Animals respond to homoeopathic remedies in much the same way as people. There are many similarities between animal and human health problems and of course some important differences. However this is not such a problem for the homoeopathic prescriber as the remedy choice is based upon the ‘symptoms’ presented.
Consult your veterinarian for chronic problems and when the situation seems out of the scope of your homoeopathic experience. There are vets who use natural therapies in their practices and are open to your use of homoeopathy.
Accidents, Injuries & Fight Wounds: For shock with fear – Aconite. Bruising, trauma and shock – Arnica, use immediately there is an accident or injury and repeat four hourly or as needed. For nerve damage, crushed paws or tail, spinal injuries, splinters, puncture wounds, bites and stings – Hypericum. Animal bites – Ledum. At the first sign of fighting give Arnica and Hypericum or Ledum a couple of times. If an abscess has formed Hepar sulph followed by Silica. For lacerated or incised wounds – Staphysagria. Chronic infections, abscesses and draining fistulas – Silica.
Bites & Stings: Spring and summer brings bee and wasp chasing with puppies and kittens. Be ready with Apis or Urtica urens and repeat often as this can be dangerous if the throat swells – seek veterinary care if in doubt. Insect bites and puncture wounds respond well to Ledum.
Constipation: Careful attention to and adjustment of the diet is essential. Stool large, dry and hard. No straining – Bryonia. Straining that is ineffectual – Nux Vomica. Constipation in old, weak animals – Alumina.
Coughs, Colds & Runny Noses: Early stages when the animal is feverish, thirsty and the nose is hot and dry – Aconite. Bland, watery discharge. Eyes red, watery and sensitive to light – Allium. Acrid discharge. Thirsty and restless – Arsenicum. Discharge whitish like egg-white; violent sneezing – Nat mur. Chronic discharge, thick, tough and stringy – Kali bic. Septic throat, bad breath excess saliva, thin, greenish nasal discharge – Mercurius. Thin grayish discharge. Crusts form inside the nose – Silica.
Cat flu is a common winter complaint. It usually begins with sneezing and a clear, watery nasal discharge which may become thick and yellow/green if not treated effectively. In some cases it can progress to bronchitis and pneumonia. Use any of the above remedies depending on the stage. For kennel cough in dogs use Aconite in the early stages for a rough, loud, barking cough, especially at night. Then later, other remedies to consider include Bryonia, Phosphorus, Drosera and Ant tart.
Diarrhoea & Vomiting: If symptoms persist seek help from your vet as animals can dehydrate quickly. Aconite is very useful in the first stages of stomach upsets and diarrhoea. Vomiting and diarrhoea with loss of appetite – Arsenicum. Persistent vomiting and nausea – Ipecac. Vomiting yet still has an appetite – Phosphorus. After rich and fatty or creamy food – Pulsatilla. Upset stomach and bloating from overindulgence – Nux vomica. Violent purging with rapid exhaustion and dehydration – Veratrum and seek veterinary advice.
Emotional Upsets: Domestic animals usually make strong emotional connections with their owners and may exhibit problems when their home life is upset. In these situations animals respond very well to carefully chosen remedies. Problems may develop after a change involving a loss of territory, relationship or attention. Health can be affected by recurrent feelings of tension, anxiety, depression, anger and other emotional upsets in the home. The owner’s attitude and expectations about illness or a disturbance may affect the pet’s own health. When seeking professional advice mention other contributing factors such as family stress and grief, which may be impacting on the health or emotions of your pet. If your practitioner does not think that these factors are important then seek advice from someone with a more holistic approach.
Anxiety and fear: Anticipatory anxiety and excitement – Aconite. Fear and apprehension is common before any ordeal. Fear of heights, crowds, closed spaces etc. May have diarrhoea – Argent nit. Emotional excitement and apprehension, quiet, subdued and trembling – Gelsemium. A heightened state of anxiety and restlessness especially in fussy, chilly animals – Arsenicum. Nervous animals to strengthen the nervous system – Kali phos.
