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Question
kitten has left back paw defect with odd shaped pad. Only one claw which seems to be embedded in the very front tip of  left back paw, a knot has formed which makes kitten favor it, walking on other three legs, is sore to the touch, what could be done to fix this at the least amount of cash, do student vets have programs to help out in these situations? Thank you for your time.

Answer
You are not alone in being short of money right now. There are many ways you can find money to treat your cherished animals. Some veterinarians, especially integrative ones, will be willing to barter with you. What skills do you have? Can you clean their parking lot, sidewalk, clinic? Are you a bookkeeper or accountant? Are you great with the internet and able to help them build a web site? Could you get new clients for them? Call the veterinarian of your choice (especially an integrative one), ask to speak with the veterinarian and tell them your financial situation and that you would like to build up credit for future problems. Ask if they will take payment plans and think what you could offer as collateral. Ask if the clinic has its own fund to help those in need. Call multiple veterinarians, especially integrative clinics.  Purchase pet insurance once this crisis is over. Also, many cities have humane societies and other groups that can help with medical bills, rabies vaccines, spay and neuters. You can also save significant money by following the following holistic approaches - do not vaccinate and find local sources of free food ingredients. This will take some time and research, then will be easy and inexpensive.  There are student clinics at many vet schools but you did not say where you live. I also have a list of more specific help you can get. Email me at HealthyAnimals@aol.com for this.

I strongly recommend finding an integrative veterinarian with whom to work as they are more likely to have less expensive options. This is a person trained in many different approaches, including using conventional drugs only when absolutely needed. Working with one can increase the chance that your cherished companion can live a long and healthy life after recovering from this current problem. There are good ones and great ones, and a few homeopathic veterinarians will consult by phone or email. You can go to the web sites for each type of holistic practice and use their referral list to find one near to you. Many practitioners are members of only one or two of the organizations, so you do need to go to every site to find who is near you:
1. Wide range of other treatments: www.AHVMA.org, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and www.civtedu.org.   
2. Homeopathic veterinarians (these can often help you by phone if no other holistic practitioners are nearby that you like): www.theAVH.org and www.DrPitcairn.com.
3. Chiropractic and Osteopathic - www.animalchiropractic.org; http://equineosteopathy.org/ (they treat dogs, too)
4. TCVM (Acupuncture and Chinese medicine): www.IVAS.org, www.aava.org & www.TCVM.com
5. Herbal - www.VBMA.org

for the future - check out my web site, www.MyhealthyAnimals.com for other ways to build health and save money. Learn Reiki (one time fee and you have healing hands for life!).  

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Dr. Christina Chambreau

Expertise

I can give you the holistic approach to any problem, mostly for dogs and cats and some farm animals and horses. Depending on the condition and the type of animal, I will be able to give very specific treatment suggestions such as what flower essences, homeopathic remedies, nutritional supplements, diet changes, lifestyle changes or herbs that may be helpful - not drugs. I can also suggest where you can go for further education or to find a specialist in a specific holistic field. I can help you understand why your animal is ill and what improvements can be expected. I do not check messages more than every one to two days, so PLEASE DO NOT ask about EMERGENCIES - call your local veterinarian. I cannot diagnose your animal. I cannot prescribe specific treatments. I am no longer very current with conventional treatments, so cannot answer questions on those. I am not an expert on birds or small critters. I am not an expert in breeding, birthing or babies.

Experience

I graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980 and began using homeopathy in my practice after a client introduced me to it. By 1988 I was using exclusively holistic treatments. I began lecturing in 1987 and have spoken at veterinary conferences, health food stores, people's homes, churches, veterinary college conferences - anywhere people want to learn more about keeping their animals healthy.

Organizations
Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (I helped found this one) American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association National Center for Homeopathy American Veterinary Medical Association

Publications
I have written in many magazines, journals and newspapers. A few include Bark Magazine; Journal of the AHVMA; Baltimore Dog Magazine; Whole Dog Journal; Tiger Tribe; Wolf Clan. I have also been frequently interviewed on radio and TV. I am Associate Editor for the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal, so often have articles there.

Education/Credentials
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Certified Veterinary Homeopath (CVH)

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