Aromatherapy For Your Animal

Veterinarian Nancy Brandt, who pioneered alternative medicine for animals, makes a stop in Hawaii PHOTO COURTESY NANCY BRANDT

Veterinarian Nancy Brandt, who pioneered alternative medicine for animals, makes a stop in Hawaii PHOTO COURTESY NANCY BRANDT

During her nearly four decades working with animals, Las Vegas-based veterinarian Nancy Brandt has expanded her understanding of the field and different treatment options. Brandt has been recognized as a pioneer in medical aromatherapy and utilizes it in her practice as clinical director of Natural Care Institute LLC in Nevada.

Local pet owners can learn about Brandt’s work May 5-11, when she visits the Islands to conduct a series of educational discussions. Her stay coincides with Hawaii Pet Expo, where she will discuss veterinary medical aromatherapy and how it fits with other modalities. (The Hawaii Pet Expo takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 7-8 at Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. Admission is free but there is a parking fee. Dogs on leashes are welcome.)

“The whole basic course (also offered on her web-site) is about integrating (aromatherapy) fully into wellness, into prevention, into having your pet stay as healthy as possible all the time, and having incredible vitality and quality of life,” she says.

It was in 1992 that Brandt decided to start looking at alternative methods of healing.

“Everybody at the time had said to me that it’s witchcraft and voodoo,” she recalls.

But she delved into the research, studying a range of modalities including Chinese medicine, naturopathic medicine, aromatherapy and more. She also has been utilizing essential oils in her practice.

“They lend themselves to be easily put into any protocol,” she explains. “They seem to assist anything else that I do. They make everything else better.”

Through her work, Brandt has learned what works and what doesn’t. According to the holistic practitioner, she takes into consideration the patient’s medical history and also examines genetics, nutrition, environment, family relationships, stress levels and more. She wrote up curriculum for a veterinary aromatherapy course and has learned more than 50 types of energy techniques.

“I integrate them and put them together into very specific protocols,” she explains. “Customized protocols for different animals.”

Typically, those training or looking for vet jobs do not receive any form of education about alternative healing for animals, and most often follow the Western Medicine curriculum for all aspects of animal health. Various pharmaceutical research in different fields, such as viral outbreaks and overall animal welfare, has seen a rise in people looking for animal research jobs in the UK and other parts of the world. For them, therefore, Brandt’s take on animal healing could prove to be quite unique for experienced as well as amateur vets, if the exploration of alternative healing intrigues them.

She gives an example of an animal suffering from paralysis. Western practice tells medical professionals that a disc is pushing on the spine. However, Brandt can look at the problem and see varying diagnoses and solutions. Sometimes, she says, these integrative modalities can find causes not yet investigated by conventional practices.

“I can look at it from many perspectives,” she says.

Brandt first became interested in veterinary medicine as a child living on a farm.

“If an animal was no longer able to do its job in the world, it’s likely the animal needs to be put down to go to slaughter,” she recalls. “I got really interested in how I could preserve these animals longer.”

She remembers going to her mother as a second-grade student declaring that she needed to heal animals.

“I feel that it was a calling,” she continues. “I wanted to preserve that human-animal bond, the essence we have and share with each other.”

For more information, visit nancybrandtdvm.com.