What is Homeopathy?
The practice of homeopathy has been around for over two centuries and is the second most utilized form of complementary and alternative medicine in the world. It was developed by a German Physician named Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, based on the principle of: “like cures like’”. In other words, homeopathic prescriptions are chosen for effects that best match the patient’s specific symptoms, which include mental, emotional and physical symptoms. This is different from conventional medicine, which views disease symptoms as a part of the illness, and aims to suppress or abolish the symptoms. In contrast, homeopathy sees symptoms as the body’s reaction against an illness in the attempt to overcome it, and therefore seeks to stimulate the body’s natural responses rather than to suppress them.
Homeopathic medicines, or remedies, are derived from plant, animal or mineral substances. These substances are processed through multiple dilutions, to result in a very small concentration of the original element. This extreme dilution process actually enhances the curative properties of the medicines while the toxic side effects are lost. In fact, the aim of homeopathic treatment is to find the smallest effective dose to stimulate a healing response in the body without the risk of side effects. Homeopathic remedies are chosen with the goal of stimulating the entire body to heal itself, not to merely suppress symptoms.
Is homeopathy safe and effective for the treatment of animals?
Homeopathy is safe, effective and inexpensive. It has been widely used in dogs, cats, horses, farm animals and exotic species. Homeopathic remedies are prepared according to modern standards of quality, from pure, natural sources. They are extremely safe, do not interact or interfere with other medications (conventional or herbal), and do not cause any harm to the liver, kidneys or other organs in the body.
How are homeopathic medicines administered?
Most often, remedies are given as an oral form of medication that are placed in the mouth to be absorbed by the oral mucous membranes; i.e. the gums, tongue, or inside of the cheek. In other words, these medicines are not intended to be “swallowed”, and actually work better if allowed to absorb from the oral tissues rather than being ingested. Therefore, remedies should be given separately from food in order to get the fullest effect. A time frame of at least 5 -10 minutes away from meals should be adequate. With pets, it is typically easiest to give a liquid form of medication (with only a few drops per dose) but tablets or pellets are also an option. At the IVC, we make our liquid remedies with purified spring water (not with alcohol which is normally used for a preservative). This means the medicines have essentially no flavor, so they are generally well accepted by dogs and cats. However, with no preservative, it is important to keep these bottles of medication in the refrigerator in order to keep their efficacy for a maximum of 3 months.