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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

A Questionnaire Study on the Use of Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine for Dogs in Sweden

Sohlberg, Lisa; Bergh, Anna; Sternberg Lewerin, Susanna


Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM) includes treatment methods that are not part of established veterinary medicine and where there is not as yet sufficient scientific documentation of the proposed effects. The CAVM use in Swedish dogs is largely unknown, and the aim of this study was to explore this use. Electronic questionnaires were distributed to dog owners, small animal veterinary practitioners, and CAVM therapists. A total of 253 dog owners responded. Except for massage, stretching, and laser therapy, more than 75% of the respondents stated that they did not use CAVM for their dogs. Of the 216 responding veterinarians, 39% did not use CAVM. CAVM use was more common among respondents with 10 years of work experience (p < 0.05). Almost half of the 124 responding CAVM therapists treated dogs; the most frequently used methods included massage, stretching, and acupressure. A majority of all respondents found the current Swedish regulation of CAVM insufficient. Although CAVM use in Swedish dogs appears to be uncommon, there is a need for scientific assessment of CAVM in dogs as regards safety and effectiveness for different indications.


CAVM; CAM; treatment; rehabilitation; therapist

Published in

Veterinary Sciences
2021, Volume: 8, number: 12, article number: 331