Homeopathic medicine seeks to heal the entire being of the patient. In the case of homeopathy for animals, this means the animal's mental and emotional health are addressed in addition to relief from symptoms.
Homeopathy is based on the "Law of Similars," or "like cures like." A substance that causes a symptom is diluted down and given to a patient experiencing similar symptoms. For example, a plant called lobelia causes vomiting and profuse sweating if it is eaten. But minute amounts of lobelia in a homeopathic medicine may be given as a remedy for a patient experiencing vomiting and excessive sweating.
Homeopathic remedies come in liquid or pill form. The pills may be soft like pressed powder or hard like mini marbles. They are flavorless and odorless, making them ideal for use on animals (even cats!). They can be added to food or given directly into the animal's mouth.
Some homeopathic remedies, such as arnica, are used topically for swelling, inflammation, and to prevent bruising. Their level of dilution is indicated by numbers and letters – 6c has been diluted to 1 part per 100 six times. Remedies with an "x" after the number are less diluted (using a scale of 10 rather than 100) and, ironically, considered less potent.
Practitioners of veterinarian homeopathy claim that the remedies are effective for any animal, from cats and dogs to hamsters and lizards. Scientifically, homeopathy is really quite a mystery. Perhaps since science can't explain it, some skeptics seek to debunk it. Articles debunking veterinarian homeopathy abound, but for every nay-sayer there are dozens of yea-sayers! Homeopathy works. It's just that no one really knows how or why – at least not on a physical level.
Homeopathy enters the realms of quantum physics. It is based more on philosophy than science, but that does not make homeopathy illegitimate. Its effects are physical, emotional, and mental – and they are real.
Animals respond well to homeopathic remedies, perhaps because they do not have any preconceived notions of the remedies. Proponents point out that animals are not subject to the "placebo effect," which is often used to explain homeopathic success in people. This indicates that something very real is going on.
Because they are harmless, homeopathic remedies for animals are easy to obtain from most health food stores. Some of the problems that can be relieved by commercial homeopathic remedies – often blends of many ingredients – include:
* Flea and tick infestations
* Motion sickness
* Bad breath
* Allergies/Itchy Skin
* Heartworm prevention