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Pet healing

BY DAVID YRIARTE

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You’re frantically running around your house looking for your wedding ring. As you make eye contact with the family dog, you remember he has an issue with swallowing things that aren’t his. Fearing Fido will have to go under the scalpel, you get in your car and drive to Mission Animal Hospital.

OPEN FOR ALL :  (l-r) Amy Aguilera, Molly Minnis, Kevin Toman DVM, Diane Toman, and Brook the dog are at Mission Animal Hospital, which offers herbal, nutritional, and homeopathic treatment, along with traditional medicine, to help improve a pet’s quality of life. - PHOTO BY STEVE MILLER
  • PHOTO BY STEVE MILLER
  • OPEN FOR ALL : (l-r) Amy Aguilera, Molly Minnis, Kevin Toman DVM, Diane Toman, and Brook the dog are at Mission Animal Hospital, which offers herbal, nutritional, and homeopathic treatment, along with traditional medicine, to help improve a pet’s quality of life.

There, Veterinarian Dr. Kevin Toman uses an integrative approach along with the latest technology to quickly diagnose and treat your family pets.

Instead of giving your family member a 10-inch scar, Toman proceeds with a video endoscopy, finds your ring resting in the belly of the beast, and carefully removes it with forceps.

Toman and his staff want to help household pets through gentler means. Mission Animal Hospital uses the newest technology, such as a digital x-ray machine, to quickly diagnose your pet, and focuses on the use of integrative therapy to bring them back to health.

“The advantage to herbs, nutrition, or homeopathic therapy is that they do no harm,” Toman said. “That’s unlike a lot of the medicines traditionally used within human and veterinary medicine. A lot of them have side effects, and our integrative methods do not.”

Though Toman doesn’t strictly use integrative methods for healing, he said they could significantly add to a pet’s quality of life without side effects that can be painful and damaging to an animal’s recovery, so Toman strives to care for pets with the safest methods available.

Aside from integrative therapy, Mission Animal Hospital also offers stem cell therapy to help regenerate cartilage or damaged joints in geriatric animals. Toman said the clinic removes a sample of fat from the animal and sends it to a lab, which extracts the stem cells. These cells are returned to the hospital, and Toman injects them into the animal to repair the damaged area.

Mission Animal Hospital has yet to do stem cell work in San Luis Obispo, but Toman did use it while working in Colorado. It’s a method he would like to use more often to heal pets.

The animal hospital also offers traditional services, such as animal orthopedics, spays and neuters, and vaccinations. Toman and his staff want to make sure your animal is healthy.

Toman’s desire to help animals is visible in the way he interacts with his patients and their people. His examination rooms are basic with a fold-down bed for the animal and a few chairs for the pet owners. It’s simple like this for a reason.

“People want to talk about their pets,” Toman said. “So I sit on the floor, and I listen. You really learn a lot more that way.”

While literally sitting on the floor, Toman is able to spend more time with his patients and learn about their daily life. This allows him to properly diagnose an animal and allows his clients to grow more comfortable with their veterinarian.

Mission Animal Hospital is working with clients to make the veterinary experience easier. It’s paperless and offers a CD of x-rays for clients to take home or to other experts if needed. The use of digital equipment makes going to the vet easy.

To give your pet this care, take it to see Dr. Toman at Mission Animal Hospital, next door to Trader Joe’s on South Higura Street in San Luis Obispo. For more information on the services offered, visit missionanimalhospital.com.

Fast fact

Summer is almost here, and San Luis Obispo County Library’s Summer Reading Program is keeping children reading during their break from school. The program encourages children to read, or have read to them, 10 to 20 books during the summer. Last year, more than 5,000 kids read more than 30,000 books. To support the program, SLO County Public Libraries is conducting a fundraising drive to support the purchase of books. For more information on the Summer Reading Program, or to make a donation, visit slolibraryfoundation.org.

New Times intern David Yriarte compiled this week’s Strokes and Plugs. Send items for consideration to strokes@newtimesslo.com.

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