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Home > Animal Acupuncture > Homeopathy for Pets

Homeopathy for Pets

By Brian Puterman

Homeopathy appears on the surface to be almost mystical in concept. The idea of an ďimprintĒ of a medicine and that its potency is derived from its vibrational energy is not an easy theory to digest. But the results can be quite dramatic while the risks are minimal if not negligible. With that in mind itís easy to see why so many people are trying this non-intrusive, gentle yet powerful form of alternative medicine. Many holistic veterinarians use homeopathic remedies in concert with other forms of medicine. The word Homeopathy is taken from the Greek words homoios, meaning like or similar, and pathos, meaning suffering or disease. Homeopathy is a system of medical therapeutics for treating people and animals based on the principle of "similaeĒ. The great homeopathic principle is "Similia similibus curentur," meaning "Let like be treated by like." Essentially, the idea is that a substance that causes a symptom in a healthy patient will treat that same symptom in a sick patient.

Homeopathy finds its roots documented in the writings of Hippocrates (470-400 B.C.), the "Father of Medicine". He believed that healing is found in the methods of "contraries" and "similars.Ē Hippocrates wrote, "Disease is eliminated through remedies able to produce similar symptoms." German pharmacist and medical translator Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) later rediscovered these ideas through a process of experimentation and scientific invention. He is primarily responsible for what we call Homeopathic medicine today. Dr. Hahnemann showed that homeopathic principles of simile and potency could cure typhoid and cholera better than the conventional medicine of the day. Dr. Hahnemann himself healed 180 cases of typhus with only one fatality. In the same town, out of 1500 patients treated by conventional methods, 55% of the patients died. In 1854 in Britain, a cholera epidemic was brought to a halt in homeopathic hospitals with only a 16.4% death rate as compared to that of traditional hospitals which had a staggering 51.8% death rate using conventional medicine. Homeopathic medicine and the principle of simile was protected by the British Parliament and later protected by the United States Congress as a practical and legitimate method of medical practice.

In treating pets, a specific homeopathic remedy is chosen to treat mental, emotional and physical symptoms -- in other words the whole animal. In allopathic medicine the symptoms are suppressed or relieved with drugs like antibiotics or painkillers. There are times when antibiotics are essential, but homeopathy acts to stimulate the bodyís immune system to fight disease before it happens and as a consequence leaves the animal in a better state of health.

In homeopathic medicine a group of recognizable symptoms is known as a miasm. These miasms can be treated with specific remedies that gradually heal the body and free it from the effects of the miasm. In practice, a homeopathic remedy will be prescribed for your individual pet and over a period of time (which varies according to how serious the condition is) there should be a gradual return to health and well-being. Your pet will have more energy and a diminishing of disease symptoms until all disease is eliminated. Other benefits of this type of treatment include a shiny coat, more balanced emotions, better teeth, and freedom from diseases such as chronic ear infections and skin allergies. Homeopathy is not an overnight process and will take some time and commitment from both the veterinarian and the animal caretaker.

Homeopathic remedies are extremely diluted substances, so much so in fact that the original substance may be undetectable. Only the impression of the original material is left. Homeopathic remedies can be derived from plant, minerals or animal preparations. A process known as ďprovingĒ has detailed and confirmed homeopathic remedies. The first homeopathic remedy to be proven in this way was Cinchona or Peruvian bark. Hahnemann realized that the effects of taking it were the same as the effects of malaria, which it was used to treat. He then supposed that this might also be the case for other substances and began to branch out his experiments. He even tried to dilute more toxic substances to evaluate the effects without poisoning his assistants and family. What he discovered was that the effects of the more diluted substances became more potent without having as many side effects. He developed a system of dilution and shaking called succussion that appeared to increase the potency of the remedy and eliminate any unwanted effects. Hahnemann created a number of potencies, where each dilution involved mixing one part of the substance to ninety-nine parts of water and alcohol. This resulted in a 1 C potency. One drop of this dilution is taken and diluted in ninety-nine parts of water. This results in a 2 C potency (C = one hundredth part). The number of times the substance is diluted results in the dilution, thus a 200 C has been diluted to one in a hundred parts 200 times. A vital part of the process that Hahnemann discovered was the shaking or succussion which is done between every dilution. This is often carried out by machine, but was originally done by hand. The higher the dilution the more potent the remedy becomes. Remedies are available as high as 50 million dilutions. More recent theories suggest that somehow the dilution and vigorous shaking super-charges the water molecule and this is what affects the body and brings about healing. The homeopathic remedy that most closely matches the symptoms of the animal or person will act as a trigger to the body and stimulate better health.

