Interview With Dr. Ruth Roberts, DVM
Dr. Ruth Roberts, DVM
Your Pet's Ally
What made you decide to be a Veterinarian?
When I was 12, I decided that I needed to devote my life two easing pain and suffering. I had some G.I. issues myself at that time, so hilariously enough, my other career choice was to be a proctologist, or a professional singer. Because animals didn't have a voice speaking for them, being a veterinarian won out. Since then, things have improved for pet animals, but veterinary medicine has become more rigid in its offerings in terms of conventional medicine.
How long have you been offering holistic services?
I started training in traditional Chinese Veterinary medicine in 2005. Over the years, I've added in functional medicine concepts, and deal extensively in using food as the first medicine. My niche is that I practice integrative medicine, which combines many medical modalities including conventional medicine.
What is most challenging about what you do?
Helping people find the options they need to support their pets. So often they get stonewalled by their veterinarians, or their veterinarian simply does not have enough time to learn new tricks. I've been in those shoes, and in 17 years there is easier access to alternative care information for veterinarians, but so many vets are overwhelmed with keeping up with their current practices, and have difficulty expanding into new options. Part of my job I feel is to educate veterinarians about simple steps they can take to support their patients. I love finding veterinarians that practice conventional medicine that recognize the importance of holistic options, and are willing to work with me for the best care for the pet.
Why do you think people are seeking out alternatives to conventional medicine?
In human medicine, as well as veterinary medicine, many people have seen that the options provided in conventional practice improve the symptoms at best, but never get to the root cause of the disease. I think people are disillusioned with being prescribed three different pills, and then having to take another pill to prevent the side effects from the first three pills. They are seeing for themselves that simple changes in how they eat, exercise, mindfulness, and seeking things that make them happy have had an enormous impact in their lives. They want that same improvement for their pets, and are willing to make the changes necessary to help their pets feel happier. I think most Americans have reached a point of understanding that modern medicine can do a lot of things, but they are beginning to question whether it should.
What is the most exciting change you’ve seen in Veterinary medicine during your practice life?
In 1999, when fibrosarcomas in cats were first being diagnosed, and were associated with vaccine site, basic research questioning why are we vaccinating pets every year came out. Dr. Ron Schultz published that paper in 99, and many veterinarians ridiculed him. But the research has stood the test of time, and in fact, Dr. Schultz has shown that most common vaccines with a few exceptions probably offer lifetime immunity. After that, evidenced-based medicine took off. Initially, that was great because it asked similar questions of things we had always assumed were true. Then unfortunately drug companies were paying for the studies to show that their drug was the best solution to the problem and guess what invariably it was!
Who has inspired you in Veterinary medicine?
One of my professors in veterinary school, Dr. Jane Armstrong, inspired me to be the very best practitioner I could be. I had a cat that had feline leukemia and some major health issues as a result. She was able to sit with me in the small animal ward in the midst of noise and chaos, and her beeper going off, and people busting in and out of the doors with dogs and cats barking and meowing, and have laser focus on the questions that I was asking her. Her ability to make me understand that she was completely focused on my concerns about my cat Misha inspired me to be that practitioner in clinical practice. That's skill also brings the ability to ask the questions that no other doctor does, and focus in on what the real underlying cause of the health issue is.
Do you have a success stories to share on how a GPH product or service has helped one of your patients?
We did a Pet Wellness Stress Scan for our dog Mona, and it helped us tailor her diet to avoid foods that were creating issues for her. We also used a Custom Bach Flower Remedy which has been tremendously helpful in allaying her anxiety. We also usedInflapotion with tremendous results. We were able to stop other supplements that were chicken-based and creating issues for her, as well as no longer needing to give her any type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain. This is a test I strongly recommend to all of my consultation clients, and I am pleased beyond belief that the efficacy of Inflapotion and HerbAprin.
What is your hope for the future of Veterinary medicine?
I hope that veterinarians begin to realize they have become nothing more than technicians, and schills for drug companies, and start to use their brains to help animals. We all come into the profession with good hearts, but the overwhelm and sadness often steal our fire. I hope that veterinarians learn to take better care of themselves, and their staffs so that the burn out is reduced, and they can maintain the passion that they came to this profession with. I hope that veterinary medicine takes on the precepts of functional medicine and realizes that food is the first medicine. The success I've seen using theoriginal crockpot diet for my patients regardless of disease condition is phenomenal. If all we do is help a dying cancer patient eat happily for a month before things become too much to go on and that is a huge victory for that animal, and that pet owner. Diet long term is so important to maintaining health, and that's why I feel real food, especially cooked food Is the key to health.