In people and pets in Grenada -- do owners practice alternative and traditional medicine on both people and pets?

Monique Fitzpatrick, Brittany Perfetto, Jose Hernandez, Satesh Bidiasee


Introduction:Alternative and traditional medicine has been used in various cultures across the world for hundreds of years. Many regions of the world, including the Caribbean Islands, use traditional medicine practices such as charcoal for poisoning, seeds for deworming, salt for lesions, spices and herbs for inflammation, and engine oil for mange. In communities where biomedical resources are limited, alternative medicine is more cost effective and attainable for both people and their pets. Although conventional medical practices have a scientific basis, its options are often limited and such practices and treatments have physiological side effects that must be considered.

Objective: The objective of this study is to identify whether people in Grenada practice traditional medicine, and if these practitioners are also implementing similar practices on their companion animals. It is hypothesized that many citizens of Grenada prefer the use of traditional medicine over conventional medicine for both themselves and their pets.

Methods: In order to test this hypothesis, we conducted a cross sectional study using a questionnaire to collect data from pet owners and determine whether they practice traditional medicine – and if so, identify which specific practices were used and how they were being implemented (strictly on themselves, only on their pets, or both).

Results: We found that many people use alternative medicine practices on themselves and both themselves and their pets, but few use them on just their pets.

Conclusions: This study can offer us a more comprehensive understanding of alternative medicine, thereby allow us to engage pet owners in this area of healthcare. Veterinarians can be better informed of the alternative medical practices that their clients may be utilizing, which will allow them to educate the owners by offering their guidance and expertise in approaching traditional medical practices – and perhaps offer alternative medical solutions when appropriate. Furthermore, it will allow veterinarians to formulate more comprehensive patient histories in veterinary clinics around Grenada.

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Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Informatics

ISSN 2377-9381(Print)  ISSN 2377-939X(Online)

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