Meet the Doctor
I have always had an innate love for and understanding of animals, and becoming a veterinarian was truly my most rewarding accomplishment and the realization of my dream to help animals. I say “innate” because I cannot remember a time where I didn’t feel this way. I was raised taking care of injured and orphaned wildlife (with my mother who was a wildlife rehabber), and the many various pets that came to our home (Doberman Pinscher puppies, a chicken, a potbelly pig, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, pigeons, ferrets, newts and frogs – to name a few).
I was initially drawn to holistic medicine when I was in college and I sought out the services of a holistic veterinarian for my two cat’s chronic issues, that were not being addressed or adequately treated by their primary care veterinarian. With a simple diet change and some herbal tinctures that I ordered online, both of my pets were cured! Of course, being a student in a research heavy field, I started to read, and learn about herbal medicine and holistic medicine in general. And the more I learned about holistic medicine, the more I was intrigued, and the more passion I developed for the field.
I spent my career as a veterinary student learning as much conventional and holistic medicine as possible and drawing parallels between the two. I was the president of our school’s Holistic Medicine Club and the Vice President of the Student Board of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. These board positions allowed me a unique experience of talking through conventional cases with holistic practitioners and gaining a fundamental understanding of the benefits (and limitations) of holistic medicine. This knowledge base allowed me to appreciate the great advances of conventional medicine as well as some of the pitfalls. In vet school, we learned that stress impedes the healing process, yet we didn’t talk about how to effectively limit stress in our patients. Standard veterinary medicine training is also lacking in nutritional education, and I couldn’t understand how we were being taught that a highly processed and starchy mono-diet is the healthiest for our carnivorous companion animals. It just didn’t add up to me. I have since pursued many opportunities for continuing education about nutrition and food therapy, and it is a fundamental part of my current practice. Now, I practice with an integrative approach and take the entire animal, their lifestyle, and their emotional status into account when I am working through a case. I am thankful and grateful that I have been able to gain this perspective, and ultimately my patients and I both get to benefit greatly from it.
After graduating from vet school, I worked at a high volume integrative practice for 5 years. While practicing holistic medicine in an animal hospital, one of my frustrations was working with pets that were so scared and nervous just being at the clinic. Some of the dogs vomited, some became defensive, some just sat shaking and trembling for the entire hour appointment. Pets with mobility issues had to be carried and in and out of the car, sometimes being torqued or twisted into uncomfortable positions. Holistic in-home care appealed to me for the individuals who had an incredibly stressful experience at the vet, as well as a convenience for clients who do not have holistic practitioners in their area.
I am so excited to be venturing into this new practice, and being able to provide these therapies for your pets in a stress-free environment. I look forward to hearing from you!
Kayla Golan, DVM, CVA, CVSMT