Homeopathy for Pets
See in Dogs Naturally Magazine By Deva Khalsa VMD and additional info from the Honest Kitchen
Homeopathy is fun to use and the fact that it works so very well with so many medical problems makes it all the more rewarding! So what exactly is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a form of ‘energy medicine’ that uses remedies made from highly diluted natural compounds. Most of the commonly used remedies are inexpensive and easy to find. They can be found at most health food markets, some human pharmacies, online at a multitude of sites and even at K-Mart. I suggest you compile a kit of common remedies to have ready and waiting when minor emergencies occur because there’s often not the time to run to the store and this stuff always seem to happen late at night or on a major holiday!
Homeopathy has particular rules associated with using it and this can be confusing and put off prospective students. But for many simple and common accidents and illnesses, it can be pretty simple to use. The first thing to do is to assemble a homeopathic kit to have at home and then buy a book or two about homeopathy. Homeopathic remedies number in the thousands and are made from anything and everything. But you only need to learn some of the rules of homeopathy and have about a dozen remedies to be off and running.
Here is the straight goods on how to work with homeopathic remedies.
- Homeopathic remedies need to melt on the gums so they should not be hidden in a treat or in food. Our dogs have a built in pouch on the side of their mouth and the remedies can go right in there.
- Try not to handle the remedies but drop them straight from the bottle into your dog’s cheek.
- Remedies come in tiny white pellet or liquid form. Either form can be placed directly into your dog’s cheek.
- It’s not important if you give one drop of the remedy or five or one homeopathic pellet or three because homeopathy is an energy medicine and there is typically none of the physical substance left in the remedy. One tiny white pellet could treat an elephant and 10 pellets could treat a mouse. That’s a hard one to digest, if you’ll excuse my pun, but people are always worried about how much to give and how often to give. The amount is no big deal and you give it until they get better. If it’s not working at all, you stop giving the remedy. We’re all just too used to using antibiotics that have to be calculated to the weight of the dog and have a certain time they need to be given. This is simply not the case with homeopathy.
- Because homeopathy is an energy medicine the remedies should not be stored next to heavy electromagnetic appliances such as televisions and computers or left in the bright hot sun for a long time.
WHAT DOSE SHOULD I GIVE ?
Unlike drugs, Homeopathy does not work by body weight (e.g., give 500 mg per 25 pounds of body weight). With Homeopathy, the original physical substance is sequentially diluted and this is why you have the funny numbers after the name of the remedy. Arnica 6x does not mean that you have to give it six times! It means that the remedy has been diluted six times. To confound you even more, the more dilute the remedy the more powerful it is, so very highly diluted remedies are usually only available to doctors. The potencies most commonly available to you are 6x and 30x (diluted 1/10 either 6 or 30 times) and 6c and 30c ( diluted 1/100 either 6 or 30 times).
WHAT MAKES IT BETTER AND WHAT MAKES IT WORSE
Homeopathic remedies are chosen in accordance with how the patient experiences his illness. For instance, one person who has a cold may want everyone in the house at attendance and worrying about him while another wants to be left alone to lie quietly in the dark. Each of these individuals would need a different remedy based on the individual picture they present. Let’s say your dog has arthritis and stiffness. Look that up in a Homeopathy text book and you’ll be given a choice of remedies. The specific way the problem presents in your dog will determine the remedy you choose.
For example, look at arthritic stiffness in dogs. Your choice of remedy might depend on whether your dog is worse or better when he first gets up after resting. If he’s better after resting, he might need the remedy Bryonia as noted above. I’ve found that most dogs are stiff at first but after walking a bit they get less stiff after they move around for a bit. Oftentimes these same dogs are worse in cold damp weather. With this presentation you’d likely choose the remedy Rhus toxidendron.
Rhus tox, as it is commonly known, is much cheaper than NSAID’s and also much safer to use. If you were to determine that Rhus tox was the best remedy for your dog, you would simply put a few pellets to melt in his cheek pouch about three times a day and watch him over the next week, noting changes in his condition. If he gets better, you’ve got the right remedy and if there is no change, there’s no harm done. Go back and do a little more reading in your handy books on homeopathy. When you have the right remedy, and you’ll know because there will be improvement.
Here are several homeopathic remedies that you can keep on hand for basic needs. You may want to go out and purchase these commonly used remedies to have on hand in case the need arises. They are small and make a great travel kit too.
- Apis mellifica – great for bee and other insect bites. Give every 20 minutes for a few doses after a bee sting. This remedy is made from the Honeybee, is used for insect bites and stings that produce sensitive swellings. Animals who can benefit from apis may be very hot but not thirsty and their pain is often alleviated by cold.
- Arnica montana – good for general pain, stiffness due to overexertion, soreness and musculoskeletal injuries and is one of the best known homeopathic remedies. It is commonly used in humans, in both topical creams and oral pellets. Arnica is excellent for bruising, muscle aches, sprains and general injuries especially where the animal is shocked. Animals who benefit from arnica may be fearful of touch and restless, constantly moving from one spot to another because of their discomfort.
