Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

Pearl: An Integrated Approach to Kidney Failure

Pearl at home and thirsty!
Pearl at home and thirsty!

Pearl is a 3 year old, domestic shorthair cat who joined her owner’s family by crying at their back door during Hurricane Earl. Her caregivers came home from travelling to discover that Pearl had suddenly become listless, had poor appetite and was urinating and drinking a lot. Pearl went to her conventional veterinarian in Truro and was discovered to be in kidney failure, to have a heart murmur and weight loss.  She was treated with iv fluids, phosphorus binders and antibiotics. She remained in hospital for about 5 days. She did have appetite improvement as soon as she received fluids and her abdominal pain began to resolve once the antibiotics were on board.

Pearl’s caretakers contacted Dr. Bishop at Full Circle Veterinary Alternatives in Dartmouth early in Pearl’s treatment and were given a chinese herbal remedy called Liu Wei Di Huang Wan and two combination homeopathics, Reneel and Lyphosot to augment her conventional treatment. These were given over the weekend when Pearl was in emergency, suspended for a few days by her conventional practice and restarted as soon as she returned home.  On Pearl’s discharge, she was given a very poor prognosis because her kidney parameters were so elevated even after 5 days of fluids. Her owners were instructed to give subcutaneous fluids every day.

Parameter Normal March 15 March 17 March 19
BUN 3.6-10.7 mmol/l 59 59 43
Creat 27-186umol/l 800 600 481
P 1.10-2.74 mmol/l 2.84 4.08 3.32
K 3.7-5.8 mmol/l 3.8 4.4

At home, Pearl’s appetite was intermittent and she made some visits into Dartmouth to see us at Full Circle Vets.  We began acupuncture treatments and Dr. McPherson performed an ultrasound which showed a grossly dilated right kidney  and a stone in the other. Pearl’s caretakers were given a moxa stick to warm her Kidney acupoints at home.  Pearl loved her acupuncture treatments and was much better after each treatment, first sleeping well, then eating more and being more active. She would come and loudly demand moxa treatments at home.

I love acupuncture with moxibustion
I love acupuncture with moxibustion

Gradually, Pearl began to need less intensive fluid therapy and began to eat normal volumes and gain weight.   Currently, Pearl still takes her herbal formula, rarely demands moxa anymore, and is clinically quite normal.  She has been off antibiotic therapy for 8 weeks and we are all awaiting the results of her next blood work and ultrasound.

Parameter Normal March 28 April 11-16 May 3 June 10
BUN 3.6-10.7mmol/l 37 26.5 23 24
Crea 7-186 umol/l 392 286 291 220
P 1.10-2.74  mmol/l 2.36 1.84 2.1 1.8
K 3.7-5.8 mmol/l 4.4 3.5 3.8
SpGr 1.035-1.060* 1.017 1.024

Pearl is an excellent example of how different medical models can be melded together to provide optimum care.  Her Chinese herbal contains rehmannia which increases renal blood flow directly, and promotes red blood cell synthesis from stem cell lines in the bone marrow. The result of  using rehmannia containing formulas are  decreases in BUN, Creatinine, and improved red cell counts. Acupuncture stimulates points on the body to have effect on organs like the kidneys via a cutaneous visceral reflex.


Feeling well enough to play with Luther
Feeling well enough to play with Luther

Your pet deserves the Full Circle of Veterinary Care!

Our dynamic, passionate and dedicated customer care team wants you to experience inspired, integrated veterinary health care.  Our broadly educated veterinarians, technologists and support staff meld conventional veterinary medicine and surgery with diverse special interest fields including: nutrition (commercial and home prepared feeding plans), diagnostic ultrasound, acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, canine rehabilitation, feline focused medicine and more.  Take the first step and join us.






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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 902.461.0951. We will take a history of your pet over the phone, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the examination is finished, we will call to discuss our recommended treatment plan over the phone and then return to your vehicle with your pet. Please ensure your pet has a properly fitted collar or is in a secure carrier. Please remove any additional clothing or blankets prior to our staff handling our patients to minimize risk to our team.

2. We are still OPEN but are now working in two shifts with reduced hours, reduced staff numbers and a need to close for extensive cleaning between shifts. Tuesday to Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

3. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

4. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus. You may see our team members wearing additional protective gear when interacting with our clients and patients.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Full Circle Veterinary Alternatives Inc.