Pathways to Wellness Conventional and Alternative Veterinary Treatment for the Healthiest Outcomes
Jul 29, 2019 11:45PM
● By Ellen Kershner
Veterinarian Lori Cobb’s “a-ha” moment came in 2001, when she helped a terminally ill horse regain its health through the use of Chinese herbs. A University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine graduate, Dr. Cobb founded Pathways to Wellness with Gloria Weintraub, VMD, in 2007, and the practice provides conventional and alternative medicine to its four-legged patients.
“Unlike many holistic practitioners, my feet are firmly planted in conventional medicine,” Cobb explains. Although she remains open-minded when considering new concepts, she applies statistical principles and science instead of simply following popular opinions. Pathways employs a less-is-best approach to vaccinations and pesticides that many clients find refreshing and cost-effective, and they believe their staff also spends more time on difficult cases than the average practice.
“I want my clients to be well-informed to make the best decisions for their pets,” Cobb says.
Growing Up as a Pet Lover
As a child, Cobb was fascinated with animals of all kinds and formed connections with all of the neighborhood dogs. Her favorite, Schatzi, was a large and beautiful German shepherd with a tendency to escape her yard and a penchant for playing “chase me!” Later, horses were Cobb’s passion, and while at the University of Pennsylvania she learned about equine acupuncture points and the use of herbs in veterinary care.
After graduating, she became involved with spay and neuter work at area shelters, and also practiced acupuncture on these needy animals. She soon developed a desire to provide better quality treatment, and started her own traveling veterinary services organization. In 2007, this transitioned into Pathways to Wellness, which she opened with her friend and mentor Weintraub.
“Gloria is often referred to as the grandmother of alternative medicine,” says Cobb. Weintraub brought with her a wealth of knowledge and experience; everything from small animal conventional medicine to chiropractic for pets. For Cobb, taking the risk of opening a small animal holistic practice and seeing it blossom was the highlight of her career―and a blessing.
Faith, and Finding the Right Fit
For Cobb, faith is her internal driving force. Her highly held beliefs include the equality of all and the inherent value of every individual. She seeks the good in the world and is dedicated to helping others. She is resilient, tenacious, persistent, compassionate and honest; her philosophy of life centers on her belief that God is ever-present and accessible.
As a veterinarian, she also understands the importance of caregiver input. “Ultimately, the caretaker choses the path without judgement on my part or that of my staff,” Cobb states. There are many veterinary practices out there, and Pathways to Wellness focuses on sharing knowledge with caregivers and helping them apply it to their particular situations.
“Euthanasia was an outside influence that further directed my practice style,” she adds. “Grappling with when to euthanize, I quickly decided that there is no better person to know a pet than their caregiver. I feel I am different from many veterinarians in this regard.”
Cobb has been practicing alternative medicine for more than 15 years, and Pathways integrates both this and conventional modalities for cats and dogs. Her wealth of experience helps her guide clients towards the prognosis and best treatment options for any given condition. She also feels that their friendly, non-judgmental environment is one of Pathway’s greatest assets; this atmosphere is a gift to their clients.
Pet Care and Health
Some of the more common issues Cobb addresses are lameness (limping), weakness, gastrointestinal imbalances, skin issues, anxiety, organ failure (heart, kidney, liver) and cancer. The office also treats a fair number of working and sporting dogs; these are the ones that compete in agility courses and obedience contests, hunting, and search and rescue. Many are cured through spinal adjustments, nutraceuticals, diet changes, acupuncture, Chinese herbals, conventional medicine and other modalities. When asked what the number one pet health problem is though, she is quick to respond.
“Obesity,” is her answer. “I see overweight dogs everywhere. Many people think this is the new normal, but it’s a serious problem.” She works with caregivers to create better-balanced diets, plan exercise programs and monitor their pet’s weights. This guidance continues with follow-ups; clients often pop in to get their pet’s weight checked and to keep them on track.
Cobb’s most important piece of advice for caregivers is to love their pets, give them yearly exams, and train them kindly. It takes time and work to keep a pet happy and healthy, and
Pathways offers more choices than other veterinary offices, while keeping things as natural as possible.
Pathways to Wellness is located at 1485 Rte. 38, Hainesport. For more information, call 609-267-2111or visit VeterinaryAlternativeMedicine.com.