Homeopathic Medicine for Healthy Cats and Dogs

Many of us consider our pets to be family members, right?  When considering healthy choices and alternatives in an attempt to live a healthier life, we need to also extend these considerations toward our four-legged friends. A lot of the drugs commonly prescribed to humans are also used in veterinary clinics. If choosing alternatives to drugs for your family’s health has become common practice for you, then consider it for your pets as well.

Homeopathy is an alternative system of medicine based on the discovery by Samuel Hahnemann that natural substances are capable of curing the same symptoms that they can cause.  By studying the symptoms that develop when a healthy person takes a remedy, homeopaths can determine which symptoms the remedy is capable of curing.  This is called the Law of Similars or “like cures like”. Homeopathy uses highly diluted doses of substances found in nature which act to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanism towards a return to health.  These remedies are prepared from animal, vegetable or mineral substances and are processed in modern labs by a process of serial dilution (with water and alcohol) and succussion (repeated shaking or potentization) from ten times to millions of times. The remedies come in pill or liquid form and are usually administered orally. By the nature of their preparation, there are no unwanted side effects to the medications.  Homeopathy is a safe, gentle and non-toxic system of medicine that can be used on infants, geriatrics, and during pregnancy.

A simple example of the homeopathic principle can be seen with the common onion.  Slicing an onion can cause symptoms of burning and watery eyes, as well as sneezing and a runny nose.  Many hayfever sufferers with symptoms of burning, watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose have found dramatic relief after taking homeopathic allium cepa (the remedy made from red onion).  Thus, the substance that can cause symptoms can, as a remedy, also cure them.

When considering using homeopathy for pets it is important to identify the symptoms – this will help you and/or the homeopathic practitioner to create a symptom picture (totality of all symptoms presented), which can then be correlated to a remedy picture (symptoms represented in the remedy).  Consider the most obvious symptoms (pain, soreness, aggression, etc.), the location and characteristic (sudden or gradual, constant or intermittent) of the complaint, when is and what makes the complaint better or worse, the psychological symptoms (anger, fear, restless), and the cause of the complaint (if known).  Also, consider the stool, urine, appetite, thirst, demeanor and odours of the pet.

HOMEOPATHICS COMMONLY USED FOR PETS

Some homeopathic remedies most commonly used for acute pet complaints, along with the symptoms that signal their appropriate use, are as follows:

  • Arnica: The most important first aid remedy for ALL injuries – use first for all sudden intense pain complaints.

Bites, cuts & lacerations: 

  • Belladonna: Symptoms – Hot to touch, red wound. Dilated pupils, restless, frantic.
  • Echinacea: Symptoms – Infection developed after bite (12-48 hours after)
  • Hypericum:  Use for nerve dense areas – toes, tongue, tail and nails.
  • Lachesis: Symptoms – Wound is black, odourous and infected.  Occurs from an aggressive fight.

Broken bones & arthritis:

  • Rhus-Tox: Symptoms – Worse for initial movement, better after continued motion.  Restless.
  • Symphytum: Helps heal fracture. Only give after bone has been properly set.

Allergic reactions:

  • Apis:  Symptoms – Swelling, respiratory difficulty.  Restless.  Better for cool compress.
  • Arsenicum:  Symptoms – Restless and weak.  Skin itches intensely.  Breathing may be impaired.
  • Urtica urens:  Symptoms – Small, red blotches.  Flea bites, burns, scalds.

Digestive disorders:

  • Arg-Nit:  Symptoms – Chronic bloating with painful abdomen.  Craves sugars. Fearful. Apprehension with gas and diarrhea.
  • Belladonna:  Symptoms – Sudden onset with heat and redness. Restless and agitated.  Worse lying down; remains standing.
  • Carbo-Veg:   Symptoms – Poor digestion with much bloating and gas.  Weak and cold.  Strong desire for fresh air.
  • Nux Vomica:  Symptoms – Several hours after eating leads to bloating.  Over-eating. Indulgent. Ineffective vomiting.  Chilly and irritable.

Emotions:

  • Aconite: Gripping fear; originated from an emotionally traumatic event. Anxious and restless. Fear of thunderstorms, flying and travelling. Worse from touch. Contracted eye pupils.
  • Calc-Carb:  Fearful of new situations, people and change.  Slower moving animals that prefer to stay inside.
  • Arg-Nit:  Anticipatory anxiety. Cannot face new challenges.  Anxiety causes diarrhea.
  • Belladonna:  Aggressive suddenly, dilated pupils and glassy eyes.  Red hot ears or nose.  Tears at bedding and furniture.
  • Hyos: Aggressive, hypersexual and jealous.  Excessive sniffing.  Fear of water.
  • Lachesis:  Aggressive, jealous, suspicious.  Vicious attack due to perceived threat.
  • Nux Vomica:  Irritable and snappish especially when ill.
  • Ignatia:  Loss of companion, divorce, child leaves home.
  • Nat-Mur:  Long-standing unresolved grief.  Craves salty foods.

Urinary System:

  • Cystitis
  • Aconite:  Use at first sign.  Restlessness and fearful.
  • Cantharis:  Frequent straining with much pain.  Involuntary urination.  Urine may contain blood.
  • Sarsparilla:  Worse at end of urination.  Intense pain – will cry out after urination.
  • Urtica urens:  Frequent urging but little passes.  Little rest due to constant urging.
  • Incontinence
  • Causticum:  Muscle weakness, fatigue. Older weaker animals.  Chilly.
  • Hypericum:  Use if incontinence is from injury.

Respiratory System:

  • Aconite:  Brought on after a cold wind.  Thirst for cold water.  Fearful and anxious.
  • Ant-T:  Copious mucous with loose and rattling cough.  Difficult to expel mucus.  Weak, drowsy and trembling.  Vomit may follow coughing fits.
  • Drosera:  Kennel cough.  Violent, deep, spasmodic, hoarse coughing spells.
  • Ipecac:  Coughing with nausea and vomiting.  Violent wheezing.

HOMEOPATHIC DOSAGES FOR PETS

Homeopathy follows a minimum dose rule: when selecting a remedy the potency and frequency of dose must be considered.  Most acute complaints with pets can be addressed with the 6c-30c potency. Above is a suggested dosing schedule based upon potency and intensity of complaint.

The remedies listed previously are only a few of the many possible choices although these are some of the most commonly prescribed. These remedies can often be found at most health food stores. Homeopathy can offer a cure to these acute problems if used in the correct manner.

Some excellent references for this method of treatment are Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Richard Pitcairn and Homeopathic First Aid for Animals by Kaetheryn Walker. More intense and chronic complaints often require more specific and careful prescribing in order to select the appropriate remedy and therefore should be handled by a trained classical homeopathic practitioner with a knowledge of homeopathy for pets.

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