Funded Projects

Research and Education funded by AHVM Foundation

Use of funds from the Natural Health Research Foundation by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation, as of December 1, 2015:

The purpose of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation (AHVMF) is to support research and education in integrative holistic veterinary medicine. Education is supported both through scholarships for veterinary students and by funding integrative veterinary programs in veterinary schools. Scholarships are supported by an annual Silent Auction at the annual conference of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. Other items are supported by public and corporate donations.

The AHVMF is a Guidestar Gold Exchange Participant. Guidestar has 3 levels of this program (gold, silver, bronze) and AHVMF achieved the gold level on its first try. That means that the Foundation is very open about their finances, with most of their money being given out as grants.

The generous support from the Natural Health Research Foundation (hereinafter referred to as “Mercola,” recognizing the part Dr. Mercola has played in founding and funding this foundation) has been used in the following way:

The donations have been used as the matching portion of the matching campaigns of the AHVMF. That way we greatly increase the amount of money available to the Foundation for support of holistic veterinary medicine.

When funds are allocated to a project, they are spent or reserved for use in that project only. All Mercola funds received have specifically been spent on or allocated to education and research projects, including administrative costs for the Foundation.  Funds for research grants, and some funds for education grants, are disbursed as specific milestones are achieved for each grant. When funds are disbursed for education grants, the recipients are asked to look upon such money as initial funding for each project, and to seek additional and future funding for such projects. This is done in order to maximize the number of integrative educational programs and increase the number of veterinary schools with such programs in their curricula.

Fund requests to AHVMFare evaluated to ensure that there is no animal cruelty involved. AHVMF will not fund any program where “animal models” are involved – that is, animals in whom a disease is created in order to study it. AHVMF will not fund programs where pain is inflicted. AHVMF encourages programs and research to be truly integrative: involving as many different departments as possible in a veterinary school, and involving both veterinary schools and private practitioners and, if appropriate, non-veterinarian health practitioners.

See our COMPLETED RESEARCH page for news about research that has been completed and is now being prepared for publication in scientific journals.



A number of funded projects are investigating the use of integrative veterinary medicine for cancer, especially for lymphoma, the most common cancer type in dogs.

The University of Florida integrative veterinary department is conducting a study to determine whether acupuncture and a Chinese herbal formula can help quality of life, and prolong survival time in dogs with lymphoma. The University’s oncology department is conducting the study in conjunction with a board-certified veterinarian in private practice in Texas. AHVMF especially likes this approach, combining both an oncology department and the integrative medicine department, and a private practice as well as a university.

The University of Pennsylvania integrative veterinary service is studying the effects of acupuncture on helping with the side effects of chemotherapy for lymphoma. They are looking at decreasing GI effects (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) and protecting the immune system

A board-certified oncologist in Southern California, through his cancer center, is looking at using the Banerji Protocol (a homeopathic protocol that is highly successful in India) for osteosarcoma in dogs. It has provisional approval from the NIH, but they want to see an animal study before they will approve it for a clinical study in humans.  

A private practitioner in Northern California is investigating the use of Nagalase as a cancer marker in dogs. There is no reliable cancer marker that is approved by board-certified veterinary oncologists. In human medicine, cancer markers are used to help confirm an early diagnosis of cancer, and to verify that a treatment is working, or that a patient has come out of remission. A reliable marker for animals could save time and money by identifying cancer early, when treatment of all kinds is beneficial, by verifying that a treatment is working (especially useful to help prove the benefit of natural treatments) and by stopping ineffective treatments early, saving time and money and decreasing the time an animal might be exposed to toxic effects. Nagalase is almost a universal cancer marker for humans and if it is the same for dogs, its use could change the way cancer treatments are evaluated and applied.

Vaccines and vaccinations

The AHVMF has contributed to the Rabies Challenge Fund. This fund was established to support research to prove that rabies vaccines last at least 7 years in dogs. When completed, this will provide research support for increasing the time between rabies vaccinations in dogs, which will help ameliorate vaccine-related reactions such as autoimmune disease.

Kidney disease

Kidney disease is one of the top killers of old cats. Kansas State University is investigating the ability of an extract of fatty tissue to help repair or restore some function in failing kidneys in cats. This can help them live longer, more normal lives.

Nonanesthetic teeth cleaning

This research is being carried on by board-certified veterinary dentists, the Pet Dental Institute, and a veterinary school. The recent passage by AVMA of their recommendations for veterinary dentistry states that all dentistry, including teeth cleaning, should be done under anesthesia and claims that nonanesthetic cleaning will never allow subgingival results the same as that done by board certified dentists using anesthesia. Thousands of pet owners prefer nonanesthetic cleaning, whenever possible. Preliminary results in the blinded study are showing results that are the same for properly trained technicians using no anesthesia as they are for veterinary dentists using anesthesia.


Laminitis (founder)
Western University, in conjunction with a private equine practitioner, is studying the ability of acupuncture to help horses with chronic laminitis. Acute laminitis, when treated early, can usually be helped, with the horse returning to normal activities. The longer that chronic laminitis lasts, the worse the prognosis for the affected horse. Acupuncture is often effective in chronic inflammation of many types, and it may be helpful in returning afflicted horses to useful lives again, avoiding euthanasia. This project will help determine whether this approach will work.

Oregon State University is studying the effect of cold laser therapy on equine tendon fibroblasts, which help tendons heal. Although cold laser therapy is used for this and many other problems, its effects are not well-understood and there are veterinarians who still deny its validity for such use. By affirming the ability of cold laser therapy to increase the healing ability of tendons, this can also support other uses for cold laser therapy to stimulate healing.


The AHVMF has surveyed donors and found that the big 3 areas of concern are cancer, geriatric medicine in general, and nutritional research including raw food studies. We are currently in the process of seeking more funding for all 3 areas, and will feature them prominently in fund drives. Surveys will be taken annually and future funds will be allocated according to survey results. We will continue to seek donors with special interest in integrative medicine and match them with universities or veterinarians who can use their money in the way in which are satisfactory to both.