In its near two hundred year history there has never been a single recorded instance or case of overdosing on Homeopathics. Despite the pharmacological effects, because these substances are diluted to such a large degree, overdosing is really quite impossible even though the FDA considers Homeopathics over-the-counter Ďmedicinesí. Homeopathy had been considered a legitimate form of medical intervention by the U.S. congress long before the FDA was even a governmental agency.

Initially when a homeopathic remedy is taken nothing may appear to happen. In acute conditions the effect is much more rapid, and after a short time some improvement may be noted. One important thing to look out for is a slight worsening of the symptoms for a short while, followed by improvement. This is simply the healing reaction of the body, and is a good sign that the correct remedy was chosen. Acute illnesses are really eruptions of underlying chronic problems. In this case chronic treatment is often the best way to address the real root of the problem preventing further episodes of acute disease.

Often there are various layers of disease that need to be addressed in order to recover the whole, healthy animal beneath. Sometimes drugs and vaccinations may contribute to chronic disease in animals, and the effects often need to be removed from the body before a disease can truly respond. You can also administer an appropriate holistic remedy to counter the effects of vaccination when one has to be given.

Some things to keep in mind when handling homeopathic remedies are to try not to touch the solution before it is administered. There is always a chance that there may be something on your hands that could deactivate the remedy and prevent it from working. Because of the energetic nature of homeopathic remedies, they are very sensitive to electromagnetic fields so they must be kept away from televisions, microwaves, magnets, stereo speakers or anything else that might emit an energy field. Itís best to keep the solution from experiencing extreme cold or heat. Even strong odors like menthol, peppermint, coffee, essential oils or other chemicals can alter the remedies action on the body. These substances should be avoided when a homeopathic remedy is being administered to either you or your pets. Intense light may also affect the remedies so it is best to store them in a cool, dry place away from light. Donít consume food or water fifteen to thirty minutes before or after the remedy is administered. When using a liquid dropper try not to touch it to the mouth as this also may contaminate the remedy. Itís best not to repeat a remedy too soon -- in an acute situation one dose every four hours is average. As a general rule of thumb it is best to wait until improvement ceases, then repeat the treatment. If subsequent doses are given too soon, this can counteract any previous beneficial action of the remedy. Itís also recommended that you not give more then one remedy at a time. The effectiveness of the remedy is dependant upon the vital force or Qi of the patient, the potency of the remedy, the specific remedy that was given, as well as the severity of the disease. Itís important to be a good observer and have some patience when it comes to homeopathy.

SOME REMEDIES

We all know the effects of peeling an onion. These effects also happen to be very similar to the symptoms of acute coryza or flu-like cold. The homeopathic remedy prepared from Allium Cepoa or red onion is used to treat this kind of cold. Here are some other types of homeopathic remedies based on the very same principles.

Arcenicum (arsenic): Used to treat gastroenteritis.

Calceria fluorica (fluorspar or fluoride of lime): This remedy has been successful in treating tumors of the mouth.

Calendula (extract of marigold): A topical remedy thatís soothing for all sorts of irritations, burns or suppurating sores.

Chelidonium (from the plant celandine): This is an excellent remedy for sluggish liver action and jaundice.

Conium: Older animals, especially males with weakness in the rear legs sometimes develop a condition called degenerative spinal myelopathy. This remedy can help.

Estrogen (estradiol): Very effective remedy for female urinary incontinence thatís primarily caused by an estrogen deficiency. There are no side effects to the homeopathic version of this treatment.

Nux vomica: The basic homeopathic remedy for vomiting.

Phosphorus: Excellent for bleeding.

Silicea (silicon oxide): Used to address bone tumors.

Valerian (valerian root): Acts as a calming agent.

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