What do you do if a member of your family is diagnosed with an incurable illness? What if they are suffering from a chronic disease or a recurrent nagging illness and the conventional medicines don’t seem to be helping much?
Most of you would not stop at one doctor’s opinion and would start exploring all kinds of alternative therapies instead, to save your loved one from pain and discomfort. This scenario of ‘relative desperation’ is how most people and even doctors find alternative medicine. It gives doctors and patients an entirely new arsenal with which to treat many diseases, be it for us humans or for our animal family members.
An old patient of mine was tired of giving her dog Dodo a whole bunch of medicines daily because the poor dog was a chronic case of ulcerative colitis. He would pass frequent loose stools with loads of mucus and blood. He was forever on antibiotics. Helping staff would run away often from her house because they had to clean up the dog mess ever so frequently. In addition, he was on anti-epileptics, as the least bit of excitement would give him a fit. Though she came for her regular supply of medicine for lichen planus which was subsiding fast and we could manage to reduce her dose of steroids too; she looked stressed out and enquired, “Do you treat dogs?” I was taken in by surprise because I didn’t at that point in time. So I refused.
She went on persistently. “But you can…you know, they are just like us. Please treat him. I have improved with your medicines and I am sure he will too.”
I said, “I can just try if you give me the symptoms…” That’s how I got my first animal patient.
Dodo has been under my treatment since then. His ulcerative colitis much under control and his general health overall improved. Though he’s still on medication for convulsions, he doesn’t get them that often now. The frequency has gone down from once a week to maybe once in a few months, that too to a very milder form.
Almost any problem that can be treated by conventional medicine can be treated by homoeopathy. Animal homeopathy is growing in size and popularity as society’s need and interest in alternative medicine for pets has grown. Most veterinarians are led to homoeopathy in sheer frustration with the chronic and recurring nature of so many of the problems we see in our animal patients. There are over 3,000 homeopathic remedies available and they can address a wide range of chronic and acute conditions. For any of the ailments that pets suffer; from viruses to bacterial infections, respiratory disease to kidney dysfunction, there’s a homoeopathic remedy. Also, homoeopathy can rapidly and gently treat a diverse array of acute conditions from traumatic injuries to infections and poisonings. The goal of homoeopathic veterinary is not merely to treat the disease but to prevent its recurrence, i.e. to cure. Fifty percent of veterinary doctors in the UK use Homoeopathy.
Homoeopathy heals ‘holistically’ i.e. it takes into account the ‘whole animal’ and the ‘whole situation’ in treating the disease. In fact, it aims to “treat the animal, and not just the disease“.
My pet dog Junior suffers from ‘Tick fever’ and gets an acute exacerbation every change of season (Tick Season). He starts with refusing to eat, followed by vomiting and then high fever. We have no option other than putting him on drip and injections of strong antibiotics. Poor guy gets so run down by a single attack that he takes a few months to get back to his normal healthy self. Since last one year, he is on homoeopathy and we catch him right at the onset of the illness. Of course, we take care of means to avoid ‘Ticks’ by giving him anti-tick baths, putting an anti-tick collar on him and using an anti-tick spray but he is spared of going through the stress of the illness.
Dogs with chronic recurrent ear infections often receive repeated prescriptions for ear salves containing steroids and antibiotics, but these poor dogs are rarely permanently cured. Experts now recognize that many ear infections are caused by underlying allergies as in humans, which prompt the homoeopathic veterinarian to recommend diet changes, nutritional supplements, and appropriate homoeopathic remedies. Pets with chronic skin diseases generally respond favorably to a simple change in diet, yet many go through life living from one steroid pill to the next unnecessarily. Homoeopathic medicines often give a pet with chronic or incurable diseases a new chance at health.
Homoeopathy is founded on the belief that every being (pet as well as human) has a self-healing response, and that health problems develop when this response is hindered or imbalanced. It tries to stimulate the body’s own healing responses by causing symptoms similar to the ones the sick animal is already showing. For instance, an animal who has diarrhea would be treated with a homoeopathic medicine (derived from – a plant, mineral, or animal substance) that causes diarrhea. The drug-induced illness produced artificially overpowers and replaces the natural illness, causing a cure by allowing the animal’s own healing powers to overcome the condition. Thus “like cures like.”
A pilot study published by the British Homoeopathic Association in 2007 found that the conditions most commonly seen by homoeopathic vets are arthritis, atopic dermatitis, ear infections, asthma, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, epilepsy, distemper, emotional fear, aggression, lameness, hyperthyroid and kidney failure.
One of the wonderful advantages of using Homoeopathic Medicines with pets is that it is very easy to give. There’s no need to force pills down their throats or squirt nasty-tasting liquids in their mouths. In fact, giving an ‘animal family member’ his remedy can be part of a quite relaxing healing time for both of you.
Skeptics often use the argument that homoeopathic treatment works because it is all in the mind of the patient. It’s just a ‘placebo effect’. It would be hard to apply this argument to your pet cat or dog now!