Homeopathy for Dogs
This article on homeopathy for dogs is an extension of our article on
which introduced the concept of homeopathy, where it fits under the umbrella of
holistic healing for dogs,
and the differences between homeopathy and traditional (allopathic) medicine.
To briefly recap, traditional medicine works by the “law of opposites” to treat symptoms. This means that a drug that produces the opposite effect of the symptom being displayed is given, thereby reducing or removing the symptom. However, for the most part traditional medicine does not cure the disease. If you take away the drug, the symptom returns.
In contrast, homeopathy for dogs and other species works via the “law of similars”. Homeopathic remedies treat the patient’s energy picture with a similar energy picture, triggering the body’s natural self-healing mechanism. This enables the body to push out the disease, actually ridding it from the body and curing the patient. Homeopathy is a sub-set of holistic medicine, yet it is in and of itself a complete way to treat
and can be used for any condition that conventional medicine can treat.
Now, let’s delve into a bit more specifics on homeopathy for dogs.
First, it’s important to note that homeopathic remedies vary widely in potency. Remedies for a variety of ailments are available in up to a 30C potency at many health food stores (consider this the “over-the-counter” dose). But remedies stronger than 30C should only be given under the direction of a homeopath, since the potency can become too strong and potentially cause harm.
Also, pet parents who want to explore homeopathy for dogs need to understand that the process requires patience, since determining the perfect remedy involves some trial and error.
Homeopathic remedies are very specific based on the patient’s symptoms. The remedies take into account the patient’s state of mind and emotional well-being as well as their physical symptoms. Obviously, our pooches can’t describe their physical symptoms to their doctor, let alone whether they are feeling a bit of malaise, nervousness or depression! So, don’t be surprised if your homeopathic vet asks you some questions about your dog that might seem strange to you. It’s all in an effort to delve into their canine patient’s psyche!
How to Know if a Homeopathic Remedy is Working
There are very specific ways that veterinarians determine if homeopathy for dogs (and other species) is working. The factors they look at are:
- The dog feels better.
This would be determined by his general state of well-being, such as his energy level and appetite. Even if the symptom is still there but his state of well-being is improved, this is a signal that the remedy is taking affect. On the other hand, it would not be desirable to give a remedy that gets rid of the symptom but that produces a lethargic, depressed pooch.
- The “Law of Cure”
There are two basic components to the “Law of Cure”, which apply to both homeopathy for dogs as well as for all other animals and humans. These are:
The body heals from top to bottom.
If your dog is given a homeopathic remedy for an itch on the head and he then becomes itchy on his tail, the remedy is considered to be working as long as the dog’s general state of well-being is good. However, if the itch starts at the feet and moves to the head, it would be considered that the wrong remedy was given.
The body heals from the inside to the outside.
In homeopathy, the symptoms that are deepest within the body get better first as the disease is being discharged to the outside. This causes the outside symptoms to get better last. For example, an enlarged liver will get smaller, but symptoms of increased itching on the skin will appear. As long as the animal is happy and feeling good, this is a sign that the remedy is working.
- Symptoms disappear in the reverse order in which they appeared.
According to homeopathy, if a remedy is working then the last symptom to appear should be the first one to go away. Again, the patient’s general well-being is always taken into account as well.
Homeopathy classifies a patient’s response to a remedy in one of three ways. The type of response enables the veterinarian to determine whether or not the remedy is working, or whether they need to try a new and different remedy.
The Three Homeopathic Responses:
According to the considerations above, the veterinarian determines that the remedy is working since it appears to be curing the animal. The dog’s symptoms are disappearing and he is in a state of general well-being. This, of course, is the best response.
This is not an ideal response, since it means the patient is not really being cured. The goal with homeopathy in dogs and other species is for the patient to be able to go longer and longer between doses of a remedy. However, there are times when a palliative response is the best that the body can do, so it can be acceptable.
With a palliative response, the animal gets better temporarily, but he is not cured. When the remedy wears off, the symptoms return, requiring that more doses be given. However, each time another dose of the remedy is given, its effect lasts for less and less time, requiring it to be administered more frequently.
With suppression, the disease moves deeper within the body. For example, a rash might disappear, but worse symptoms arise. This, obviously, is not a desirable response. Suppression doesn’t happen often in homeopathy for dogs (and other animals) but it can happen, so veterinarians are always watching out for it.
With some patience to find the appropriate remedy, homeopathy in dogs works. And the best part is that it works by strengthening the body’s immune response and enabling it to completely discharge the imbalance that was causing the disease. This is unlike traditional medicine, which so often just produces a palliative effect when treating chronic illness, by covering up the symptoms but never producing a cure.
If you would like to explore more about homeopathy in dogs for your pooch, you can contact the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy, which is the governing body of veterinary homeopaths. Their Web site offers an advanced member referral search, where you can find a veterinary homeopath in your area.
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