Homeopathy for Dog Care : Could It Be an Option for Your Dog?
Homeopathy for dog care is derived from a 250 year old therapy and has proven itself a remarkable and ever growing alternative to modern western medicine.
This page will walk you through...
- A general overview of homeopathy
- Further explanation: dog homeopathy vs. conventional medicine
- What are homeopathic remedies?
- What research supports homeopathy?
- How do homeopathic vets find the right treatment for each dog?
- Which dogs homeopathy might not work for
- General dog homeopathic treatment guidelines
- What happens after a remedy is given?
- How long before you see results?
- How to find a homeopathic vet in your area
Homeopathy was developed by a German physician named Samuel Hahnemann in the early 1800’s. Though it has been used and studied by many practitioners throughout the years, its followers have recently begun to make great strides in the United States.
The truly amazing aspect of homeopathy for dog care is the simplicity of its basic principles...
“Like is cured by like” is known as the Law of Similars which was recognized by Hippocrates and many others throughout the ages.
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So, what exactly does “like is cured by like” mean? This principle is best understood through a quick example:
An animal with an insect sting would experience pain and swelling. Homeopathic theory holds that administering a highly diluted dose of bee venom will make the pain and swelling disappear.
What? Giving the body more of what's hurting it will make it better?
Dr. Richard Pitcairn explains the basic principle of homeopathy for dog care in his Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats:
“The remedy has the ability to stimulate the healing process of the patient because its pattern is so similar to the illness itself that the body cannot tell it apart.”
In other words, homeopathic remedies cause the body to "wake up" and begin its natural healing process.
Confusing, we know, but it's worth your time to understand! Here's some more detail...
World Homeopathy Awareness Week takes place during April of every year. Click here to learn more.
The goal of homeopathy for dog care is to stimulate the body into a natural, whole recovery. In the following example, taken from an article posted by the National Center for Homeopathy, the common cough is diagnosed using methods from homeopathy and conventional medicine.
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- We must accept that all symptoms, no matter how uncomfortable, represent the body’s attempt to restore itself to health. Instead of looking upon the symptoms as something wrong which must be set right, we see them as signs of the way the body is attempting to help itself. Instead of trying to stop the cough with suppressants, as conventional medicine does, a homeopath will give a remedy that will cause a cough in a healthy person, and thus stimulate the ill body to restore itself.
- We must look at the totality of the symptoms presented. We each experience a cough in our unique way. Yet conventional medicine acts as if all coughs were alike. It therefore offers a series of suppressive drugs, something to suppress the cough, something to dry the mucus, something to lower the histamine level, something to ease falling asleep.
- Dog homeopathic medicine, on the other hand, looks for the one substance that will cause similar symptoms in a healthy person or dog. The person with a cough characterized by being worse when breathing cold air, and sounding like a deep bark, will need quite a different remedy than the person whose cough is loose in the morning, dry in the evening, and better when sitting up in bed. We characterize both as “coughs” but they are different illnesses in the individuals, and therefore require different homeopathic treatment.
Dog homeopathic medicine and conventional medicine have an important basic difference.
In conventional medicine, the aim is to control illness through the consistent, regular use of a drug or daily medication. But what happens when that drug is taken away? Well, the illness will merely return and often times come back with a vengeance!
In contrast, homeopathy for dog care encourages the symptoms to help the body cure the illness on its own.
So now you know how they work, but what exactly is a homeopathic medicine?
A homeopathic remedy is a single substance which is taken from a plant, animal or mineral. These substances are subjected to a unique procedure called potentization which brings out the medicinal properties of the original substance.
Through controlled studies and scientific research, there are over two thousand substances whose properties have proven to have a direct effect on the body. A few examples include venom from a snake bite, minerals like sulfur and plants such as poison ivy.
The scientist who discovered homeopathy found that the homeopathic medicines he used were most effective when made into a diluted form.
The substances which are used in treatment today exponentially increase in strength when in a diluted form. For this reason, some scientists have made claims that homeopathy for dog care functions only as a placebo.
Though there are doubts within the medical field, the positive results of numerous clinical studies (see the next section) hold true to the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies.
An abundance of research justifies homeopathy. Here are results from some of the studies referenced by the Natural Center for Homeopathy:
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- Are the Clinical Effects of Homeopathy
Placebo Effects? A Meta-analysis of Placebo-Controlled Trials (Lancet, September 20, 1997)
- The results showed that patients taking homeopathic medicines were 2.45 times more likely to experience a positive therapeutic effect than placebo.
- Clinical Trials of Homeopathy (British Medical Journal, February 9,
- "The evidence presented in this review would probably be sufficient for establishing homeopathy as a regular treatment for certain indications." Further, "The amount of positive evidence even among the best studies came as a surprise to us."
- Osteoarthritic Pain: A Comparison of
Homeopathy and Acetaminophen (American Journal of Pain Management,
- The investigators conclude that homeopathic treatments for pain in OA patients appear to be safe and at least as effective as acetaminophen, and are without its potential adverse effects including compromise to both liver and kidney function. Many of the patients asked to continue with the homeopathic treatment.
- Is Homeopathy a Placebo Response?
Controlled Trial of Homeopathic Potency with Pollen in Hayfever as Model (Lancet, October 18, 1986)
- Patients using homeopathy showed greater improvement in symptoms than those on placebo, and that this difference was reflected in a significantly reduced need for antihistamines among the homeopathically treated group. The results confirmed those of the pilot study and demonstrate that homeopathic potencies show effects distinct from those of the placebo.
