Homeopathy was a healing approach used by the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Incas, Aztecs and Native Americans. Hippocrates in the 1700’s described it as a medical principle of similars (like cures like). About 200 years ago a German physician and chemist, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, rediscovered the similars principle and developed a scientific method for applying homeopathy to cure his patients. His chemistry background led him to postulate theories far ahead of his time to explain how homeopathy works. Today, researchers are using quantum physics, magnetoelectric energy theory, higher energy vibrational phenomena and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques to develop modern theories to account for the effects of remedies on the body.

Conventional (or allopathic) Western medicine treats isolated symptoms in an ill animal but does not address the underlying susceptibility of that patient to develop disease. The goal of homeopathy is to treat the patient’s symptoms while strengthening the immune system to help resist disease in the future.

Homeopathy is based on the principle of “like cures like”. Meaning that if a substance given to a healthy individual can cause symptoms, then if it is given in minute doses to a sick individual with exactly matching symptoms, the individual will become healthy.

Homeopathy For Animals

Evaluating a sick animal includes noting physical symptoms from a complete physical examination, mental and emotional symptoms, exercise habits, environmental influences (including toxins as well as stressful situations) and diet. All previous medical records are reviewed and sometimes additional tests are recommended as well before therapeutic recommendations are made.

Conventional (or allopathic) Western medicine treats isolated symptoms in an ill animal but does not address the underlying susceptibility of that patient to develop disease. The goal of homeopathy is to treat the patient’s symptoms while strengthening the immune system to help resist disease in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

For what illnesses or problems can I use homeopathy?

Homeopathy is most often successful or at least worth a try in the following situations:

Behavioral problems with no tissue damage (insomnia, anxiety, thunder phobia, breeding/nursing problems, etc)

Conditions with no good treatment (wounds, viral diseases, emphysema, etc.) where much relief and little harm are possible if using remedies.

Instead of surgery for fibroids, gallstones, skin masses, etc. when immediate action is not required.

To prevent drug dependence (for allergies, asthma, colitis, hypertension, hyper-thyroidism, chronic diarrhea and vomiting, ear infections, hip dysplasia, lameness, etc.) when drugs must be taken long-term.

If conventional treatments fail, or patients cannot take traditional medications, and in incurable or terminal cases when significant relief is often possible. Homeopathy should not be used instead of emergency surgery for serious lacerations, fractures, gastric torsions, etc. but can be used to help with the shock and pain involved and to speed healing.

What is used to make a homeopathic remedy?

A remedy is a natural substance (plant, animal product, mineral, etc.) which in its raw form produces consistent symptoms when taken orally by a healthy individual (this is called “proving the substance”). Many healthy volunteers are used and all symptoms from each individual are carefully recorded. Each substance is then diluted many times to produce solutions containing minute amounts of the original material. This solution is then poured over milk sugar pellets.

How can such a small amount of a substance be effective?

Dr. Hahnemann found in his lifetime of treating patients that the more times a solution was shaken (succussed) and diluted, the more strongly it stimulated the body. He called this process of succussion and dilution the “potentization” of a substance. The more dilute the remedy, the greater the potency.

Remedies are wonderfully effective when properly chosen and are economical, safe and gentle in their actions. Rare is the patient who is overly sensitive to remedies.

Can I give the same remedy to my cat which helped my friend’s cat with the same disease?

Animals, like people, are individuals. A disease will present with slightly different symptoms in each animal which makes each animal unique. The remedy must match all of a patient’s symptoms to be effective.

How do I choose between conventional and homeopathic treatments?

Let’s use an example of two itchy dogs. In a conventional practice, both dogs likely will be given a similar antibiotic and steroid. One dog may get worse after a warm bath but be soothed by a cool one or he may be itchy mostly at night. The other dog may have the opposite symptoms. These dogs would require different homeopathic remedies to stop the itching.

There are two major points of difference between using conventional and homeopathic medicine for these two dogs. The first is that following conventional medicine, the itchy condition will likely recur and again be treated with medication and some pets will need constant medication of some type. In homeopathic medicine, the underlying reason for why the dog is getting skin infections in the first place is treated so that repeated medicating or lifelong medicating are not necessary. The second is that homeopathy avoids any negative side effects which can occur with conventional medications.

Why does the homeopath need my pet’s past medical history?

