Let me introduce you to a local veterinary clinic that provide special services to pets in New Bern, including Physical Rehabilitation, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), Regeneration Medicine, Pain Management, and Holistic Care. Below is an interview from me to Dr. Joyce Gerardi.

  1. Why did you decide to study and practice holistic veterinary medicine?
    I began practicing general veterinary medicine and surgery 27 years ago. I loved both internal medicine and general surgery. I enjoyed really “fixing” the patient and having a happy pet and pleased pet parent. However, for nearly the past 15 years, I was on a quest to treat and return health to the “whole pet” and sought to understand true functional medicine.

    I finally learned, if I can take the time to understand the “root” cause of organ dysfunction (I call this dis-ease) then I can have a positive healing in patients. I learned how to do this by finally completing an extensive Master’s degree training in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (MS-TCVM) at the Chi University. This discipline taught the following methods in conjunction with all the years of my conventional medical training. I have learned to practice Integrative Healing with the following treatments:
    • Whole food nutrition for each patient using the properties and energetic of food as real medicine. I develop a prescription or a custom diet for each patient. I never was taught nutrition in Veterinary School. So, I went on to become a certified Veterinary Food Nutritionist and this therapy makes all the difference in the world for my patients.
    • Acupuncture to stimulate the nervous system in order to move blood and facilitate electrical conduction within the tissues and organ systems. This can be done a number of ways with dry needle placement, electro-acupuncture for general pain management and nerve dysfunction, Cold Laser acupoint acupuncture and Injection of Stem Cells, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and B12 into specific joints and or acupoints to provide a specific functional response of healing within the body.
    • Medical acupuncture massage (Tui-na) is a custom “homework” therapy to be applied to the acupuncture meridians for each patient based on the pets diagnosis.
    • Physical Rehabilitation and home exercise programs. We offer an underwater Treadmill and numerous manual therapies to help restore the musculoskeletal system in both the young and older dog and cat. Just as people reap the benefits of physical rehab so do our pets. This is a tremendous benefit in both pre-op and post-op dogs and cats. If you spend thousands of dollars for an orthopedic surgery you actually need this service to ensure a full and complete return to function and recovery for your pet. Think of this an an insurance policy to ensure that all the money spent on surgery is actually going to be for the overall good.

2. How did you and Dr. Alexis Vidaurri partner to open up your clinic?
Synergy Integrative Veterinary Clinic was a collaborative vision of Dr. Joyce Gerardi and Dr. Alexis Vidaurri, with the goal of providing quality holistic, regenerative, pain management and rehabilitative care. As the name Synergy implies, our goal is to work together, with the primary care veterinarian and the pet owner, to provide the greatest opportunity for a successful treatment outcome. So many of the conditions we treat in veterinary medicine benefit from a multi-modal treatment approach, and we aim to provide alternative, minimally invasive therapies not previously available in our area.

3. Do you specialize in different areas?

  • Dr. Gerardi is certified and specializes in the areas of Acupuncture, Food Therapy, Herbology and Regenerative Medicine.
  • Dr. Vidaurri is certified and specializes as a CCRP (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner) and is the only CCRP in Craven county.
  • Dr. Alexis Vidaurri received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. After 15 years in general, small animal practice, she decided it was time for a change and enrolled in the Canine Rehabilitation Certificate Program offered by the University of Tennessee. As a Certified Canine Rehab Practitioner (CCRP), Dr. Vidaurri concentrates her care on helping patients, both canine and feline, that are recovering from injury or suffering from chronic degenerative diseases and arthritis. Physical Rehab helps the musculoskeletal system which includes the bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and connective tissues. Your Pet’s skeleton provides a framework for the muscles and soft tissues. Together, they support your pet’s body’s weight, maintains posture and helps their overall mobility.

4. What are the some of the successes that you have seen?
Paralyzed dogs returning to full function, Hind-end weakness, General Pain Management, Intervertebral Disc disease (IVDD), Degenerative Myelopathy, Osteoarthritis pain, 90% success of non-surgical healing of Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) partial tears, Seizures, Behavioral disorders, endocrine disorders, immune system disorders, Hepatitis, pancreatitis, Inflammatory bowel disease, skin disorders, Cancer Care Therapy, end of life palliative care plus custom wheelchair fittings, orthotics and custom limb braces.

5. What are some of the commonalities? By that I mean age, breed, reasons for coming to your clinic?
Many pets have chronic degenerative disease just like people. The outward symptoms are often treated or noted much later in life. I see both young and old patients. The sooner we can work on a proactive preventative wellness plan the better off each pet will be. We see the active agility dog, working dog to the everyday dog and cat and the limited mobility in senior pets.

6. What are some of the alternative treatment plans that you offer your clients?
I use both conventional medications but as a certified Veterinary Herbologist I will prescribe Herbal Medications to treat a given diagnosis without the side effects of conventional medicine. I will work with the pets general DVM and when we all work together to offer the best treatment plan for our community family pets.

7. What do you wish people knew about holistic medicine?
The best medicine is a proactive preventative care plan. Holistic care is actually very detailed and treats the underlying cause of disease. For instance, so many dogs that I treat non-surgically for a CCL tear actually have an internal imbalance in their Liver. This imbalance actually causes less efficient blood flow to the tendons and ligaments making this part of the body very vulnerable to an injury which then causes the tear and leads to chronic joint disease and joint pain.

8. What is the best time for a pet owner to bring in their pet?
The younger the better! We all wait to be sick before getting help. I believe the best care is to treat before the dis-ease or disease begins. I like to educate to begin to feed a proper nutrient dense diet to help address organ health before outward signs of disease occurs. I like to see my patients for proactive wellness visits at least 4-5 times a year and especially at seasonal changes as this is when there are often internal changes noted in the body such as, seasonal pancreatitis, vomiting and diarrhea.

Please visit Synergy’s website for more information: https://synergyintegrativevet.com/.

Happy Pet! Happy Home!

Get more pro tips to take care of your pets by subscribing to our newsletter and blog.