At Tower Wood Vets Brendan Clarke is our fully qualified veterinary homeopath (VetMFHom’s) that have undergone the required three-year post-graduate training. Homeopathy is available to our own clients and our referral section Complementary Animal Therapies takes referrals from practices throughout the north of England.
Homeopathy is a completely different way of looking at disease. Each animal and person is seen as an individual. It is the way that your animal expresses a problem that is important. If we look for example at what might simply be termed arthritis in conventional terms: one dog might be very stiff first thing in the morning, or after rest, but be really very good once they get going; another might be much worse when it is hot and dry; a third dog might have hot, swollen, painful joints which are like it all the time. They all have “arthritis” but they all need different remedies. This does not mean that our homeopaths do not use conventional diagnostics, but it does mean that we spend a lot of time asking questions that determine the individual characteristics of your animals’ problem.So how do we know what remedies to give to what dog? To this we have to go to the fundamental Law of Homeopathy. If we give a small amount of a substance to a healthy individual, over time that individual will produce a set of symptoms.
We use that very same substance to treat a sick patient showing the same set of symptoms.With homeopathy, far from switching off the bodies response to a disease we are actually stimulating the bodies defence system in exactly the places it is telling us it has a problem.
The remedies themselves are made from any substance capable of altering health. The substances are produced by a process of dilution and succussion (which is a vigorous shaking procedure). The issue of the high dilutions used has been a stumbling block to many people when they try to understand homeopathy, but dilutions are not what homeopathy is about. You have to go back in history to understand the reason why they came about. Homeopathy has its roots in history at a time when the conventional medicine of the day consisted of substances such as mercury and arsenic. These were the substances, which were used following the homeopathic principles. To try and avoid side effects the great physician Samuel Hahnemann tried diluting them down in an attempt to reduce the side effects, and through doing this he discovered that not only did the side effects reduce, but also the healing effects increased. But don’t get confused, because dilutions are not the essence of homeopathy.
Treatments can be given on different levels e.g. local prescribing, which is first-aid type prescribing, such as Arnica for a bruise, and then the more specialised prescribing based upon the whole animal taking into account mental, emotional and physical symptoms and also considering disease patterns throughout life and heritable influences.
If we are not your primary care veterinary practice, but you wish to have your animal treated homeopathically, you will need a referral from your conventional vet, which includes them sending us a copy of your animal’s conventional medical history. We will report back to your conventional veterinary surgeon following the first homeopathic consultation.This should not alter your relationship with your conventional veterinary surgeon and they will remain your first line veterinary surgeons in case of accident or emergency or if your animal requires conventional medicine.
PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to give homeopathic advice over the telephone or via the Internet, unless the animal is under our care or we are working via your conventional veterinary surgeon. This is both a legal requirement and is in the interests of the health and wellbeing of your animal.
Every client using homeopathy from our practice should have received a homeopathic advice sheet, however, we know that things get lost, so as a reminder the following is a summary of some of the essential points to remember:
Unless you are specifically told to do so, do not alter any conventional drug routine that your animal is currently on.
Avoid handling remedies. If your remedy is in tablet form, the easiest way is to tip the tablet into the pot lid, and from there tip the tablet directly into the animals mouth. The tablet can be placed onto a piece of clean paper which is then folded – crush the tablet, and administer as a powder if desired. Powder form is often easier to administer to cats.
With horses, the tablets can be placed onto a dry hand and given direct. Most horses will take the remedies willingly. They can be put into a small piece of hollowed out carrot if necessary.
Ideally the remedies should not be given with food (allow at least 30 minutes either side of eating). If the animal refuses the remedy without food, use a very small amount of something bland e.g. a little milk, or a small piece of bread and butter.
Occasionally the animal’s condition may appear to worsen after the first few remedies are given. This is known as an aggravation. Whilst this can appear distressing, it is a sign that the remedy is active, and is a good sign to the homoeopath! If this happens STOP GIVING THE REMEDY AND WAIT. Contact your homoeopath for further advice.
Unlike conventional medicines such as antibiotics, where it is important to complete the course, if your animal shows marked improvement on a remedy – STOP GIVING THE REMEDY AND WAIT. Contact your homeopath for further advice.
Remedies vary in their duration of action. This depends on the nature of the disturbance in the animal, and the remedy itself. Remedies can be active and bring change in the animal for several months after the completion of the course. If the remedy is still active, i.e. the animal continues to improve; no further remedy should be given.
During treatment, ALL CHANGES in the animal, no matter how seemingly unrelated to the original condition, are vitally important to the homeopath. It is these changes which guide us to the follow up remedy. Please be observant, and keep a diary of change, for your follow up consultations. It also helps us to know if these symptoms are new symptoms that have never been seen before, or perhaps symptoms that the animal has had in the past (this includes symptoms that the animal had years ago).