Healing Dogs Through Homeopathy
Learn how the simple concept behind this 200-year-old practice can help your dog.
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From that experience, Hahnemann developed what homeopaths call the Law of Similars, or "like cures like": If a large amount of a particular substance makes a person or animal sick, then a tiny amount can help reverse the illness that causes those symptoms.
That leads to homeopathy's other central tenet: the grand-sounding Law of Infinitesimals, which basically means less is more. Hahnemann discovered that the more dilute a remedy, the greater its healing power. So homeopathic remedies, which are derived from plant, mineral, and animal sources, are repeatedly diluted and then succussed, or shaken, until barely a trace of the original material remains.
This is why homeopathic remedies made from toxic plants and metals such as poison ivy and mercury are safe to use: Instead of being chemically present, the substance has left only its energy behind. But that energetic footprint, homeopaths say, is powerful enough to show the body how to heal itself.
Moving into the mainstream
Like Young's co-worker, many people turn to homeopathy when conventional medicine fails, says homeopathic veterinarian Lori Tapp, DVM, of Weaverville, N.C. "Often, people call me because they've been treating something chronic, such as allergies or irritable bowel syndrome, and it keeps coming back." Tapp also treats common behavioral issues such as destructiveness, aggression, and fearfulness.
Despite its often positive results, homeopathy isn't for everyone, Blake warns, because it seeks a more profound cure, not a quick fix. Modern medicine is all based on the premise of eliminating symptoms, he explains. "If your dog gets an inflammation and your vet gives steroids, that's not addressing why the dog is getting the inflammation in the first place." Homeopathy, by contrast, tries to get at these deeper issues.
Like all holistic healing systems, homeopathy focuses on the whole individual, factoring in everything from a dogs personality to his activity level in order to select the right remedy. That process takes trial and error, and patience is likely to be an owner's greatest virtue.
"Homeopathy relies on the body to get the job done, and that's not something that happens overnight," stresses homeopathic vet Adriana Sagrera, DVM, of Metaire, La. "The longer an illness persists, the longer it will take to clear. Changes are dramatic and can be permanent, but if people want instant gratification, they need to go somewhere else." Blake says to expect a month of homeopathic care for every year of your dog's illness before seeing results.
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