Animal Homeopathy

Animal Homeopathy
By Jill Firth PG Dip(AM) CertEd

Homoeopathy evolved over 200 years ago by Samuel Hahnemann, a German scholar and chemist.

The basic principle of Homoeopathy is that of “treating like with like”. If you take a substance and administer it to a normal healthy body (human or animal), it will produce certain symptoms. That same substance, when given in minute quantities, will help to cure those same symptoms if they are produced in the body by some other cause, like illness or disease.

Hahnemann, discovered this by experimenting on himself and went on to test many substances, drawing up a “Materia Medica”., which is a book of homoeopathic remedies and the symptoms with which they became associated.

The results suggested to Hahnemann that by administering a very tiny dose of a substance which mimicked a disease, the body’s own defences were roused into action.

How Homeopathy works

It is difficult, if not impossible, to find a clear scientific explanation of how Homoeopathy works.

Homoeopathic remedies are recognised by UK Act of Parliament as a safe alternative form of medical treatment. An increasing number of UK vets are qualified and practising Homoeopaths and have the suffix Vet FFHom.

It is against the Law for anyone other than a Veterinary Surgeon to prescribe a Homoeopathic treatment for an animal. You can treat your own animal but, get a veterinary diagnosis first – you need to be certain what you are dealing with in order to select the correct remedy.

How Homeopathic remedies are produced

The key thing in the preparation of remedies is the dilution and, in the process, succussion. If done correctly, the more dilute a remedy, the more potent and effective it is.

The substance to be made into a remedy is first dissolved in a mixture of water and alcohol – this is then known as the Mother Tincture. This tincture is further diluted according to one of two scales:-

Decimal scale – D or X – one drop of Mother tincture is added to 9 drops of water/alcohol mixture

Centesimal scale – C – one drop of Mother tincture is added to 99 drops of water/alcohol mixture

Once diluted in this way the mixture is shaken violently – this is the Succussion.
So if a Mother Tincture is diluted once in either of these ways it is known as the first potency – a 1D remedy on the decimal scale or a 1C remedy on the centesimal scale.

To produce the next dilution the first potency is diluted again, in the same way, producing a 2D or 2C potency. This dilution process is repeated again and again creating remedies typically between 6C and 15C, some are as much (or as little!) as 30C.

Numerically the potency is an expression of the degree of dilution, but the process of succussion results in an energy release and transfer which creates a potent healing agent. The greater the degree of dilution, the more potent (stronger) the healing force.

The smallest amount of something in a solution is one molecule and in one drop of a solution there are only a certain number of these molecules. When this solution is repeatedly diluted there are less and less of the original molecules in each subsequent dilution. There comes a point where there can be NO molecules of the original substance left in the liquid.

The Homoeopathic dilutions

Homeopathic Dilutions
So sceptics say that, if there is not one single molecule of the substance left in the remedy, it cannot possibly work. Yet various clinical trials have proved the effectiveness of homoeopathic treatment, even when the remedies used are extremely diluted. In addition, there is an overwhelming amount of anecdotal evidence from people who have used homoeopathy for themselves and their animals.

Sceptics say that homoeopathic remedies provide a placebo effect and patients show an improvement in their condition because they expect to or think they will. However when it comes to animal treatment that argument falls flat because an animal, given a homoeopathic remedy, couldn’t possibly get better because it believed it would, yet they do get better!

Dosage of Homeopathic remedies

The dosage of homoeopathic remedies relates to severity of condition, not bodyweight. In acute conditions dosage may be every 10-15 mins where as in chronic (long standing) cases maybe once monthly would suffice.

Note – you should always stop the tablets as soon as an improvement occurs otherwise the condition will revert. I have personally turned my male dog into a sex-crazed beast by giving him a remedy (to lower his sex drive) at a time when he was not displaying any symptoms. I also gave my other dog back pain by continuing with a remedy for degenerative disc disease after her symptoms had subsided.

Homoeopathy is holistic in that it takes into account the classic symptoms of the disease and the various characteristics the animal displays. Therefore 2 animals suffering from the same problem may require different remedies.

It works best if absorbed through the membranes of the mouth. Powder, granules or crushed tablets sprinkled anywhere in the mouth is the ideal way to administer to animals.

Homoeopathic remedies are susceptible to light and handling and incorrect storage or inappropriate handling can diminish their effectiveness.

Commonly used Homeopathic remedies

Arnica – for bruising and inflammation following injury, trauma or excessive exercise.

Bryonia – for arthritis and rheumatism which is worse for movement.

Gelsemium – for anxiety, nervousness and fear, particularly of loud noises like fireworks.

Rhus Tox – for arthritis and joint stiffness which improves with movement.

Ruta Grav –for limiting inflammation, general back pain, disc problems, tendon and ligament injuries.

Silicea – for chronic, deep-seated infections in bone and connective tissue.

Sulphur – mainly used in the treatment of skin conditions.

Before selecting a remedy a veterinary diagnosis is required and the symptoms and characteristics of the animal have to be taken into account in order to select the correct treatment. For example, skin complaints can produce a variety of symptoms – dry, itchy, sore, or weepy, so a remedy that works for one may not work for another.

Homoeopathy has been shown to be useful in the treatment of many illnesses and ailments as well as behavioural problems.