Grief, separation, stress, jealousy: Anxious and restless, fears change – Arsenicum. Clingy and moody – Pulsatilla. Sad, sighing and changeable, off their food – Ignatia. Withdrawn and wants to be alone – Nat mur. Animals established in a home may suffer emotional problems when new arrivals appear. Consider Nat mur or Ignatia. Lachesis if they are vicious and attack the newcomer. Pulsatilla if they demand attention, a remedy for sibling rivalry. Staphysagria if sulking, growling and withdrawal.
Joint Pain & Arthritis: As animals age they may be slower to rise due to stiffness, experiencing lameness from sore muscles or joints. It’s important to feed a natural diet thereby ensuring an adequate intake of the nutrients required to support ligament and bone repair. Acute symptoms with swelling, redness, pain and possibly fever responds well to Belladonna. Rhus tox suits inflammation, pain and stiffness which is most apparent when the animal gets up after a long rest. Once moving about it starts to loosen and feel better. Bryonia symptoms are much worse from movement, better from firm pressure and lying still. Silica is important in symptoms when the joint stiffness, pain and distortion gets worse as the animal gets older and can be given regularly with other indicated Tissue Salts to support the joints and calcium metabolism.
Pregnancy, Birth & Baby Animals: Give Arnica in the final week of pregnancy to reduce soft tissue damage during labour. To ensure healthy bones and reduce the incidence of mastitis and calcium deficiency problems start Calc phos a week or two before the due date. During the birth and after consider the following. If fearful and anxious – Aconite. Four hourly during labour to reduce bruising and promote repair – Arnica. To stimulate contractions if the progress of labour is slow – Caulophyllum. Clingy, sad, moody and wants company and consolation – Pulsatilla. Indifference to the babies and wants to be left alone – Sepia. For feeding problems where the teat area hot, swollen; pupils dilated, full pulse, excited – Belladonna. Teat very hard, general limb stiffness – Bryonia. Averse to touch due to pain – Hepar sulph. To increase milk supply – Urtica urens. Recurring mastitis – Calc carb. Puppies who have not had a very good start to life and have weak appetites, poor coats and rickety joints respond well to Calc phos.
Skin: When dogs and cats scratch a great deal despite every hygienic and local measure try either Sulphur (hot, greedy and often rather smelly) or Arsenicum (chilly, nervous and always grooming themselves). Boils, pimples and pussy eruptions – Hepar sulph. Hair loss, ringworm – Sepia. Acute, wet eczema – Rhus tox. Pustules, boils, diseased claws and delicate skin that doesn’t heal well – Silica. Silica in conjunction with Kali sulph is excellent for conditioning the coat. Kali sulph is indicated for sore paws with scaling of the skin. Hepar sulph, Graphites or Silica – for cysts between the toes.
Surgery: In the event that your animal needs surgery give Arnica and Hypericum as needed, preferably starting a day or two before the surgery and continue for a few days to promote healing. For abdominal surgery add Bellis perennis. Surgery involving bone and ligaments – Ruta grav. Adverse reactions to anaesthetics – Phosphorus.
Travel Sickness: Give 2 or 3 doses before travel. If the usual reaction is very severe, start the day before travel. Severe nausea and dizziness – Cocculus. Nausea, vomiting and excess saliva – Ipecac. Nausea and dizziness from fumes – Petroleum. Digestive disturbance, nausea – Nux vomica.
Urinary Problems & Cystitis: Examination and diagnosis by your vet is important as animals can die quickly of kidney failure if the bladder is totally blocked. Classic cystitis, with the typical frequency of passing urine and associated pain – Cantharis. Absence of urine, a few doses of Apis helps to encourage urination. Incontinence in a spayed animal, helpful for dogs who dribble urine when excited – Pulsatilla. Incontinence during the early part of the night – Sepia.
Worms: The best time to worm your animals is in the days before the full moon, as this is when the worms are more active and therefore easier to remove from the body. Cina is the most commonly used remedy for worming.