Homeopathy To The Rescue

By Teresa Garden, DVM

Homeopathy is a wondrous form of medicine founded in the 18th century by German physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. It is sometimes referred to as “the science of medicine that cures”. Homeopathic medicine is based on the principle of “like cures like”. This is a simple elegant form of medicine that is gentle, safe, and very effective when the correct remedy is given to the patient. Homeopathy is practiced by highly trained professionals but can also be used successfully by lay people-especially for emergencies and acute illnesses.

Homeopathic remedies (medicines) are derived from natural substances whose origins are minerals, plants, or animals. The medicinal substances are diluted and potentized to the point whereby only the “essence” of the medicine is left. Therefore, the remedies work with the energy of the body to re-tune the “vital force” of the patient. For emergencies and acute illnesses it is practical to use remedies in the 12C or 30C potency range. The medicines are in the form of small pellets the size of a BB or sugar crystals. They taste slightly sweet and can be poured directly into the mouth (where they stick and melt) or taken with food or water. The dosage for 12C remedies is 2-3 BB-sized pellets and for 30C remedies about 10-15 small crystals. The dosage is the same regardless of species of animal or size. The remedies may be given every 5-15 minutes for a total of 3 doses for emergencies/injuries.

If you keep just one homeopathic remedy in your home then make sure it is Arnica montana. This remedy, made from the Mountain Daisy plant, is the remedy to be thought of first with injuries. Its applications are many and varied: any soft tissue injury, head injury, eye injury, bone fractures (for pain and shock), and small cuts and tears to skin. Arnica is the #1 first-aid remedy for any blunt trauma. At Animal Health & Healing we give Arnica to our patients after surgery since it reduces pain, bleeding, and infection and promotes healing.

There are additional remedies you may wish to include in your homeopathic emergency kit. Calendula, derived from the Marigold plant, is a great remedy to employ if large pieces of skin are torn such as degloving wounds that may occur if your pet has been hit by a car. Calendula can be used for deep lacerations and compound fractures as well. For pets exhibiting seizures or convulsions or heat stroke Belladonna is a good choice first aid remedy to give. If your dog or cat has a puncture wound from a needle, thorn, claw, or a knife cut then Hypericum is the remedy to try. Hypericum is made from the St. John’s Wort plant. Just like the herb, it can have calming properties on the nerves. Therefore, it is a great remedy to employ for spinal injuries, tail injuries, and injuries to toes and nails. Many dogs with short legs and long backs suffer from intervertebral disc disease. For mild flare ups Hypericum will lessen the back pain. If your dog suddenly becomes paralyzed in the rear limbs from disc disease then give the remedy Nux vomica immediately.

If your cat has just walked across a hot stove and now has painful burns on her foot pads then Cantharis is the remedy to try. In the spring, summer and fall many of our dogs will be stung by flying insects-usually around the mouth or muzzle but sometimes on the feet. The allergic reaction will present as a sudden swelling usually around the face/muzzle. For a bee sting give Ledum; for a wasp or hornet sting give Apis. Apis can also help relieve itching from flea bites in some pets. Bites from an angry cat or poisonous snake should be treated with Lachesis. This remedy is derived from the Bushmaster snake. Lyssinum (saliva from rabid dog) is a good first choice remedy to treat dog bites. If your pet has a wound that is bleeding profusely then give Arnica, Phosphorous, or Lachesis after applying a bandage. Always seek further treatment and advise from your veterinarian if your pet has been injured in any way.

Homeopathic remedies may be purchased individually in 1 dram bottles at local health stores such as Whole Foods, The Natural Way Health and Vitamin Center, and New Dawn Natural Foods. An emergency kit containing _ dram vials of 50 different homeopathic remedies in 30C potency may be purchased through Natural Health Supply, Santa Fe, New Mexico 1-888-689-1608. There are precautions that must be taken for storing remedies since they work energetically. Keep the container well sealed. Store remedies in a dark, dry place at room temperature away from sunlight and strong odors. Keep them away from medicine cabinets, mothballs, smoke, perfume, and magnetic fields. Do not refrigerate and do not leave them in a hot place. If these precautions are not followed, it is possible remedies may become inactivated. When precautions are properly adhered to, remedies will retain their potency for several years. For further reading on the use of homeopathy in pets please consider Richard Pitcairn’s Natural Health for Dogs and Cats and Don Hamilton’s Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs.

Dr. Teresa Garden is chief veterinarian/owner of Animal Health & Healing, a full-service holistic and conventional veterinary practice in the Maplewood/Richmond Heights area. AnimalHealthandHealing.com; phone: 314-781-1738.