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Caring for Animals the Holistic Way at Always Helpful Veterinary Services

Dr. Sarah Urban

Dr. Sarah Urban

Dr. Sarah Urban of Always Helpful Veterinary Services, in Nottingham, was always used to being around animals. While growing up in Montgomery County, her family had pets and she was a member of various 4-H animal clubs, so pursuing a career as a veterinarian was a logical next step. Early on in her career, she worked in various veterinary hospitals as a veterinary technician, but noticed that a lot of animals weren’t getting well from conventional veterinary treatment.

After graduating from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, in St. Kitts, West Indies, Urban returned to Pennsylvania and practiced integrative veterinary medicine in York and Lancaster counties. “It’s about looking at their health and healthcare from a different perspective, and seeing the animal as whole, not just an illness or condition attached to the body.”

In 2016, she joined Dr. Judith Shoemaker’s practice, Always Helpful Veterinary Services, where they care for large and small animals. Shoemaker’s holistic ethos aligned with Urban’s mission to integrate allopathic and complementary modalities into animal care. Urban and Shoemaker provide services including but not limited to acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal medicine, applied kinesiology, prolotherapy, laser therapy, homeopathy, pulsed electromagnetic therapy, novel cancer treatments and massage therapy. They also partner with various farriers and equine dentists to provide those services.

Urban says they have in-depth initial consults that cover all aspects of the patient’s life. Holistic services are provided on a case-by-case basis, and animals can experience much of the same relief that humans receive from acupuncture or chiropractic care to alleviate conditions like arthritis, cancer, skin conditions, joint dysfunction and autoimmune disease. They also have customized small animal and equine wellness plans.

“We don’t just treat a dog and send them on their way,” Urban emphasizes. “We explain what we did and why, and we also focus on preventing future illnesses or flare-ups. People bring in dogs or cats that are at the end of their lives, but then they will bring in their new puppy or kitten so we can start them off right from the get-go. It’s not unusual that we have patients living to their late teens or early 20s, but they have been patients of ours since infancy.”

Urban is grateful to work with animals and their caregivers. “I enjoy creating a relationship with an owner and their pet, and working closely with them to create a healthy and fruitful life for my patients,” she concludes.


Always Helpful Veterinary Services is located at 305 Nottingham Rd., in Nottingham. For more information, call 717-529-0526 or visit


Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout e country.

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