- Arsenicum album – great for GI upsets from eating spoiled food where there is both vomiting and diarrhea. When any digestive upset is caused by food poisoning or the consumption of garbage this remedy should be given twice an hour for a few hours. It is also great remedy for diarrhea. Pets that need this remedy often feel chilly and their symptoms are alleviated by warmth. It’s especially useful in younger animals, and for those who are anxious, restless and thirsty. They are afraid to be alone and especially fearful of strangers.
- Borax (the remedy, not the powder) – excellent for fear of thunderstorms and fireworks. Give this at the 6c potency twice a day for a month during the season.
- Calendula (can be used both as an oral remedy and as an external ointment) – use for skin infections or any kind of external infection. It’s a remarkable healing agent and a tube of the ointment should always be on hand to apply topically to scrapes, infections and wounds. You can also buy a tincture and dilute it 1/10 and flush any cuts or wounds with it.
- Carbo vegetabilis is made from charcoal, and is used for the alleviation of gas. It is a great remedy to keep on hand for dogs who are prone to bloat. Weakness, shock and general exhaustion indicate the need for carbo veg.
- Thuja occidentalis is indicated for the treatment of warts and skin complaints. It is also used to help with adverse vaccine reactions, especially those reactions that cause skin problems
- Hepar sulphur – is wonderful to treat painful abscesses anywhere on the body and painful infected anal glands.
- Hypericum – is an excellent remedy to give for any pain due to nerve damage or injuries to nerve-rich areas. I once closed my finger in a window and learned firsthand the wonders of Hypericum. Great for when you cut your dog’s toenails too short.
- Myristica – phenomenal remedy for anal sac infections and chronic anal sac problems.
- Rhus tox – for arthritis that’s better after moving around, general musculoskeletal injuries, red swollen eyes, skin infections and skin itching.
- Ruta – fantastic for any injury to tendons or ligaments and this remedy has a real affinity for the knee so you would use it immediately after any knee or cruciate injury.
- Silicea – pushes foreign bodies like splinters or foxtails out of the skin.
- Ledum – the first choice for any type of puncture wound, including those from insect bites. Insect bites that require
- Apis will be hot and red whereas bites that require Ledum will be cool and appears bruised.
- Fragaria – if your dog has terrible tartar buildup, try using the homeopathic remedy called Fragaria (6x). Give 1-2 pellets twice a day for a month (do not mix with food) and you should see an improvement.
Homeopathic remedies have been used to treat illness in people and animals since the late eighteenth century. Homeopathic treatment stimulates the body’s own defenses to cure itself and promote health. The majority of homeopathic remedies are made from a special dilution of plants or minerals.
*Remedies are placed on small lactose pellets or in a water based solution for oral administration. They are designed to enter the blood stream directly through the mucous membranes of the mouth so they should be separated from food and water by 30-60 minutes. One dose may last 3 weeks or longer. It is important to monitor your pet’s symptoms and report any changes to your holistic veterinarian.
Avoid touching homeopathic remedies with your hands. Put pellets in a teaspoon and tip it onto your pet’s tongue or for liquids, drip them from the eyedropper onto the tongue without touching the mouth.
Store homeopathic remedies 15 feet away from computers, televisions, microwave ovens, and any other devices that emit strong radiation. Keep the remedies away from strong odors. Do not use the remedies in the presence of strong odors such as camphor, mothballs, Tiger Balm, mint, coffee or turpentine. Both electromagnetic forces and strong odors could inactivate the remedy.
*Store in a cool place away from direct sunlight*
With a small investment and a little planning, you can build your own homeopathy kit. These remedies aren’t that difficult to use and can give your dog fast and effective relief from many common injuries and illnesses.
As always, we recommend that you consult with a veterinarian who’s familiar with the use of homeopathy, when using a modality for your pet.
Here is link to a store to purchase remedies:
To give remedies, make sure you don’t touch the pellets (if you have to, that’s fine but try to pop them from the cap into your dog’s mouth – if that doesn’t work, place three pellets in a glass of water, stir with a metal spoon, then give the water to your dog in a dropper). Give the remedy before you leave and take some extras along for the ride, in case you need a second or third dose. Don’t give remedies with food.
Homeopathic dosing isn’t based on weight. Give the same dose for all size dogs.
- Pills – give 3 of the larger pellets or a capful of the smaller little granular pellets
- Liquid – mix the same amount of pellets in a glass of water. Give a half dropper full, regardless of your dog’s size.
Remedies for Upset Tummies
Homeopathy is also a great option for motion sickness.
Cocculus indicus – can be given just before getting in the car and is the most popular remedy for nausea due to motion sickness. Give your dog three pellets or crush them in a spoon and drop them in some water for him to drink (or in a dropper bottle so you can administer them).
Remedies for Anxiety
Rescue Remedy – this flower essence can also be given right before getting in the car to ease your dog’s anxiety. Follow the directions on the bottle.
Argentum nitricum – this is the first remedy to consider when nausea is accompanied by nervousness and anxiety. Give your dog three pellets or crush them in a spoon and drop them in some water for him to drink (or in a dropper bottle so you can administer them).
With a little help, and a little time, your dog may soon enjoy running errands with you, instead of waiting at home.