More than 200 years ago, Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor, discovered homeopathy. This system of medicine uses simple, single ingredients that can elicit a potent healing response in humans and animals. Research in this field continues today as more and more people recognize the value of this form of medicine.
One of the many benefits of homeopathy is the ability to be hands-off. Patients that cannot handle the stress of traveling to a veterinary hospital and being handled by people they do not know often flourish with this type of treatment. In addition to a physical exam we rely on the owners’ observation of their pet in their natural environment to help pick an appropriate remedy. We will ask you about your general observations concerning your pet’s physical state. In homeopathy, the animal’s likes, dislikes and worries are key to finding the correct remedy.
Homeopathy may be used to treat both acute and chronic disease. For an acute disease, such as an injury, snakebite, insect sting, or even abscess, homeopathy can be very effective in relieving pain and damage caused by the inciting incident, and help the overall healing. Common injuries treated with homeopathy in our practice include cruciate ligament rupture or strain, neck or back injury, fractures, bruising, lacerations, and even puncture wounds. Acute cases are often treated once and healing follows with no need for further treatment.
For homeopathic treatment of a chronic or long term health problems to be effective, a pet owner must commit to sticking with the medicine and modality and to providing the veterinarian with very specific details of the animal’s symptoms before and after the remedy is given. In a chronic case, the patient is followed closely with frequent updates to determine the next step and dosing of the remedy as the patient improves. Seeing your pet first-hand is just as valuable as your observations in a relaxed, unaltered state. Daily logs recording behavior and physical changes are often helpful after administering a remedy. These logs may be as simple as one or two lines updating the animal’s progress. They help us stay informed of what is happening with your pet. The tides can change quickly when using a remedy and your daily logs help us keep track of improvement. We ask that you call, text, or send emails to stay in direct contact during homeopathic treatment.
One of the most striking cases occurred when my own dog, Sugar returned from a walk in the woods with my children. She had started to limp on the way back, and by the time she reached the house she could not walk. Exam revealed two puncture wounds with significant bruising and swelling of her left front limb. Given the amount of inflammation and bruising, this was likely a snakebite. By the time we reached the exam room, she was collapsed with a fever of 103.9. We started an intravenous fluids and began to give crotalis horridus 6c by mouth, a few drops every 10-15 minutes. Within 2 hours the swelling of the left front limb was significantly reduced. Within 24 hours the bruising had dissipated and she was walking normally. Snake bites are often very difficult to treat, with persistent swelling, bruising, and tissue destruction, that often takes weeks to heal. Since this experience, we carry crotalis horridis in our office to be dispensed to clients who keep it on hand for just such an emergency.
Ramona is a long haired dachshund who presented to our clinic several times for chronic skin disease, hair loss and itching. We decided to treat with homeopathy as the western medicine option of chronic administration of steroids and antibiotics did not seem to be a good idea in this young dog. Ramona’s homeopathic remedy which helped her was Rhus tox. This remedy was first prescribed in November 2016. This remedy was given several times over the next year as her skin changed and improved. She is no longer on remedy and her skin looks great!
Nitro is a bull terrier born in November of 2017. He moved to his new home at 8 weeks of age. Nitro has been fed a complete raw diet since his adoption. He lives with one other bull terrier, Mack and his human family. Since his adoption the new owner noted that Nitro had a difficult time learning and understanding what was being asked of him. He was very active and destructive in and outside of the house. He did not interact with the other dog and became so destructive and even aggressive to his people and to Mack so that Mack would avoid him. Nitro also presented with itchy skin which would turn red along his ventral abdomen and front legs. He developed hives around his neck. His ears would also itch with a mild yellow discharge.
Nitro’s homeopathic remedy which helped him the most was Belladonna. In homeopathy we often start at a low potency. For this case, we started with Belladonna 30 c. This was given May 24, 2018. This potency helped the itching and the behavior settled for about one week. At his recheck June 22, 2018 we gave Belladonna 200c. Over the next few weeks, his behavior improved. His itchy skin continued and was treated with an essential oil ointment. He and Mack were finally hanging out together. See photo taken July 12, 2018. It is not uncommon to have a worsening of external symptoms such as itchy skin when the internal symptoms are improving. This is a good indication from a homeopathic perspective that his remedy is correct and he is improving from the inside.
He was given one more dose of Belladonna on September 24, 2018. This dose was given during a time period that there was construction being done on the house, and he was showing more aggression, urine marking in the house, and had become more aggressive to the owner. Interestingly at this time his skin was not red and itchy. It is common to notice that when the emotional symptoms of a patient are worsening, that the symptoms presenting on the outside of the patient are quiet. In response to these changes, we decided to give one more dose of Belladonna, this time giving it in a 1M potency. He improved after this potency over the next two months, and is once again hanging with Mack and is much less aggressive to him and his owners. Both his skin and emotional symptoms have improved since this potency was given indicating that we likely are very close to complete cure in this patient.
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