Homoeopathy was developed almost 200 years ago, by the patient and detailed observation of symptoms induced by various substances when administered to volunteers! I love the fact that it is a system of medicine that was first tested on people, which can now be safely used on animals for healing. The symptoms, when seen in a sick animal, are treated by substances which, in material dose, may cause these same symptoms in a healthy individual. They are however safely prepared as diluted homoeopathic remedies. This is the fundamental principle of Homoeopathy… “Similia similibus curentor” or “like cures like”.
Homoeopathy is a true holistic approach, which means that all features of the individual animal are examined, both in sickness and when previously healthy, and that all previous illnesses and events are considered. This can require unusual questions, which may not appear relevant at the time of illness, but may lead to the correct selection of remedy. Modern methods of diagnosis and testing are also used and the net effect is to compile a detailed picture of the whole animal. A remedy is then selected to fit this picture – and not just the symptoms shown at first. The detail needed means that a long consultation is required, often taking up to an hour. In long standing illnesses, further work may be required by the Veterinary Surgeon to fully evaluate the case before the correct remedy can be prescribed.
Homoeopathy regards external signs of disease (what we consider symptoms) as signs of the animal’s response to an infection or traumatic insult to the immune system. This can be likened to a jumbled index, which the clinician has to interpret. The remedies stimulate the immune response to focus on the disease signs, thus accelerating and organising the process of cure.
What to expect?
Occasionally, the patient can suffer a “getting worse to get better” response if the remedy imparts too much energy, but more often a slow gradual cure is affected. The longer a disease has existed, the longer it takes to complete the cure and often owners of pets will comment that the condition is “going in reverse”, where older symptoms become apparent. This has been likened to “peeling off the layers of a rotten onion” to reach the healthy core. In the treatment of long-standing illness, the results are not necessarily instantaneous. In very acute onset cases however, cure may be achieved in a matter of hours – faster than any antibiotic.
Homoeopathy is useful in the treatment of almost all illnesses, except where the animal is already on conventional immune suppressive treatment, where the response to treatment may be variable. It is worth remembering that medicine can only do so much once illness has occurred – a good diet goes a long way to help in the prevention of disease!