About Metta Pets
Dr. Erin Bannink, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (oncology)
Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine
Certified in Veterinary Acupuncture
Metta Pets was born out of my desire to provide a resource about whole-being wellness for pets with cancer and the people who love them.
It is also the result of my efforts to bridge the gap between conventional and alternative medicine world-views in the hope of bringing people, and the veterinary profession, together on a comprehensive and effective path to wellness.
The information you find here will be a reflection of my personal approach to life, which is informed by my conventional veterinary Western Biomedicine training, my Classical Chinese Veterinary Medicine training, and my extensive 15+ years of study in the esoteric sciences of Yogic Philosophy and meditation. You will notice the views and ideas shared here will reflect these facets of my life and clinical experience. My goal is not to convince you to agree with me, but to share another way to view health and well-being in the context of the experience of “cancer”; one that may bring more healing, both emotional and physical, than what is possible within our current Western Biomedicine paradigm alone. And to do this in a way that respects, and ideally connects, the strengths of these systems of medicine in which I have been trained.
The word “Metta”, a Pali word for “loving kindness”, reflects my belief that, ultimately, the greatest source of healing comes from the loving kindness we experience and learn to share with each other.
While physical cure may not always be achievable, healing is always possible. Healing comes in many forms. Sometimes the greatest healing is in the lessons we learn about the preciousness of life and in learning to be fully present with our loved ones for the short time we are sharing together on this planet. In this fast-paced world, we too often forget that the real meaning in life comes from our connections with others and the journey to learning to live more fully and authentically in each moment. In this way, we have the opportunity to view cancer as one of our greatest opportunities for growth. As an opportunity to evolve the way we think, the way we prioritize our life, the way we live with each other, and the way we approach our health and well-being.
Through the Metta Pets site, I hope you will find some helpful ideas and that it will be an emotionally safe and supportive resource for you after our consultation as you consider formulation of a treatment plan that supports your pet's health and healing.
There is a vast amount of information you may encounter on the internet which is presented in a dissonant and divisive manner. This way of presenting information can damage an already delicate emotional system if you are facing a cancer diagnosis in your pet. There is a great need for the development and pursuit of respectful communication and the acknowledgment that, while we may all hold differing opinions based on our training and beliefs, it is possible to chose to be respectful and work to understand and support each other more effectively.
My motivation here is to offer information for my clients in a safe environment which will not further inflame troubling emotions, which will provide resources for self-care, and which will present some of the scientific literature that exists regarding certain non-pharmaceutical treatment options which you may be considering in caring for your pet.
One of my greatest desires is to see a shift in the way we are approaching cancer therapy, so that our standard of care places greater priority on preventive medicine, thoughtfully applied nutritional and natural medicine interventions, and emotional wellness while also honoring the advancements and power of Western Biomedicine.
Have fun exploring.
Meet Our Team
Dr. Bannink's Family
Loving Kindness Laboratory
Comic Relief - Emmy is not entirely amused by Halloween, but she sure makes us laugh! And that makes her VERY excited!
Dan and Erin
My Partner in Life, Love, Learning and Laughter. Here we are enjoying the vibe before a ColdPlay show...I love my ColdPlay!
Emerald Lumerian Salad Houdini Hamburgler I-do-what-I-want Bannink (AKA Punkinhead). Here in her supervisory role.
About Dr. Erin Bannink
DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (oncology)
Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine
Certified in Veterinary Acupuncture
Dr. Bannink grew up in Rochester, Michigan, where she lives now with her life-loving pooch, Emerald, and her adoring and supportive husband, Dan, who is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Hope College in 1998. She graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. She then completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Garden State Veterinary Specialists New Jersey, and an internship and residency in medical oncology at Animal Cancer and Imaging Center in Rochester Hills, Michigan. She became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, sub-specialty in Oncology, in 2008. Dr. Bannink was certified in veterinary acupuncture through IVAS in 2007 and has completed multiple advanced training courses in Veterinary Chinese Herbology including obtaining a Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine through the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies (CIVT).
She practices Integrative Oncology with Classical Chinese Veterinary Medicine at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Dr. Bannink is a CIVT faculty member and lectures to international audiences about integrating conventional cancer therapies with Chinese Herbal Medicine in veterinary cancer treatment. She is also a contributing lecturer for A Time to Heal Classical Chinese Herbal Medicine courses and a member of the organizing committee for the American College of Veterinary Botanical Medicine (ACVBM). She received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Clinical Practice from the Southeastern Veterinary Medical Association in 2017.
College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies (www.civtedu.org)
Antiangiogenic Therapy with Herbs
Canine Mast Cell Tumors: Overview of Conventional Treatments and Integrative Therapy
Canine Thyroid Carcinoma: Overview of Current Conventional Treatments and Integrative Therapy
Canine Nasal Carcinoma: Overview of Conventional Treatments and Integrative Therapy
Canine Splenic Hemangiosarcoma: Current Conventional Treatments & Integrative Therapy
Canine Multicentric Lymphoma: Overview of Conventional Management and Evidence Informed Integrative Management
Dr. Bannink was recently featured in the documentary “The Dog Cancer Series”, produced by Rodney Habib, which presents an alternative and scientifically emerging perspective about how we might understand and approach cancer treatment by considering the impact of metabolism. She supports those focused on sharing a positive message about emerging ideas in cancer treatment who are able to do so in a way that does not condemn others who hold a different view. This is how Dr. Bannink believes effective and positive change will occur. It is this type of respectful and kind social and professional interaction, which reflects strong personal integrity, that she is passionate about supporting.
In addition to her veterinary training, Dr. Bannink has had a strong lifelong interest and driving passion for personal and spiritual development. She has been intensively immersed in the study and practices of Yogic Philosophy, Mahayana Buddhist Philosophy and meditation since 2003. During the course of her residency and acupuncture training, she was also actively attending a weekly Mahayana Buddhism study group and practicing yoga and meditation. She continued to participate in this study group through the course of its 8-year existence, eventually becoming a senior teacher for these courses. She completed an immersive Yoga Teacher Training certification through the Yoga Studies Institute in 2010. She has led countless classes, workshops and retreats on topics including yoga, meditation, Tibetan Buddhist, Yogic and Christian philosophy, pranayama, kirtan and mantra.
These varied life experiences have led her on an amazing, interesting and, like all good things, sometimes challenging life journey. All these experiences have nurtured an appreciation for the rich overlap of our complex realities and the lessons inherent in all our experiences, which invite us to grow into the highest expression of ourselves. She holds a belief that it is through a path of empowerment, responsibility and love that we will come into our full expressions and live the life of our Dreams.
American Veterinary Medical Association
American College of Veterinary internal Medicine
Veterinary Cancer Society
American College of Veterinary Botanical Medicine
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
Michigan Veterinary Medical Association
Southeastern Veterinary Medical Association