An extension of alternative medicine, homeopathy for pets is a therapy that is increasing in popularity. Developed in the 1790’s by German physician, Samuel Hahnemann, homeopathy is based on the conclusion that every living organism possesses the ability to self-heal, and that illness develops as a result of an imbalance or blockage within the system. Healing is found by examining the patient as a whole, and then stimulating their own natural restorative response.
What Are Homeopathic Remedies and What Are They Used for?
Basically, whatever ailment your dog has, there is a homeopathic remedy for it. In fact, there are about 2,000 homeopathic remedies available today. Homeopathic medicine is made from very small quantities of elements extracted from plants, animals or minerals. These remedies are extremely diluted, and contain no chemicals or drugs.
Whether your dog has a virus, or some type of bacterial infection, there is a homeopathic remedy available to address the problem.
What Does Homeopathy for Pets Involve?
Homeopaths believe that “like cures like.” Here is an example of how this uncommon approach would work. Let’s say your dog is having diarrhea. Your homeopathic practitioner would then prescribe a tincture that contains a minute amount of plant, animal or mineral material that is known to cause diarrhea. In turn, the given “remedy” would replace the sickness, and the dog’s natural healing processes would take over.
What to Expect When Visiting a Homeopathic Veterinarian
Upon visiting a homeopathic vet, a physical examination of your pet will ensue, along with a slew of questions asked. This is because homeopathy is a very individualized practice. For example, two animals that are given identical diagnoses may actually exhibit two different sets of symptoms. In turn, they each may be prescribed completely different homeopathic prescriptions.
Many considerations are taken into account, such as identifying the time during the day when the symptoms occur, and what overall behavior your pet is exhibiting, for example. After carefully considering all aspects of the situation, your homeopath will make a decision on which symptom needs to be taken care of first. Each symptom is addressed individually, healing each one before moving on to the next.
Giving Your Pet Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathic remedies should be given to your pet at least one hour before or after they have eaten, as giving the remedy with the food can interfere with their effectiveness. The remedy is to be placed directly on the back of your pet’s tongue. Some remedies are vials that you can just administer the remedy with a dropper, while others are tiny pills.
During the time that your pet is being treated, it is important to not give him or her any other medications, unless your homeopathic veterinarian has approved them, as they may interfere with the remedy. It is also important to note that the practice of homeopathy does not promote vaccinations, and therefore will not vaccinate your pet during the time they are receiving treatment.
What to Expect
According to the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy, it is not uncommon for an initial, temporary worsening of symptoms to occur. They advise that this “initial aggravation” should be seen as a good sign that the body is responding to the remedy. They advise that this aggravation will quickly subside, and your pet should shortly start to feel better as a whole almost immediately after.
One possibility is that your pet could start to feel dramatically better within just hours or days. Another is that it could take weeks or months, depending on how long your pet has been ill. The final possibility is that your pet’s condition has not improved enough and he or she may require a different remedy or potency of the remedy currently being taken.
Is Homeopathy for Pets Safe?
Prior to giving your dog any homeopathic medicine, you should always consult a licensed veterinarian. Particularly if your dog has a critical illness, the health of your dog should be monitored carefully, and a follow-up appointment should take place. This is because if an animal is given the wrong treatment, or given too much of the right one, the animal’s condition may actually worsen.
Keep the following in mind. Even the biggest proponents of homeopathy agree that it has its limitations, as it depends on the natural healing properties of the body. If your pet’s body has already become damaged by disease or some type of accident, it isn’t likely that homeopathy will work for them.