Meet Dr. Borakove and her furry family

Meredith Borakove, VMD, CVA

I was born on Long Island and have had a love of animals and science from a very early age. I knew I wanted to work with animals so I became an assistant at a veterinary clinic during the summers while I majored in Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. I continued on at the University of Pennsylvania’s vet school and graduated in 2001 ready to go into the world of small animal medicine.I worked for 10 years at a small animal hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, where I got a lot of great experience with medicine, surgery, and dentistry. While I enjoyed helping my patients and clients, I was frustrated when I couldn’t help my own senior cat, Monkey, who was suffering from back pain. He had injured his back and pain medicines either made him too sleepy or were too potentially damaging to his kidneys and liver. I sought out acupuncture for him and I was amazed at the results -- after 3 treatments, his pain was gone and never returned!  That experience convinced me that I wanted to learn more about acupuncture and its benefits. However, at that point in my life, the time and financial commitment needed to further my education on the subject seemed too daunting, so I put it on the back burner.In 2011, I moved to Charleston, drawn here by the warm weather, beaches, friendly people and delicious food! I started filling in at various veterinary practices and suddenly found enough time to begin my studies at the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) in Florida. I became certified in Small Animal Acupuncture in 2014 and then I became a certified Veterinary Chinese Herbalist in 2017. For me, it has opened up a whole new way of thinking about disease processes, wellness, balance and healing. I hope to be able to use these modalities to improve the quality of life of all my patients, including my own pets which you can read about below.

In Memoriam: Greta

Greta was our vizsla who lived to the ripe old age of 16.5 years thanks to Chinese medicine. She had her share of health problems over the years and I only wish I had found Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) for her sooner. When she was about 9 years old, she developed elevated liver enzymes and became aggressive to other dogs. There is a connection between these two issues that TCVM recognizes but Western medicine fails to. Three years later, I diagnosed her with Cushing's disease, a disease which causes the adrenal glands to produce too many steroid hormones. For the last few years of her life, she received a combination of Western medicine, acupuncture and massage to help with her various symptoms. She also had developed acute glaucoma in her right eye which unfortunately caused her to lose vision in that eye. Interestingly, eye problems are often secondary to liver issues in TCVM. We were successful in preserving the vision in her good eye by using western medicine and chinese herbs. An integrative approach was the most effective way to give her the best quality of life in her golden years. 

Simon

He is a 13 year old kitty with a sweet laid back personality except when it comes to one of our other cats, Squiffy, who he doesn’t like. I adopted Simon when he was very young and he had a terrible upper respiratory infection. He has continued to have chronic conjunctivitis (inflamed eyes) which never responded well to western medication. He is on chinese herbs to support his liver to help with both of these issues.

Squiffy

He is a very special 10 year old kitty who was born with a condition called Cerebellar Hypoplasia. His mother was likely infected with the distemper virus when he was in the womb which can cause a part of the brain to not develop. The cerebellum is important for coordination, mobility and balance so while Squiffy looks completely normal while he is sitting still, he walks as if he is very drunk. Hence the name Squiffy which is an old British slang word meaning tipsy. Like Simon, he has some aggression issues and inflamed eyes so he is on liver-supporting herbs as well. 

Birdie

She is a 3 year old kitty who has already had some health issues, unfortunately. She was very sick with an unknown infection when I first adopted her. She was about 2-3 months old and only weighed 2 lbs. She responded very well to supportive care and antibiotics at that time. She got sick again at the age of 8 months with different symptoms, but only got about 80% better on antibiotics. I started her on herbs to support her Wei Qi (pronounced “way chee”) which is essentially the Chinese medical way of describing the immune system. This helped her to rebound completely and hopefully it will keep her healthy going forward.

In Memoriam: Monkey

He was my amazingly sweet and cuddly kitty, my first pet as an adult and the inspiration for my TCVM studies. I lost him in October of 2013 at the age of 16 and I still miss him every day. He benefitted from acupuncture to treat his back pain and severe arthritis during the last few years of his life. In the last 6 months of his life, he suffered from sinusitis, a brain tumor, intestinal lymphoma, pancreatitis and kidney disease. Amazingly enough, he was pretty much himself up until the last month of his life which is what we strive for in TCVM: good quality of life up until the end. He still inspires me.

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