While homeopathy’s benefits have been well-touted for human patients, its applications in the veterinary world are not heavily discussed.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMA), homeopathy is becoming a more and more prevalent treatment option for sick pets. This medical practice, which is based on the principal of “like cures like,” uses substances that are known to cause specific symptoms in healthy patients to treat those same symptoms in unhealthy individuals. It harnesses the body’s own healing powers, treating underlying conditions without causing harmful side effects.
Most veterinary advocates of homeopathy use it on young animals.
“[Younger pets] haven’t had a chance to be messed up too much by years of drugs—heartworm prevention, overvaccination, and so forth,” says Dr. Monique Maniet, a semiretired small animal practitioner. “Their vital force is much stronger, so their response to homeopathy is much more rapid. When you have a dog that is much older and on medication, it’s a much slower response, and people don’t have the patience for that.”
In addition to this, veterinary homeopaths often avoid vaccinations for animals—except for rabies. Rather, they recommend the use of “nosodes,” or homeopathic products made from diseased tissue.
Regardless, says Dr. Maniet, all treatment options are up to the pet owner, based on their own ownership practices.
“We have to be careful, for our license. This is not a method that is recognized by mainstream veterinarians, so we do have to be careful about what we’re doing and ensuring that our clients want it,” she adds. “If I don’t think homeopathy will work [in a certain case], I won’t try it. I have other tools in my bag.”
If you feel that homeopathic medicine may be a good choice for your pet, consult with your vet. As with humans, a combination of natural, allopathic, and homeopathic treatment remedies could be the best bet.