Bovine osteopath relieves cows' pain without drugs
Patrick Atack

On the roads of Loire-Atlantique in the northwest of France, there is a very special vet on her way to visit her clients. 

Like many vets in rural areas of Europe, Elsa Louvet's main job is looking after the physical and medical needs of farm animals, which are central to the local economy. 

Louvet's first speciality is bovine medicine – looking after cows. But she's branched out into another non-invasive and drug-free method. Instead of using painkillers to relax muscles that are tense and causing pain, Louvet uses massage and manipulation – just like a human therapist might do. 

"In traditional allopathic medicine, you have nothing to do but try a shot of anti-inflammatory to calm the pain, to see if it's enough to get back to a normal position," she tells CGTN Europe.

"I'm going to bend her slightly and we make her vibrate a little. It's the same thing as when you have a nut that is stuck: you tap it to make it vibrate and release it."

And it's not just Louvet who thinks this new method may be the way forward for commercial farmers and vets. Philippe Maillard breeds cows, and said he's been won over by the idea of osteopathy. 

"For me, it's a discovery," he says. "Well, I knew it existed but I hadn't had the practice at home. But I am convinced."

Maillard said the industry goes through trends, and osteopathy is the latest idea giving farmers and vets a new way to treat their animals. 

"It's the same thing as phytosanitary products," he says. "At one point we were taught that it was the miracle solution, like the medicine in the vets' office, and then we realize that with time there are other formulas that make it possible to do the same thing – maybe not everything, but we can do without it."

It might not look like much, but Louvet and her clients swear by the method. /Marie Hospital/AFP

It might not look like much, but Louvet and her clients swear by the method. /Marie Hospital/AFP

For Louvet, the added benefit of these methods is their preventative nature. Instead of relying on drugs, which treat symptoms and are facing supply and manufacturing problems, physical therapy can help the animal's immune system build against future problems, she said.  

"Osteopathy, acupuncture, all these medicines take the body as a whole, they will make it possible to avoid a certain number of diseases. All that is management of immunity, all that relates to the well-being of the animal in general, it will allow animals to better defend themselves against attacks and infections."


Video editor: Nuri Moseinco

Source(s): AFP

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