comfortable and enjoying life for as long as possible.

I also love seeing young animals so we can start out on a truly healthy path as early as possible.

In addition to my physical health work, I also am an animal psychologist so I see a lot of animals with mental health issues - mainly adolescents and young adults. Anxiety and aggression mostly. I love working with animal behaviour - it is fascinating. I love helping people understand their animals better, and then themselves as part of the same process.

What will happen during the consultation? What will you do?

Firstly, we need to have the animal present, so very important to have them available. Make sure cats are locked inside. I will start off by asking questions to ensure I understand what is going on. This will include a full history about your animal, their health, their past, current lifestyle, the condition, diagnostics and tests to date. A full past medical history is useful but not essential. Please have this available at the consultation. I do not read it before. I’ll examine your animal, and come up with my interpretation of what is going on with them, and then very importantly what we can do to help the animal.

Sometimes I might need extra testing to be performed, either by myself, or with the animal’s regular vet. A conventional medical diagnosis is most times essential, but not always. I help you work out which tests are going to be of most benefit to help us help your animal. There are very often cost constraints and these are factored in to what we can and can’t achieve until we arrive at a treatment plan that will give us maximum likelihood of success when all the factors are considered.

How do you treat animals?

My approach to treatment is to work with an animal’s innate ability to heal itself. I develop a treatment plan for your animal with the aim of supporting them back to full, vibrant health. I do this using a variety of means, and as much as possible using natural treatment, and avoiding treatments that may be harmful to your animal. This will include advice on diet and lifestyle, as this is the basis of good health for all of us, human and animal alike. I use natural medications as much as possible, and using these it is usually possible to reduce the use of conventional medications for most conditions. It is always very important to reduce exposure to toxins and review routine preventative health schedules that include chemical use and reduce these wherever possible. Part of the treatment approach involves counselling you as the owner about what are reasonable expectations and what is realistically possible.

I aim to treat all people and animals with honesty and respect. I see my role as supporting and assisting natural processes, using the effective and gentle treatments with as few side effects as possible. Sometimes conventional medicines are used if I believe this is what will best help your animals. Open and honest communication between us, and also your animals primary care vet (if this is not me) is really strongly encouraged. I am very client focussed and tailor plans to suit you, your animal, and your values and situation. I use a strong, collaborative team approach. The plan is continually reviewed and modified with each subsequent visit as the animal progress is monitored.

What makes your approach different from other Veterinarians?

Well first off, all vets are highly educated, trained professionals who are caring animal health practitioners. We enjoy the work we do and do it to improve animal health and animal quality of life to the best of our abilities, based on our experiences and beliefs. Even though we are all one profession, we are a diverse group made up of individuals, each with their own points of view on things. It is said medicine is as much an art as a science, and I think this is due to the body being a highly complex system, and “facts” can be interpreted in a variety of ways at any one time, depending on who is looking and who is asking what. This means there is much room for a variety of interpretations and opinions in any given situation with regards animal health.

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Do you use vaccines or are there alternatives?

Yes I do recommend some vaccinations, especially for puppies. I do however believe animals are in general over-vaccinated and that this may be causing potential problems. My approach therefore is to once again look at degree of risk of infection, lifestyle etc and tailor a programme of minimal but effective vaccination.

I offer titre testing as an alternative to routine revaccination. It is a simple, inexpensive blood test. Homeopathic nosodes may also be an option. It is always best to book in and see me so we can discuss your particular situation.

Why can’t I reach you all the time, whenever I need you?

It is important to realise that I am a microbusiness, which means it is just me at present. I have plans to grow but for now it is me doing all aspects of the business. I do not have a receptionist so that is why when I am busy your messages go to message bank and I respond later when I can.

I also need time off to attend to my own self and my family and my life, so I don’t work all the time. If I did I would burn out and be no use to anyone. If a matter is not urgent then leave a message. I check all types of messages regularly within office hours. If it is an urgent matter then you need to contact a clinic that is open at that time to provide emergency assistance. I appreciate your patience and understanding.