Meet Dr. Melissa Walker
Animals light up the soul. They reflect our own innocence, goofiness, individualism, mischievousness, and compassion. They remind us of the very best parts of ourselves. Our pets love us unconditionally and for that, we love them, they become a part of our family and we want the best for them. It is an honor to be chosen to be on your pet’s health care team. It is truly a blessing to do this work!
Dr. Walker entered the world of veterinary medicine at age fifteen. It was a natural fit for her as she has had a lifelong love of animals, an inquisitive spirit, an analytical mind, and a compassionate soul. She enjoyed all aspects of practice especially taking care of the patients and client care and communication. She had found her calling.
Dr. Walker was fortunate to receive an excellent education at St. Lawrence University majoring in biology and minoring in Chemistry. She was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology at age twenty three. Following university she attended Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. At that time, she had a strong interest in emergency and critical care. She received the IVECCS award for emergency and critical care at graduation and went on to work at a twenty four hour veterinary hospital in Seattle straight out of vet school. That experience was invaluable for honing her diagnostic, problem solving, surgery, and general western medical skills.
She found that she was more suited to general practice than emergency medicine as her heart would not allow her to ignore the chronic ear infection and just focus on the emergency condition which was often necessary to keep up with the number of patients. She wanted her patients to go home with the best possible chance of a great quality of life and her heart broke if she knew that the patient may not be able to get the follow up care that they needed.
Dr. Walker has been fortunate to have worked with some amazing clinicians doing general practice and early in her career, she was exposed to different treatment modalities including physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, and massage for animals. She was impressed with the results that others were able to achieve and she desired a more holistic approach to healing than what many of her colleagues were providing. During that time she was struggling with her own health issues and she really began to dive deep into learning more about the causes of disease and alternative treatment modalities.
Her passion for alternative medicine began in earnest with a desire to heal herself from severe inflammatory bowel disease. Conventional medicine was not working and her life depended on her finding alternative avenues for healing. She was desperate to find effective treatment that did not have horrible side effects, that actually improved her health, instead of acting as a band aid for her symptoms and not really addressing the root cause of the problem.
During this exploration, she was completely out of her comfort zone as what she was learning was very different from what she had learned in veterinary school. The uncomfortableness changed to excitement as the treatments worked and she began to have hope that her body could heal.
Over the years she has been able to obtain a wide variety of skills in healing modalities including acupuncture, herbal medicine, energy medicine, and applied kinesiology. Dr. Walker is a member of AHVMA, IVAS, AAVA, VBMA, CIVT, AVMA, and CAVM. She strives to constantly increase her knowledge and skill set and with that her understanding of health and disease broadens every day.
She studied acupuncture with IVAS and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Food Therapy with the Chi Institute in 2011. She also began to learn about the morphogenic energy field as this had made the most dramatic impact in shifting her own disease process. Her primary treatment modalities have been acupuncture, chinese herbal medicine, and nutritional supplementation over the last six years. Once she was able to unravel what was happening in her own body and apply that knowledge to her patients with positive results, she could not go back to the old way of thinking.
Dr. Walker utilizes both her conventional and alternative medicine skills to provide truly integrative health care for her patients. She loves teaching and empowering others to make better choices for their pets.
Meet Toulouse! A special healer in my life.
My special boy, Rugby
I moved to Seattle 22 years ago for a change in climate from my hometown near Denver after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Regis University. After working for several years as a software tester, in pursuit of more passion for my work, I earned a horticulture degree from Edmonds Community College and began to raise a family. I was introduced to Dr. Walker in April 2018 by a longtime friend whose cat she cared for through transition, and began working at Vitality Veterinary Care shortly afterwards. It was the first I’d heard of holistic veterinary care, but the ideas were aligned with my general views on medicine, and I am excited to help Dr. Walker manage her practice so she can better focus on patient care. I’m looking forward to helping her grow her practice and to making more people aware of the benefits of holistic care.
For Michael Grubbs, owner of Pet Care for All, there’s never been a time when pets haven't been part of his life. Growing up in Junction City, Oregon, his love for animals started at a very early age with Freckles, an energetic Jack Russell Terrier.
Michael believes that all pets are unique and thrive with some undivided attention. As a lifelong pet lover, he also knows just how difficult it is to find the right person to care for your beloved pets and respect your home. With 8 years’ experience working as a veterinary assistant in the Seattle area and 5 years as owner of Pet Care for All, Michael’s clients say he provides the highest degree of trust, professionalism and heartfelt care for their four-legged family members.
A Seattle resident, Michael serves North King and South Snohomish counties. He is licensed and insured and will gladly provide references upon request.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is holistic and integrative veterinary medicine?
Holistic means relating to the whole being. Holistic medicine involves caring for the body, mind/emotions, and spirit. Integrative veterinary medicine means using various modalities, such as Eastern & Western medical philosophies, in concert with one another to provide a comprehensive medical plan. Dr. Walker is qualified to recommend herbs and other natural remedies in addition to pharmaceutical drugs and more conventional therapies. In cases where your pet would benefit from specialty care, referrals and consulations can be made.
What can I expect from my pet's first appointment?
The first consultation includes a thorough history and comprehensive Western and traditional Chinese veterinary medical exam. Based on this information, Dr. Walker will make recommendations for additional diagnostics, if necessary, and provide treatment options specifically for your pet. There is time in this appointment to do an acupuncture treatment if you elect this for your pet. You are an integral part of your pet's treatment team, and together we can decide the best approach for your pet.
What are your fees?
House Calls: $100+ (depending on your location)
What is the cancellation policy?
Can I still use my regular vet?
Absolutely, you can seek healthcare for your pet from whomever you choose. We are happy to provide records and frequently collaborate with other veterinarians. However, please be aware that it can sometimes be challenging to develop a long-term treatment plan if there are too many vets with varied treatment approaches. If this becomes evident, you may be asked to choose one plan over another.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Your pet will feel the insertion of the acupuncture needles. However, they are very fine and once inserted the sensation often dissipates. If your pet is very sensitive to needles, LASER or tuning forks are alternative ways to stimulate acupuncture points and can produce good results without having to use needles. Many pets are energitically in tune and find the acupuncture treatment relaxing.