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Dr. Brown Receives Graduate Diploma in Western Herbal Veterinary Medicine

Harmony Co-owner and Medical Director Shelley Brown, DVM, has expanded her knowledge of integrative pet medicine with a graduate diploma in Western Herbal Veterinary Medicine from the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies in Australia, an achievement that provides her with additional options to support patient health, including customized herbal formulas.

Dr. Brown’s own patients provided the inspiration for this 27-month program that took her four-and-a-half years to complete. The journey had its challenges, both personal and professional, but Dr. Brown forged ahead, working diligently in between her father’s death, her own health issues, a new clinic build and a move, not to mention a worldwide pandemic and resulting staff shortages.

She specifically sought out this integrative herbal program because of the high number of clients at Harmony who utilize natural remedies for their pets. “I didn’t know what to tell them,” said Dr. Brown. “Were they safe? Were they effective? I wanted to be able to answer those questions and deliver additional options for supporting our patients that are in-line with their lifestyle.”

The Australia-based program she chose is unique because it encompasses Western herbal medicine which has its roots in the Greek tradition, including Hippocrates. It was passed through the Greeks, held by monks during the Crusades and then passed through the Middle East and Britain where it was held by the Wise Women. Ultimately, this knowledge was brought to the U.S. through the Pilgrims and grew with the Native Americans’ knowledge of herbs.

The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies program includes all of this rich tradition in herbal medicine, but combines it with current scientific knowledge of herbs as well as conventional medical knowledge of health and disease.

“I think the most powerful thing I learned was to step outside of the conventional paradigm of naming the disease and treating that disease to look at the process of what’s going on in the body and how do I support the body to reverse the disease and get back into balance,” says Dr. Brown.

With more tools in her toolbox, Harmony’s Medical Director can now mix custom herbal formulas specific to a pet’s symptoms and provide treatment options that don’t exist in conventional medicine. “As I step into this new paradigm, I will find more ways to help support health and prevent disease,” shares Dr. Brown. 

Dr. Brown’s new certificate joins a litany of others on her office wall at Harmony. She received her BA in Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1991 and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University (CSU) in 1997. She completed CSU’s Acupuncture Program 1998 and became a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) through the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) in 2013.