“Like cures like”
This holistic approach to healing is based on careful analysis of all your pet’s symptoms.
In the late 1700s, Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, noticed that many patients became sicker or died when they took medicine for their illnesses. He set out to find a kinder, gentler way to treat patients. He observed that quinine, at that time a popular medicine for malaria, would produce fever and chills when it was given in its crude form. He brilliantly guessed that, when diluted, quinine would cure those same symptoms—and observed this to be true. This was the birth of the science of homeopathy.
What is homeopathy used for?
Veterinary homeopathy may be used to treat and cure almost any problem that traditional western medicine, or allopathic medicine, is used to treat. These include, but are not limited to:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Ear infections
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Skin conditions
- Thyroid disease
Homeopathy can effectively address any medical problem that we encounter with the exception of broken bones. It can, however, be very beneficial in the healing of those bones after repair.
Homeopathic medicine uses substances known as “remedies” to treat and cure disease. These remedies are prepared by first diluting and the shaking, or succussing, plant, animal or mineral substances. For example, allium cepa, made from a dilution of the onion bulb, treats teary eyes and runny noses associated with colds. Natrum muriaticum, a dilution of common table salt, treats diseases whose symptoms include increased thirst.
The dilution determines the potency. The more a substance is diluted and succussed, the more powerful or potent the action of the remedy. The diluted substances are then added to sugarcoated pellets or tablets.
Some homeopathic remedies are available over the counter. High-potency remedies may produce reactions, or aggravate symptoms, so they are only available through a veterinarian who is trained in homeopathy.
How do homeopathic remedies work?
We do not know the exact mode of action of homeopathic remedies in the body, but we do know through observation how they affect us. These actions are precise and move the body into a greater state of health and well-being.
What to expect
Homeopathic workups differ from traditional medical visits, because the homeopathic vet must carefully extract the relevant symptoms of your pet’s history in order to prescribe the appropriate remedy. Information that may be irrelevant to Western medicine is very important in homeopathic prescribing. For example, we may need to know whether your pet has a temperature preference when sleeping or whether a symptom is worse at a particular time of day.
A visit may last an hour or longer. After getting the necessary information, the veterinarian performs a careful and thoughtful analysis of symptoms, often aided by a homeopathic computer program. In classical homeopathy, the veterinarian chooses one remedy for the patient. The remedy is usually given once and not repeated unless necessary. It is important to observe your pet for any changes after the remedy is given.
The homeopathic vet typically does not use a traditional western medicine diagnose in order to prescribe the remedy; however, the results of medical tests may be useful in developing a complete picture of your pet’s health.
After the first visit, follow-ups can usually be done over the phone or through e-mail. Occasionally, a follow-up may involve another office visit. Telephone consultations are available when an office visit is not possible.
Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy