Homeopathy is not a new phenomenon in the treatment of animals. Yet its acceptance is slow! But things are changing and a lot of vets are making homeopathy a part of their treatment.
Way back in the 18th century the founder and father of homeopathy D Samuel Hahnemann had tried homeopathic remedies for animals. The first veterinarian to use homeopathy again in the same century was Wilhelm Lux and literature shows the enormous success of the science since then. Most vets dabble in homeopathy in India but the last decade has seen a scientific approach in the field with Kerala Veterinary College offering a PG Certification Course in Veterinary Homeopathy for vets. Since then, many vets have undertaken the course, understood its principles, and worked wonders with pets, farm animals, and wild animals. I too recently finished my course here and have since been practicing homeopathy.
Positive perspective to homeopathy
One needs a very open mind to understand what is homeopathy all about? It works on energies and is in a crude manner something like nanotechnology. The most powerful homeopathic drug is the most dilute version! In fact, dilutions below 120C (form of dilution) have no material molecule (physical presence within the solution) of the drug.
Yet the finest qualities of the medicine are seen as it gets more dilute. It hence works on the principal that water has memory and as we continue the dilution process, it continues to have the energies of the original drug. Some feel that this is the biggest drawback homeopathy has, yet they have no problem accepting nanotechnology.
The second point of interest is that the homeopath rarely cares about germs or diseases per se. He believes that the soul or vital force or the energy in the animal gets deranged. When this happens, the patient falls ill. That means to cure the patient the vital force or energy in him must be strengthened. So, it’s not the disease that is targeted but the symptoms the animal exhibits that are then matched and treated. The first tenet of homeopathy is the concept is ‘similia similibus curantus’ or like cure like.
The father of homeopathy has envisaged that the symptoms that a drug (mineral, plant, animal, poison or even diseased animal tissues) produce in a healthy individual will cure symptoms similar in a disease. He first saw that chincona the bark of a tree produced symptoms exactly similar to malaria in a healthy individual. He then postulated that chincona could be used to treat malaria by testing it on himself. Such was his genius that he used products such as the venom of the most poisonous snakes and spiders, toxic minerals or plants, and has given some of the finest homeopathic remedies. Hence, if the symptoms of disease match the symptoms a drug can produce, we will have a perfect remedy!
Making treatment simple, one step at a time!
The best homeopath would rather die before giving two remedies together. He follows the rule of simplex that states that only one remedy can be given at one time. That is particularly true in humans who can state their symptoms well. Homeopaths rely on both mental and physical symptoms with emphasis on the former. That unfortunately is the biggest drawback for vets as we cannot know what exactly our patients are feeling.
We could at best judge the symptoms. The symptoms are either subjective when the patient tells his physician what he feels. Or they could be objective where the physician judges what patient has. The mental subjective have the highest place among symptoms for the homeopath. What the patient feels, craves for, desires, has an aversion to etc. play a vital role in selection of a remedy. When I see a good mental symptom in a pet I feel almost assured that the case will have a favorable prognosis.
Opening the world to a new science
What homeopathy did for me was to open my eyes to an entire new science. After almost two and a half decades of active allopathic practice I found something was lacking. I still believe that my science is the best for surgery but there are limitations for some cases.
Let me give you an example where I have met with great success in my practice. For epilepsy in our science, we have a one size fits all approach, just use anti-epileptics. But in homeopathy I have used at least ten varied remedies or more with success based on individual symptoms the pet exhibits. There was a dog who had his seizures every full moon and we had a very specific remedy for it. There are remedies that work when fits come only during sleep.
Others have attacks when the patient is excited or sees bright lights. Few others have seizures of a particular part or petit mal seizures. There are specific remedies for patients who have periodical seizures. In allopathic treatment all these patients would have had the same drug. But in homeopathy the symptoms have decided the drugs and the results are very good. It is to prevent misuse that I’ve not mentioned any remedy names. It cannot be said that all have been cured but the results have a lot of smiling faces and wagging tails.
Best of both allopathy and homeopathy
There are also many good results coming for distemper and parvo but again we combine the best of allopathy and homeopathy. At our clinic it’s not about what cures the patient but just that the most humane approach must be adopted for a fast, permanent cure. There are excellent remedies for liver and kidney ailments. But I’ll reiterate that it’s not magic. It all depends on the stage of the diseases and the extent of damage the organ has faced.
I personally feel that homeopathy must be explained to vets in college before they pass out. It depends then on their interest and inclination if they wish to study it further. Since a college in India is now offering post graduate certification course it’s a wonderful opportunity to upgrade one’s skill and knowledge. The future lies in minimum medication and less judicious use of antibiotics. The world is faced with an unprecedented crisis of antibiotic resistance. Homeopathy offers an escape from this problem.
(Dr Gautam Unny is a practicing vet at The Amrita Pet Care Clinic, Delhi. With PG Certification in Veterinary Homeopathy from KVASU, he treats animals in One Animal One Health Approach by combining Homeopathy and Allopathy)