Veterinary Homeopathy “Homeopathy for pets, you say? I thought that was just for people!” That’s a common misperception among a growing number of clients I see that are involved with alternatives for their own health. With today’s growing demands on our minds and bodies we, as a collective society, have begun an awareness of alternatives to drugs in order to attempt to live healthier lives. This extrapolates to our pets, who have become part of the family. Physiologically, our pets are very similar to us, in fact most of the drugs we rely on, are used in veterinary medicine as well.
Homeopathy is a 200-year-old system of medicine discovered by a German physician chemist, and translator named Samuel Hahnemann. Homeopathy is derived from the Greek word ” homoios” which means like or similar. It is a therapy based on the principle like cures like. Hahnemann ingested the bark of the cinchona tree which contains quinine (at that time it was used to treat malaria) which caused him to experience the symptoms of malaria (most notably the chills, heat, and delirium associated with malarial fever). When he stopped taking the cinchona, the symptoms abated. From this experience, he postulated that; drugs, which cause the symptoms of disease, could actually cure the disease. He then set out to use the smallest possible amount of drug and began his life long research of testing them in their use to cure disease.
A few years ago a client came to me as her dog had immune mediated polyarthritis (arthritis of more than one joint). The owner, wanting to try some natural therapy had given the dog Echinacea for the immune problem. As long as the dog was on the Echinacea, he would do fine, but when off of it, he would begin to limp. One day, the dog began breaking out in skin blisters that would open, ooze clear fluid, and then heal. At this point, she called me to help her with the use of homeopathy. One of the symptoms that Echinacea causes is blister like eruptions or boils. It was the Echinacea in its crude form that was probably causing this. At that point I prescribed homeopathic (diluted) Echinacea and within a week, the dog had stopped limping, and no further blisters had erupted. At a six -month follow up, the dog was normal with no recurrence of either the limping or the blisters. Remember that drugs that cause the symptoms can cure the symptoms.
How about the cases of the midnight snacker in the garbage! (If your dogs or cats are like mine!) They may get nauseated, irritable and thirsty, with vomiting and a grumbling stomach. Nux vomica is excellent in these situations and has worked well for me time and time again. If there is diarrhea with vomiting then you can try Arsenicum album. When the symptoms are repetitive vomiting only, then try Ipecac in a homeopathic preparation, as ipecac syrup will actually causes vomiting. Remember, like cures like.
The medicines are prepared from pure, natural, animal, vegetable or mineral substances listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the U.S. and in the European Pharmacopoeia. They are processed in modern labs by a process of serial dilution and succussion (repeated shaking). During this process, the medicines are diluted with water and alcohol from ten times to millions of times. The medicines come in pill form or liquid and are usually administered orally.
By the nature of their preparation, there are no unwanted side effects to the medications. It is safe to use on neonates, geriatrics and during pregnancy.
I have been using Homeopathy in my practice of Veterinary medicine for the past 4 years and have been astounded at some of the results. The above are but a few examples. It is a hard pill to swallow (and humbling I might add) when, after four years of grueling Veterinary College, you graduate and find that diseases that you thought you could cure are getting worse and worse.
I see chronic problems almost everyday in my practice. These include ear infections, urinary tract infections and skin infections to name a few. Homeopathy can offer a cure to these problems if used in the correct manner. Chronic problems can take years to cure with homeopathy by careful prescribing of the most appropriate medicines. Remedies that I have found useful for urinary tract problems include Nux vomica (poison nut), Arsenicum album, Cantharis (Spanish fly), Phosphorous, to name a few. The chronic problems can be tricky to treat and sometimes they are best dealt with through a homeopathic veterinarian who has studied this medical art and who is familiar with treating chronic diseases.
Homeopathy is excellent when the problems are acute in nature. Insect stings or bite wounds with swellings can be treated with Apis (bee venom) when they are very puffy, Ledum (Marsh Tea) when they are cold to the touch, or Hypericum (St. John’s Wart) when they are tender to the touch.
Currently there are few recognized avenues to study this medical form. Richard Pitcairn has been practicing Veterinary homeopathy for the past 25 years in Oregon and has been teaching Veterinarians all over North America for the past 6 years. He offers both an introductory and advanced training courses for veterinarians. The British Institute of Homeopathy (which has a veterinary course) is a correspondence course, and the Vancouver Homeopathic Academy (human) in Vancouver, offers a 4-year part time diploma program of approximately 600 hours of class time study.
The beauty of this medical form is that there are no unwanted side effects to the medicines, they are inexpensive, and can be found over the counter at most progressive health stores. Most health stores now have copies of “Dr. Richard Pitcairn’s Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats “and “Homeopathy for Cats and Dogs, Small Doses for Small Animals” by Dr. Don Hamilton, which are excellent references for this method of treatment.
Article courtesy of:
Hudson Place Veterinary Clinic