To search for more studies regarding the effectiveness of homeopathy, go to Springerlink's website and type "homeopathy" in the search box.
Homeopathy for dog health utilizes the bountiful, natural healers produced by our earth. Therefore, the thousands of remedies available to us are continually growing in number and strength.
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The true key to finding the right remedy for your dog is individualization. This means that each and every symptom experienced by your dog needs to be known and understood by both you and your homeopathic veterinarian.
The whole concept of curing a specific ailment through the use of dog homeopathic medicine goes far beyond the mere naming of a disease like arthritis or hyperthyroidism. If you visit a homeopathic veterinarian and state that your dog is suffering from arthritis, for example, the doctor will most likely proceed with an in depth interview.
His or her goal will be to form a complete picture of your dog’s current overall wellness. Homeopathy does not focus on the naming of specific problems but rather the healing of every ailment.
It is important to remember that the natural healing process during homeopathy for dog care is gradual and therefore will likely take more time than a prescribed drug or medication. But remember, its goal is to permanently and naturally treat the actual ailment, not just the symptoms
If you'd like specific advice from our veterinariansabout whether homeopathy for dog care is right for your dog and which homeopathic treatments you should consider, tell us about your dog through our My Online Vet ask-a-veterinarian-online service.
We'll get back to you right away with homeopathic options along with anything else you should consider
Homeopathy for dog care does have certain limitations.
Because homeopathy relies on the natural healing abilities of the body, patients who suffer from advanced organ pathology or crippling diseases can rarely yield a full recovery. But these animals may indeed experience a greater sense of wellness and a higher quality of life as a result of homeopathic treatments.
Again, homeopathic treatments are very safe because they are used in a highly diluted form.
Though the use of homeopathic remedies is found to be extremely safe, it is absolutely necessary that you consult with a homeopathic veterinarian before beginning any type of treatment at home. Here is what you should expect:
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- The use of dog homeopathic medicine requires minimal to no repetition in very diluted doses. Your veterinarian will guide you through the necessary treatment schedule for your dog.
- Remedies should not be taken together with food because it will interfere with the expected actions. Give the dog at least one hour before feeding a meal or any type of organic treat.
- When feeding your dog the individual remedy in the dry (pellet) form, do not handle the remedy directly with your fingers. Simply open the vial and pour onto the back of your dog’s tongue. The remedy can also be given by dissolving it in distilled or purified water and stirring or shaking the mixture as directed by your holistic vet.
- In certain instances, the symptoms of your dog
may worsen with homeopathy for dog care. This should be reported to your
holistic vet as soon as possible to make sure that the course of
treatment is correct.
The initial worsening is usually a good sign that indicates the body is responding to the remedy. The homeopathic aggravation should subside rather quickly and eventually be followed by a full recovery. Acute problems will have a shorter aggravation (hours) as opposed to chronic cases (can last up to a week).
- Do not give any other medications while your dog is taking dog homeopathic medicine unless recommended by a homeopathic veterinarian.
- A healthy, natural dog food diet is also an essential part of treatment along with sufficient exercise and attention.
- Vaccinations should not be given to a dog undergoing homeopathic treatment. They create imbalances in the body and can interfere with the effects of the remedy.
Homeopathic dog care uses the same remedies as human homeopathic care. All remedies were tested on humans first in a process called "proving." It is a very safe form of treatment because the remedies are all natural and contain no chemicals or drugs.
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Because of this, there are no side effects... only temporary aggravations which represent the stimulation of the dog's "vital force" against the disease. In other words, these aggravations are controlled and used to heal existing problems.
It may be difficult to observe the temporary negative effects of the remedy on your dog, but remember that these effects are a positive sign and necessary part of the healing process. Potential temporary negative effects include...
- Discharge or other physical change as a result of the healing process. These changes are more common in dogs that have suffered from a chronic illness and have taken drugs to suppress their symptoms.
- Behavioral changes, such as a change in sleeping location or newly developed fears are not uncommon.
Some dogs may experience a resurfacing of old problems after completing homeopathic therapy. This is because the body often goes back and “cleans up” old messes that have never been properly addressed. Once again, it is important not to interfere with these symptoms as they are a natural part of the healing process.
Your homeopathic vet needs to be notified of these changes in order to monitor your dog's case and guide the healing process.
Please keep in mind that our pets are individuals just like you and me. They have their own body, mind and spirit and will react differently to each remedy relating to homeopathy for dog care.
Some dogs experience an immediate and occasionally drastic improvement within a few days - sometimes even hours - when treated with homeopathy for dog care. In other dogs it may take a few weeks or months to experience an improvement. The length of time usually depends on the seriousness of the ailment being treated and the length of time the dog has been suffering from the particular ailment.
There is also a possibility that your dog will experience very little to no improvement from homeopathy for dog care. In this case a different potency or remedy will be required.
How to Find a Certified Homeopathic Veterinarian in Your Area
According to the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy's website, they are comprised of veterinarians who share the common desire to restore true health to their patients through the use of homeopathic treatment. Members of the Academy are dedicated to understanding and preserving the principles of Classical Homeopathy.
Click here to search their directory of certified and affiliated veterinarians across the United States.
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For additional research, search for your topic...
- 25 Most Common Dog Health Problems & Natural Treatments
- Dog Health Book - Top 2 (include specific homeopathic remedies)
- Dog Vet Care to compare holistic vets with conventional vets
- Other alternative medicine for dogs
- My Online Vet Ask-a-Veterinarian Libarary for hundreds of questions & holistic veterinarian responses
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