The Homeopathic Option

Julie Anne Lee DCH RcsHom & Dr.David Ruish DVM

What exactly is Homeopathy and why is it becoming so popular with our furry family members?
In it’s simplest definition, homeopathy is based on the premise that ‘like cures like’. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann developed this system of treating disease by administering minute quantities of substances that would, in large doses to a healthy body, produce symptoms similar to those of the disease being treated. For example, an onion (allium cepa) can produce symptoms in a healthy body such as burning eyes and a runny nose. However the homeopathic remedy, Allium Cepa can also cure a body suffering from these symptoms (hay fever, allergies).

Animals treated by homeopathy often emerge from illness stronger and fitter, since it is the body itself correcting the disease, rather than a synthetic agent. The ubstance administered triggers a healing response in the body, enabling its own immunity to engage, without the suppressive, pain-masking attributes or undesirable side effects of conventional drugs Homeopathic remedies are derived from a multitude of sources such as plants, minerals and metals etc. After the raw material of the remedy has been prepared, it is formed into a tablet or granule by a process of dilution and succession (vigorous shaking in a solution of alcohol and water). The diluted remedies are described as being potentized, in recognition of the dynamic healing power they can stimulate.

Homeopathic remedies are tested on people, not animals. Under supervision, these groups of people take safe doses, repeated over a period of time, until a variety of symptoms emerge. Additional information on the action of the many homeopathic remedies has been gathered for over two hundred years. That information forms clinical experience, and is precisely recorded in two types of homeopathic reference books: The Materia Medica and The Repertory, as well as on computer software programs. This
information is then used to prescribe a remedy for a patient with the same symptoms, according to the Law of Similars (that which makes sick shall heal).

There is much precision involved in testing homeopathic remedies and prescribing them. Collective experience reinforces the understanding of the remedies curative action. And because of the way in which they are created and prescribed, they do not become redundant, which could help avoid the concern of creating new or drug-resistant bacteria and viruses.

Homeopathy treats the individual, not just the disease and therefore it may resolve everything from behavioural issues, chronic illnesses, acute injury, autoimmune disease, skin conditions, arthritis, and postoperative trauma to palliative care and bereavement.

Remedies can be given a number of ways. Pellets can be crushed into powder and sprinkled onto the animal’s tongue. It has no adverse taste so you may find the animal will lick it off the spoon. It can be made into a liquid form and syringed into their mouth as well. With large animals (horses, cattle and sheep) it can be added to their drinking water or misted into the nostrils or any mucus membrane. An initial homeopathic consultation for chronic illnesses includes an in-depth case-taking procedure to accurately prescribe the animal’s constitutional remedy. During this process, all past physical, mental and emotional history will be incorporated into the case along with presenting symptoms. This initial consultation takes between an hour to an hour and a half and lays the ground for continuous research into the individual’s case on the part of the homeopath to decide on the right remedy. The last part of the consultation includes a discussion on preventative health care for your pet.

Getting to this point however, should involve careful research on the client’s part in choosing the homeopathic clinic that is right for them. The best way is to go by word-of-mouth and be sure to look for proper credentials. Find out all the educational back ground, for e.g. how long of a course the practitioner has taken, how often they prescribe homeopathy compared to conventional drugs, etc…. Homeopathy is a complex medical modality and in our opinion takes a minimum of three years to learn and many years of experience to properly prescribe.

Stay tuned for future articles including the benefits of proper nutrition, over all holistic care and types of chronic disease that are treated with homeopathy. This will include illnesses such as Cushing’s Disease and explain how dogs like our very own Freeway, are being treated for this disease and living healthy vibrant lives with out the side effects of drugs.