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Homeopathy is a natural medicine that uses medically active substances in infinitesimal doses that stimulate the immune system, and allow for self healing. Homeopathy is a 200+ year old medical modality that has stood the test of time. Even though to this day many still don’t quite know how Homeopathy works, the message is clear it is here to stay!!
The Case against:
The “logic” behind homeopathy is appealing, but the devil, as always, is in the details. Simply put, homeopathy is based on the “Law of Similars.” The idea is that “like cures like,” or that we can cure disease by giving patients substances that produces symptoms similar to those of the disease from which they suffer. But there is danger in this approach. For instance, do we really want to give a dog or cat suffering from severe diarrhea a substance that could worsen their dehydration and biochemical imbalances? Homeopaths “solve” this problem by diluting their solutions, usually to the point where the active ingredients are no longer detectable. Somehow, the preparations are supposed to “remember” what used to be present and still be effective.
I’m sure you can gather that I’m fairly skeptical of homeopathy. To be fair, I don’t think homeopathy is ineffective, I just don’t think it is more effective than any placebo would be. We’ve know about how powerful the placebo effect is, so when human patients want to try a homeopathic remedy for chronic, non-life threatening conditions, great! In veterinary medicine, however, placebos primarily affect an owner’s impression of how a pet is faring, rather than actually providing any relief from the pet’s condition. We do animals a disservice when we pick homeopathic treatments over scientifically-validated and patient-appropriate therapeutic protocols.
I’ve heard the stories of miraculous “cures” associated with the use of homeopathic remedies, but we must remember that association does not equal causation. The unexpected does happen in veterinary medicine, primarily because the body has remarkable abilities to heal itself, often despite rather than because of what we do.
The Case for:
The goal of homeopathic veterinarians is not merely to treat disease but to cure it. This means that the symptoms of the disease are gone, the patient feels better, and has no new symptoms. Ideally, no further treatment is necessary.
What Can Be Treated By Homeopathy?
Almost any problem that can be treated by traditional western medicine (allopathy) can be treated by homeopathy. Examples of chronic diseases that respond to homeopathy include skin allergies, ear infections, asthma, diabetes,inflammatory bowel disease, epilepsy, thyroid disease and a host of other conditions. Veterinarians who practice classical homeopathy according to academy standards have found that many otherwise chronically ill patients can be restored to health. They have also found that homeopathy can rapidly and gently treat a diverse array of acute conditions from traumatic injuries to infections and poisonings.
Homeopathy is a holistic discipline and the principles of good health such as diet, exercise and removal of stresses are also part of the process or restoring health. Veterinarians who practice homeopathy have found it to be a gentle, safe and effective medical system which offers a true cure to many patients.
One Vet said he has seen things work that he doesn’t understand–from acupuncture to drugs to a kitten’s purr. “Just because I don’t necessarily understand something, doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t work,” he said. Something to think about.