The symptoms a very young animal shows are more reliable than symptoms he will show as he gets older because most animals are treated with conventional medications which slowly change how the symptoms appear. Also, seasonality and periodicity (how often a problem occurs) will be important in selecting remedies. Laboratory tests and radiographs are helpful to determine how advanced is an animal’s chronic disease.

How long before I see a change in my pet’s health?

If the problem is an acute one (for example a fever) a change can occur within 1-12 hours after an effective remedy. If it is a chronic disease, changes can start to occur within the first month. Acute conditions may require only one remedy. Chronic disease in older animals or pets with many serious symptoms or who have been taking conventional medication for a long time will often need a series of remedies over months to years to achieve good health. The immediate goal is to reduce the need for conventional medication and improve the energy and quality of life for the pet and the long range goal is to achieve good health so no further medication is required and the disease does not recur.

What change will I see first?

The first change is usually increased energy and improved mental attitude. For example, you may see improved sleeping at night and more energy during the daytime and the appetite begins to normalize. Sometimes there is a temporary need for more sleep as though the body needs time out for repairs.

How often do I need to have my pet checked?

Most chronic disease patients are reevaluated every 3-6 weeks at first. If an acute problem arises, reports may be needed daily. Cancer and chronic critical patients often need daily assessments or at least a few times a week in the early stages of treatment.

It is important to call your homeopath when advised to do so. Changes in remedy potency or the type of remedy will likely be needed as the body heals and can handle the increased stimulation of the higher potency remedies. Knowing when to increase the potency and when to repeat the remedy takes training and experience. Repeating the remedy too soon or in the wrong potency can delay or stop healing. If you just keep giving the same remedy the medicine can begin to cause symptoms in the patient. This is not usually dangerous – simply stopping the remedy will halt that process.

Do homeopathic medicines need special care?

Homeopathic medicines are remarkably stable if properly cared for. They should be kept in sealed containers away from strong odors (perfumes, potpourri, eucalyptus or camphor-containing products like Vicks, BenGay, Tiger Balm for example), direct sunlight, excessive heat and microwaves or electromagnetic fields.

How do I administer the remedy to my pet?

Typically for dogs, the remedy tablets are crushed in an envelope (a hammer works for this) then the resulting powder is poured into the dog’s mouth. When this is not possible, the powder is poured into a small amount of milk or water which the dog can drink.

For cats, after crushing the pellets the powder is poured into a 1-2 teaspoons of milk and allowed to dissolve then let the cat drink it. Or after dissolving the powder into a teaspoon of milk or water, the liquid can be fed to the cat with an eye dropper or syringe.

Remedies should be given 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after eating and some remedies are best given in the morning and some best given at night before bed. Do not touch the pellets or the powder with your fingers as you can absorb some of the remedy through your skin.

Should I vaccinate my pet while he is receiving homeopathic treatment?

No. If you wish to update your pet’s vaccinations, do so before you start homeopathic treatment. Vaccines act as medications and interfere with remedies’ actions in the body. There is mounting concern that vaccinations are not needed every year and may be harmful if given more often than necessary. If you are unsure about whether vaccines are necessary for your pet, ask about this during your first homeopathic consultation appointment for further discussion.

What role does nutrition play in my animal’s healing?

A body cannot heal well without the important nutritional building blocks for healthy bone and tissue repair. Commercial processed pet foods do not contain optimal nutrition needs for healing and to maintain peak body health over time. It is sort of like a human eating dried foods (beef jerky, dried cooked vegetables) for the rest of his life. He would feel okay at first, but illness would eventually occur because processing destroys some nutritious ingredients. With proper nutritional support, the body can respond much better to homeopathic medicines.

Are there other treatments which can be used at the same time as homeopathy?

Your homeopath may decide to have you continue some conventional medicines if your pet has been receiving them already. Then a program to reduce or discontinue these would be instituted as your pet improved with homeopathic treatment. You need to talk with your homeopath before starting any herbs or other conventional treatments after a remedy has been given.

Acupuncture and magnetic therapies affect the vital force (energy) of the body as does homeopathy. If one of these treatments is used concurrently with homeopathy, your homeopath will not be able to interpret your pet’s response to a remedy. If you wish to try acupuncture, try it before you begin homeopathy. If it works for your pet, great. If your pet does not improve or if problems keep recurring, stop the acupuncture or magnetic treatment before starting homeopathy. Chiropractic and massage therapy are fine to use along with homeopathic remedies. Your homeopath may suggest some Bach flower tinctures to use in some patients while in the early stages of homeopathic treatment.